Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – AC/DC

You didn’t need to own an AC/DC album to like them or to be a fan. If you went into a pub, the jukebox played em. If you watched live bands, they would cover em. If you watched music television, they would be on it. If you went to a mates home, they would be playing em. If you went driving in a car, they would be on the stereo. In other words, AC/DC was everywhere in Australia.

AC/DC tickets would be snapped up by fans who didn’t even own an AC/DC album. So the next time you hear a label boss or a musician who had a deal pre-Napster say, “sales of recorded music = fans”, call them on their bullshit.

I’ve had mix tapes of my favorites from their Bon Scott and Brian Johnson eras on TDK cassettes.

I’ve had full albums dubbed on cassettes and VHS tapes with their video clips. All recorded from friends and relatives and TV.

Flick Of The Switch

It’s a solid album, coming out after their U.S breakthrough “Highway To Hell” album in 1979, the mega selling “Back In Black” from 1980 and it’s 1981 successor “For Those About To Rock”.

Personnel changes happened as well. Simon Wright is in the drummers’ chair but Phil Rudd played on the album, Mutt Lange was also out as Malcolm felt the band was getting over produced and their manager Peter Mensch was also out.

So when the band takes back some control, what do you get?

A live and raw version of AC/DC. There are no classic songs or hits on the album. But there is a lot of groove and swagger. The slower tempo’s make it sound HEAVY. Hell, bands like Corrosion of Conformity built careers off these kinds of grooves. But the songs don’t get played live, so the album remains largely forgotten to the masses.

Here is a review I totally agree with from BuriedOnMars.

And here is another review I agree with from Deke over at Thunder Bay.

Let There Be Rock

I know “Back In Black” is the highest seller in the catalogue, but man, this album and “High Voltage” are victory lap recordings. Look at any set list and you will see these songs on it.

Go Down

Bon Scott is singing about Ruby and Mary licking that licking stick.

Dog Eat Dog

Bon Scott always had a social and political angle in his lyrics.

Business man when you make a deal
Do you know who you can trust
Do you sign your life away
Do you write your name in dust

Dealing with people in the music industry is like signing your life away. If you make it, these business people will then make money of your songs, your image and when all the crowds move on, they leave you in the dumpster to pick up the pieces.

Dog eat dog
Read the news
Someone win
Someone lose

These days, the news is the social media feed. We are surrounded by people with the best holiday shot, the best party shot, the best beach shot, lunch shot and so on. Everyone portrays an image of being a winner. And if someone is watching a winner, it must mean they are a loser.

See the blind man on the street
Lookin’ for somethin’ free
Hear the kind man ask his friend
Hey, what’s in it for me

We are more wealthy today than ever before, but 70% of that wealth is with the top 1%. So while you get people living from pay to pay helping out and volunteering, the ones who have the means to make a difference, do nothing, create their own charity as a tax dodge and make it look like they are doing something.

Let There Be Rock

That riff that kicks it off. It’s speed rock, it’s simple and I love it.

In the beginning
Back in nineteen fifty five
Man didn’t know ’bout a rock ‘n’ roll show
And all that jive
The white man had the schmaltz
The black man had the blues
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tchaikovsky had the news

Bon is framing a picture of a time when rock and roll was born and referencing Chuck Berry and his track “Roll Over Beethoven”.

And it came to pass
That rock ‘n’ roll was born
All across the land every rockin’ band
Was blowin’ up a storm
And the guitar man got famous
The business man got rich
And in every bar there was a superstar
With a seven year itch

Bon is capturing the essence and excitement of rock and roll when it came to the youth of the 60s.

One night in the club called the shakin’ hand
There was a 42 decibel rockin’ band
And the music was good and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd
Let there be rock

And there was rock alright. I remember every album I purchased in the 80s had a song title in the list that mentioned rock.

Bad Boy Boogie

On the day I was born the rain fell down
There was trouble brewin’ in my home town
It was the seventh day I was the seventh son
And it scared the hell out of every one
They said stop
I said go
They said fast
I said slow
They said yes
I said no
I do the bad boy boogie

Religion and belief in the Bible as truth is massive all over the world. Bon knew how to frame his lyrics with enough rebellion for it to connect with a generation who more or less had similar devout upbringings.

Problem Child

What I want I take
What I don’t I break
And I don’t want you
With a flick of my knife
I can change your life
There’s nothing you can do
I’m a problem child, yes I am

Scott lived for the moment.

Overdose

I overdosed on you
I overdosed on you
Crazy but it’s true
Ain’t nothin’ I can do
I overdosed on you

If a current pop artist had the above lines in a Chorus it would be a hit.

Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be

Spends my money
Drinks my booze
Stays out every night
But I got to thinkin’
Hey, just a minute
Somethin’ ain’t right

If Bon was a problem child, what about the women in his life, who spent his money and drank his booze.

Whole Lotta Rosie

What hasn’t been said about Rosie, about a whole lotta woman who knows how to rule the bed. But it’s the call and response of the intro riff which hooks me.

For Those About To Rock

For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

The way the guitars start it off, man, what can I say. It’s perfect.

Stand up and be counted for what you are about to receive
We are the dealers
We’ll give you everything you need
Hail hail to the good times
Cos rock has got the right of way
We ain’t no legends ain’t no cause
We’re just livin’ for today
For those about to rock, we salute you

And that’s how Rock was, a lifestyle of living for today, going to the show and allowing the music to surround you.

I Put The Finger In You

Again, I love the intro musically. The lyrics about fingers on fire being out of control is whatever, but the music…

Evil Walks

It’s got that “Hells Bells” influenced intro. And a verse riff from the chorus of “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Ball breaker 95 Tour Booklet

I didn’t own the album. A friend of mine had it on CD and I copied it off him.

And when the tour rolled into town, it was a no brainer to go.

They kicked off with a 1-2-3 knockout combo with “Back In Black”, “Shot Down In Flames” and “Thunderstruck”.

“Girls Got Rhythm”, “Hard As A Rock”, “Shoot To Thrill” and “Boogie Man” came next.

“Hail Caeser”, “Hells Bells”, “The Jack”, “Ballbreaker”, “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “TNT” and “Let There Be Rock” finished the set off.

For encore, they did “Highway To Hell” and finished off with “For Those About To Rock”.

Fire.

Blow Up Your Video

“Heatseeker”, the video clip was everywhere on music television, in the same way “Who Made Who” was still doing the rounds and “Sink The Pink” was also doing the rounds, along with “Hells Bells” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

It’s one of the main reasons why we didn’t need to own the albums. We felt like we heard enough of em. And music television in the 80’s had the ability to reach a lot of people and as a by product make a lot of money for the labels.

“That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘ N’ Roll” was released as a single, however “Heatseeker” was doing a decent job taking all the limelight, this little ditty got ignored.

Told boss man where to go
Turned off my brain control
That’s the way I want my rock and roll

There it is again, the call to arms of “no one can tell us what to do”. We will not be used and we will not allow the people in power to control us. But the people in power and with wealth do control us.

“Two’s Up” has a super melodic Chorus riff and a tapping guitar solo by Angus.

High Voltage

Bon Scott wrote lyrics that resonated with his audience and this album is full of great lines.

“It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)”

Ridin’ down the highway
Goin’ to a show
Stop in all the byways
Playin’ rock ‘n’ roll
Gettin’ robbed
Gettin’ stoned
Gettin’ beat up
Broken boned
Gettin’ had
Gettin’ took
I tell you folks
It’s harder than it looks

Australia is huge. To travel east to west in a plane, it will take 5 hours. By car, a lot longer. AC/DC didn’t just conquer their region, they conquered all of Australia, by playing shows in every state and city. They even played Tasmania, which is a state everyone ignores.

It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll
If you think it’s easy doin’ one night stands
Try playin’ in a rock roll band
It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll

Remember it, and to add that rock and roll is a lifers game.

Hotel motel
Make you wanna cry
Lady do the hard sell
Know the reason why
Gettin’ old
Gettin’ grey
Gettin’ ripped off
Under-paid
Gettin’ sold
Second hand
That’s how it goes
Playin’ in a band

Getting ripped off and being a musician go hand in hand. There are always people looking to make a buck from the hard work of artists.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer

My Daddy was workin’ nine to five
When my Momma was havin’ me
By the time I was half alive
They knew what I was gonna be
But I left school and grew my hair
They didn’t understand
They wanted me to be respected as
A doctor or a lawyer man
(But I had other plans)

It’s the rebellion against authority which hooked people in. Back then, your parents didn’t hang with you. They were your enemy.

Parents always have plans for their children and I’ve seen first hand, how those plans have broken their children, mentally and emotionally. I’m a parent and all I have for my kids is support and guidance if they want it.

Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll star
Gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll singer
I’m gonna be a rock ‘n’ roll,
A rock ‘n’ roll star

Some wanted to be a rock and roll singer once upon a time and when MTV brought the rock starts into the lounge room, then everyone wanted to be one.

These days, kids are gonna be a tech billionaire, or a sell n trade broker. Imagine the lyrics with those words.

Gonna be a sell ‘n’ trade broker
Gonna be a tech billionaire
Gonna be a sell ‘n’ trade broker

It just doesn’t have the same rebellion as rock and roll. In fact, being a broker and a techie is following the status quo and confirming to what the current corporations in power want.

Well I worked real hard and bought myself
A rock ‘n’ roll guitar
I gotta be on top some day
I wanna be a star
I can see my name in lights
And I can see the queue
I got the devil in my blood
Tellin’ me what to do
(And I’m all ears)

There’s nothing else except the dream. From reading the bios of rock stars it’s a lonely journey in reality. As you ascend the ladder, people who were there at the beginning are replaced by different people with questionable motives.

Well you can stick your nine to five livin’
And your collar and your tie
You can stick your moral standards
‘Cause it’s all a dirty lie
You can stick your golden handshake
And you can stick your silly rules
And all the other shit
That you teach to kids in school

There are no moral standards in Corporations and Governments. Everyone is on the take. And kids these days are taught by people who just read from a curriculum, and are not interested to go the extra to ensure that what they are teaching is understood. And those curriculums are changed regularly to suit a certain interest group.

Did you know that the RIAA and MPAA lobbied hard to get Copyright and how breaking Copyright is stealing to be taught at primary schools?

Yep they did and not one parent even blinked an eye, as they fired up their uTorrent and kept breaking Copyright.

The Jack

But how was I to know
That she’d been dealt with before
Said she’d never had a Full House
But I should have known

She’s got the jack, she’s got the jack

This is classic Bon, using a deck of cards analogy for a sexually transmitted disease.

But how was I to know
That she’d been shuffled before
Said she’d never had a Royal Flush
But I should have known

Brilliant. Even comedic. How many did she have?

T.N.T.

Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi

A street alley chant is a great way to start. And when you add the simple Em to G to A riff, it’s perfect.

Cause I’m T.N.T., I’m dynamite
(T.N.T.) and I’ll win the fight
(T.N.T.) I’m a power load
(T.N.T.) watch me explode

High Voltage

Well you ask me ’bout the clothes I wear
And you ask me why I grow my hair
And you ask me why I’m in a band
I dig doin’ one night stands
And you wanna see me do my thing
All you gotta do is plug me into high
I said high

High voltage rock ‘n’ roll

There ya go folks, get into a band, fuck a lot and play live.

Family Jewels DVD

This is a great DVD package, a bonafide best off.

And my “Back In Black” LP and cassette is also missing, suffering the same fate as “Disturbing The Peace” from Alcatrazz and “Permanent Vacation” from Aerosmith.

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A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories, Piracy, Unsung Heroes

INTERESTING: In A World Of Free, Metal and Rock Music Still Continues To Sell

There is a great article over at the Metal Insider website.

If you are too lazy to click on the link, the article covers the biggest selling metal and rock albums for 2015.

From the results, it’s pretty obvious that metal and rock fans like to purchase music. There is still a collectors mindset there. What’s even more fascinating is that a lot of the albums that have sold a decent amount in 2015 were not even released in 2015.

NOTE: The figures are based on U.S sales.

“Master of Puppets” was released in 1986 and in 2015 it sold 107,800 units. The self-titled “Metallica” album released in 1991 has sold another 77,100 units in 2015. It is well on its way to 17 million units sold in total.

Now think about for a second.

All of Metallica’s music is available on streaming services for paid subscriptions and for free. All of their music is available for downloading via legal options and illegal options. And they still continue to sell.

A band’s longevity is based around the need to replenish their fan base year after year. If you are not doing that then expect to play smaller venues. Dokken and Ratt are two bands that come to mind who haven’t replenished their fan bases from the Eighties. Both bands in the Eighties had platinum sales and played arenas. Today, they have almost no sales and play clubs.  Of course, not having the main creative forces in the current version of the band plays a part, however, even if Lynch and Pilson or Pearcy and Croucier did rejoin Dokken and Ratt respectively, it doesn’t mean that millions of people would be interested.

Metallica,  however is doing a good job at replenishing their fan base based on their selected live performances in new markets and in markets that have high rates of piracy.  They basically have a whole new generation of music fans who more or less consumed the music of Metallica for free and in most cases illegally. However, that still hasn’t stopped them from selling music and concert tickets.

As business people, the move to their own label “Blackened Recordings” was a no-brainer.

The record is how it all starts. It hooks the audience in. Anyone born in the Nineties, will know Metallica as the conformist poster artist for the labels in the Napster case. Anyone born in the Seventies and early Eighties know Metallica as a non-conformist band that pushed boundaries.

The whole Napster kerfuffle in the end just showed why it was not a good idea for Metallica to get in the way of people experiencing their music. However, they have learnt that by making their music available everywhere, they see better returns in other areas.

As an artist, it is a privilege for people to listen to your music. Respect that.

“Back In Black” from AC/DC was released in 1980. In 2015 so far, it has sold 110,000 units in the U.S.  The new album, “Rock Or Bust”, released in 2014, has sold 143,400 units in 2015.  Put it down to the band being on the road and building awareness of the new album. It just goes to show that the blanket marketing campaigns before the album release date, the Grammy appearance and all of the other medical issues/jail issues in the media meant nothing in 2015.

You see, when the music eco system was controlled by the record labels, the marketing blitz by the labels meant something. In 2015, it means nothing.

From the 2015 releases, Breaking Benjamin’s “Dark Before Dawn” has sold 209,000 units so far, Marilyn Manson’s “The Pale Emperor” has sold 124,200 units so far and Halestorm’s “Into The Wild Life” has sold 114,500 units so far.

From the 2014 releases, Foo Fighters “Sonic Highways” album has sold 87,800 in 2015, for total sales in 480,000 so far. Slipknot’s “5: The Gray Chapter” has sold 84,000 units in 2015, for total sales of 344,000 units. Nickelback’s “No Fixed Address” album has sold 101,000 units in 2015. Like the Foo Fighters it is approaching Gold status.

Led Zeppelin continues to be a selling machine, so why would they create new music when Copyright grants them and the owners of their songs, rights for the next 110 years to exploit the works.

In case you are wondering “Led Zeppelin 4” sold 75,000 units and “Physical Graffiti” sold 112,400 units in 2015.

Kid Rock’s debut “Devil Without A Cause” is still selling. For 2015 alone, it has moved 86,000 units. Add that to the other 10 million units it has sold so far.

So what is all of the above telling us.

Eventually people will pay, however if a piece of music that people want to check out is not available for free, they will turn away until it becomes convenient. Don’t expect people to pay just because you want them too.

And for all of those critics saying the new bands cannot attain the same level of success as their Seventies and Eighties counterparts, well have a look at some other stats.

 

As influential as Black Sabbath was to metal music, they are being outsold by Linkin Park, Korn and even Limp Bizkit.

Also for all of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley’s comments about rock being dead because no one is buying recorded music, well, Kiss has never really been a big seller of recorded music anyway. Their 21 million is pretty tame compared to Metallica’s 62 million. In the end, the live show is where it’s at. Deliver there and make that show a cultural event, the sky is the limit.

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