I’ve always said to my friends that this sounds a lot like ZZ Top’s song “Jesus just left Chicago” which I just found out came out two years earlier than this AC/DC jam. They probably drew some influence from the song, but let’s face it, both songs are awesome and are milestones in the Pantheon of Rock and Roll.
I’ve made a few fuck-ups in my life…..ok, quite a few but who is counting? A major one just revealed itself in that it appears Malcolm Young from AC/DC has had a stroke and although it’s not clear yet, it sounds like they will hang up their rock and roll spurs. I never saw the band live and this is seriously depressing. If you don’t like them, you should. Only the the Rolling Stones match them in longevity and in the pure essence of everything that is rock and roll. If this rumor is true, it is truly a sad day not only for rock and roll, but for existence itself. I sure hope they ride on.
“It’s a Long Way to the top” is one of the finest rock songs ever and it sets the whole pace for the band on this title track to their seminal album of the 70’s.
Apparently, they are just taking a break and the AC/DC camp will not confirm or deny that it was in fact a medical reason that has derailed the band. This is understandable, they have always been a very private band that has never aired their personal problems for the public to scrutinize. I have a good feeling that this is the end though and as much as I love the band and still want to see them, it might be time. As anyone reading this could see, I am mostly playing videos with the original lead singer, the immortal Bon Scott. He died in 1980 and the band soldiered on with about the only man in the world who could attempt to fill those shoes, Brian Johnson. They say they will not continue if Malcolm can’t come back into the fold and I see this is a matter of integrity, not copping out,
I far prefer Bon Scott era AC/DC to Brian Johnson era because I received my first AC/DC album as a sophomore in high school and it was the international release High Voltage which began with “It’s a Long Way to the Top”. This album blew my mind and still does to this day. The straight forward rock and roll that remains simple yet refined will never lose it’s mass appeal. It’s a wonder to me why anyone would not like AC/DC , but one person told me it’s because of their high pitched vocals. I feel bad for them.
It is a profound statement that the band got big right after Bon died from misadventure, with Back In Black being their biggest album ever and Bon’s contributions figuring into the mix. They kept going in 1980 because they had yet to find global success even though the Young brothers joining with Bon Scott is what made the original band. Since then, they have maintained that if either one of the Youngs cannot perform, then the band is done. In the era of the Rolling Stones STILL performing and bands claiming they are doing a final tour and then coming back three years later because they are broke, it’s nice to see someone who maintains integrity and bow out gracefully. I love the Stones as I’ve professed many times, but it’s probably time they move on with their lives because the last few dates did not sound great from the recordings I heard and Keith looks like hell.
This relates so what I was just saying in two ways. First, this was one of the last songs Bon wrote and recorded with the band as well as one of the most well known. Second, Keith Richards looks like hell so perhaps he is well along that road. Even though I’ve heard this song one million times, I still turn it up whenever I hear it in the car.
Oddly enough, prior to me getting that first AC/DC album, my major aural interaction with the band was through the wonderfully bad Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive. It is about a meteor that passes within Earth’s orbit that somehow causes all mechanical things from trucks to electric carving knives to lawn mowers to come alive with a homicidal streak. Emilio Estavez stars as a tough truck stop cook who ends up saving the day. AC/DC did all of the soundtrack and “Who made Who” was written for this flick. It works well and besides the comically bad acting/special effects, it really made the movie.
This actually has scenes from the movie! I apologize for the ads but I wanted this video specifically.
I mentioned briefly why someone wouldn’t like the band conceivably, the vary high pitched. I could see why someone who is into complicated music like progressive rock would see this music is overly simple and why women could see some of the songs as being chauvinistic. Regardless of all these nuances, AC/DC remains one of the last straight forward rock bands in the land. They haven’t changed much in their almost 40 year reign and right now could be the death knell. Maybe it’s fine and my memory of the band will be listening to the first track I played at high volume while drinking Natural Ice in my freshmen year of college or showing a new girlfriend how amazing Bon Scott was in his prime. AC/DC represents a desire we all have for a simple time when rock was basically one speed, only a few topics that included women and rocking, and guitar solos were concise. We will all grieve the loss of the band even if we don’t realize it.