One thing that you could always count on with AC/DC is that their music videos would be direct and to the point. While other bands tried to come up with elaborate storylines or gimmicks for their videos, AC/DC was content to just rock.
Guns For Hire was the first single and video to be released off of their 1983 album, Flick of the Switch. While the band was touring to support the album, Guns for Hire was the song that they opened with. It’s also a song that they apparently stopped playing after the tour ended. Though Flick of the Switch has its fans (and has been the subject of much positive reappraisal in recent years), it was a commercial disappointment when it was first released. It was also during the recording of Flick of the Switch that drummer Phil Rudd left the band for the first time. Malcolm Young later described the album as being a disappointment, saying that it was “thrown together real quick.” Personally, I think Guns for Hire is a perfectly good AC/DC song but it’s understandable why the band may not have wanted to revisited the turmoil that was going on when it was recorded.
Because Phil Rudd either left the band or was fired during the recording of Flick of the Switch (it depends on who you ask), Guns For Hire was the first AC/DC music video to feature Simon Wright on drums. Wright stayed with the band until 1989, when he left to join Dio. He was replaced by Chris Slade, who was subsequently replaced in 1993 by …. Phil Rudd. Time is a flat circle.
This video was directed by Paul Becher, who directed two other videos for AC/DC and one for Prince.