Music Video Of The Day: For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) by AC/DC (1982, directed by Derek Burbridge)

AC/DC was always a no frills/no bullshit/hard-rocking band and the same is true of their music videos.  While other bands of the period were using elaborate videos to covers for their deficiencies as musicians, AC/DC used videos to show off what they could do on stage.  AC/DC always respected their fans enough to let the music speak for itself and that’s what they did in the video for For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).


Music Video of the Day: Problem Child by AC↯DC (1976, directed by Russell Mulcahy)

Here’s the thing about AC/DC.

When it came to music videos, they’ve never needed to do anything fancy.  They’re not one of those bands that needs a bunch of bells and whistles to look impressive.  All they have to do is come out on stage and rock.  Their best music videos are usually very simple performance clips, like this one.

This video was filmed at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, Australia.  If it looks rough, that’s because it was supposed to be a part of a large concert film but the film’s backers ran out of money before any major post-production work could be done.  The rough look, however, works for AC/DC.  They are a band that could handle looking rough.

Russell Mulchay, of course, went on to direct multiple videos for Duran Duran, along with Highlander.


Music Video Of The Day: What Do You Do For Money Honey by AC/DC (1980, directed by Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler)

One reason why AC/DC has remained popular for such a long time is because there’s nothing phony about them.  They play hard rock, they play it loud, and they make no apologies.  That attitude can be found in all of their songs and also all of their videos.  The video for What Do You Do For Money Honey, like most of their videos, is a simple performance clip because AC/DC doesn’t need to do anything extra to rock you.

This song is from Back In Black, their first album after the death of lead singer Bon Scott.  After Scott’s death, the band came close to disbanding but were encouraged to stay together by Scott’s parents, who insisted that Scott would not have wanted his death to be the end of AC/DC.  Brian Johnson was subsequently brought in to replace Scott and the rest is history.  In What Do You Do For Money Honey, Johnson is singing to an unseen woman who avoids having to work by sleeping with older, wealthy men.

The song may not be as well-known as Highway to Hell but it’s still AC/DC rocking out as only they can.



Horror Song of the Day: Highway to Hell (by AC/DC)

Highway to Hell

We’ve finally reached the finish line. It’s now Halloween. Enjoy the sun while it out and about because when it goes down and the sky darken and turns to black, the ghouls and monsters come out to play.

Those inclined towards enjoying the darker aspects of life will dance and play throughout the night as they continue their way down the highway to hell.

“Highway to Hell”

Living easy, livin’ free
Season ticket, on a one – way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don’t need reason, don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too

I’m on the highway to hell
On the Highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell

No stop signs, speedin’ limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me ’round
Hey Satan! Paid my dues
Playin’ in a rockin’ band
Hey Mama! Look at me
I’m on my way to the promise land

I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell

Dont stop me!

I’m on the highway to hell!
I’m on the highway to hell!
I’m on the highway to hell!
I’m on the highway to hell!

And I’m goin down..all the way!
I’m on the highway to hell..

Music Video of The Day: Highway to Hell by AC/DC (1979, dir by ????)

Yesterday, as soon as I saw the twitter reaction to the passing of Malcolm Young, I knew that there was no way today’s music video of the day wouldn’t come from AC/DC.

As I looked through all of the AC/DC videos that were available on YouTube, the main thing that I noticed was that there was not an ounce of pretension to either the band’s music or their videos.  The majority of the videos that I saw were simply made up of footage of the band performing on stage.  There was no attempt to pretend that they were anything other than a hard-working band that played fast and loud.  How could anyone not respect that?

Highway to Hell was probably an obvious video to pick, as it seems to be the song that everyone knows.  Well, that’s okay.  Sometimes, the obvious choice is the right choice.  Since the video is pretty straight forward, here’s a little background on the song, courtesy of Songfacts:

The title is often attributed as a phrase AC/DC guitarist Angus Young used to describe touring in America. There is a much more literal explanation, however. “Highway to Hell” was the nickname for the Canning Highway in Australia. It runs from where lead singer Bon Scott lived in Fremantle and ends at a pub/bar called The Raffles, which was a big rock ‘n roll drinking hole in the ’70s. As Canning Highway gets close to the pub, it dips down into a steep decline: “No stop signs… speed limits… nobody gonna slow me down.”

So many people where killed by driving fast over that intersection at the top of the hill on the way for a good night out, that it was called the highway to hell, so when Bon was saying “I’m on the highway to hell” it meant that he was doing the nightly or weekly pilgrimage down Canning Highway to The Raffles bar to rock and drink with his mates: “Ain’t nothing I would rather do. Going down, party time, my friends are gonna be there too.”


Music Video of the Day: Let There Be Rock by AC/DC (1977, dir. ???)

How did I let it happen? I went through 421 of these posts, and it took till now to do one for a song on Jeff’s hit list.

You remember Jeff from Rock: It’s Your Decision (1982), right? He’s the kid who had decent taste in music, but was then red-pilled by reading The Big Beat: A Rock Blast by Frank Garlock, which turned him into a raving homophobic bigot with a persecution complex who treated his friends like trash and gave an insane sermon condemning rock music. During that sermon he finally named names of what songs and groups were evil. Of course AC/DC was specially mentioned with a list of some of their hits. This was one of them.

While I’m sure Jeff never saw this video, I like to pair the following images and think that he was just envious that he couldn’t pull this off as well as Scott did.

Rock: It’s Your Decision (1982, dir. John Taylor)

The video features Bon Scott as a preacher who delivers the lyrics like a sermon. We get occasional cutaways to members of the group who are choirboys, because what else would you expect members of AC/DC to be dressed like. Eventually, Scott decides to take off clerical clothing after a video effect.

Then Scott takes a flying leap that according to the Young Brothers, injured Scott.

I didn’t need Wikipedia to tell me that something went wrong. You can see that he missed the mark and fell offstage. Credit to Scott and the band for not only leaving that in, but not appearing to react to it happening.

I really like this video. If I had one complaint, it’s that it appears that Scott is screwing up his lip-syncing. You can see the difference when you watch him perform the song live. I noticed the same issue when I watched the officially posted version of Highway To Hell. I refuse to believe that Scott was this bad at lip-syncing. I think I know what happened. It’s the only explanation that I have.

The song is supposed to introduce light before sound in the pre-chorus. That is the way it was done on both the album and in the video. They fixed that in live performances, like the one below:

I have a feeling they overlayed a slightly different studio recording onto the video in order to make it sound better. You see this done on unofficially posted music videos all the time. I can see this throwing off Scott’s timing just enough that it’s noticeable. You can still see that he is reacting and making the right lip movements. They just seems to miss the mark.

This video is a perfect example of why I put AC/DC right alongside the other 1970s music-video pioneers like ABBA, Sweet, Golden Earring, Kate Bush, Hall & Oates, Funkadelic, Alice Cooper, and other musicians from that period that I haven’t covered.


Music Video of the Day: Can I Sit Next To You Girl? by AC/DC (1974, dir. ???)

Happy Australia Day!

To my knowledge, this was not only the debut single for the band, but also their first music video. You might have noticed that is not Bon Scott. AC/DC’s first lead-singer was a guy named Dave Evans. He’s a good singer and clearly a good performer, but I can see why the band let him go. Despite attempts over the years to classify the band as “hard rock”, they have maintained that they are just rock ‘n roll. I see that when I watch Bon Scott and Brian Johnson. When I watch Dave Evans, I see Marc Bolan of T-Rex or a frontman for one of the Sunset Strip bands of the 1980s. He doesn’t quite fit. Of course this is all in retrospect. Still, that is the feeling I take away from this music video.

The music video was filmed for the show The Last Picture Show because clearly that big sign above them didn’t make that clear.

Going into doing these “music video of the day” posts, I never would have imagined that Alice Cooper, ABBA, AC/DC, and Hall & Oates would be trailblazers for the modern music video.


Music Video of the Day: Thunderstruck by AC/DC (1990, dir. David Mallet)

I’ve mentioned this song several times as an odd exclusion from Clear Channel’s post 9/11 no-no playlist, so I figured I’d actually get around to talking about the music video. I was going to do a ZZ Top video, but their stuff really needs a retrospective to do it properly. They not only have an interesting history with MTV that got them a whole chapter in the book I Want My MTV, but the videos hang together. That said, AC/DC also has an interesting history with music videos as well. While this is one of their best, you can go all the way back to 1974 and see them performing Can I Sit Next To You Girl? with original lead-singer Dave Evans. That’s quite the trip. It gets even weirder if you go back to Bon Scott’s 60s band The Valentines singing Build Me Up Buttercup.

Of course the weirdest has to be watching Rick Astley do Highway To Hell.

Thunderstruck is a great song. It’s classic blood-pumping play-to-the-back-row AC/DC.

Prolific music video director David Mallet made it. Among his many other credits, he directed 12 music videos for AC/DC.

David Gardner edited it. He worked on a few music videos. They were mostly with director Nigel Dick.

Bill Laslett was the art director. He seems to have been the go-to person to be the production designer on award shows and concerts after 1995 or so. That’s hilarious considering this music video. Before that, he worked on television shows.

Jacqui Byford was the producer on this music video. She doesn’t appear to have done a bunch of music videos, but they are memorable ones. She did White Wedding by Billy Idol, Photograph by Def Leppard, Total Eclipse Of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler, True by Spandau Ballet, and Distant Early Warning by Rush, among others.

Peter Sinclair is the star of the show. The reason I go back to this particular AC/DC music video over and over again is for the cinematography. He has done a bunch of TV and music work. Just like Laslett, some of them have been concert films. It’s a little difficult to pin down his credits, but he seems to have shot Material Girl by Madonna.


He also did some directing, such as for Karma Chameleon by Culture Club.

I love his work here in particular. It seems like everyone came together well here to produce an excellent music video.


Song of the Day: Back In Black (by AC/DC)

ACDC Black In Black

Last year, I did a mini-series of “Song of the Day” that featured some of my favorite rock and metal guitar solos. This time around I plan to showcase some of my favorite guitar riffs from the world of rock and metal. I’ll be limiting my choice on the metal side to the basic metal. I’m not as well-versed on the more unique and esoteric offshoots of metal. For that one must go to our resident metal intellectual necromoonyeti.

To start things off is a classic hard rock tune the began the post-Bon Scott Era (the band’s previous frontman who had tragically passed away before recording this follow-up album). The band would tap ex-Geordie frontman Brian Johnson to front the band. The rest as they say is rock history.

The Back In Black album would become one of the biggest-selling rock albums in history and it’s title track would become just one of many platinum-certified hits from that album. The song would become not just one of rock’s greatest songs, but become a pop icon as films, tv shows and event sporting events would use it’s iconic opening riff and follow-up melody to celebrate one’s rebellious nature.

Back In Black

Back in black
I hit the sack
It’s been too long I’m glad to be back
Yes, I’m let loose
From the noose
That’s kept me hanging around
I’ve been looking at the sky
and it’s gettin’ me high
Forget the hearse ’cause I never die
I got nine lives
Cats eyes
Cruisin’ every woman, never wonderin’ why

‘Cause I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
Well I’m back in black
Yes, I’m back in black

Back in the back
Of a Cadillac
Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack
Yes, I’m in a bang
With a gang
They’ve got to catch me if they want me to hang
Cause I’m back on the track
And I’m beatin’ the flack
Nobody’s gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I’m just makin’ my play
Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way


Well, I’m back, Yes I’m back
Well, I’m back, Yes I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
Well I’m back in black
Yes I’m back in black

hooo yeah
Ohh yeah
Yes I am
Oooh yeah, yeah Oh yeah
Back in now
Well I’m back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back in black
Yes I’m back in black