Summer is a few days away in the Southern Hemisphere, but since we are experiencing a heatwave write now with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s Celsius (between 100 and 107 Fahrenheit), so it’s time to start the Summertime Series.
So how did this come about?
My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August. Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.
Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere. So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.
And all the acts will be Australian acts.
So based on the high temperatures we are experiencing, lets kick off with a dynamite of an album.
AC/DC – TNT
Released 1 December 1975.
In the 80’s this became my go to record and because of its December release in the 70’s, it was played a fair bit on the various radio stations in the 80s.
It was originally released by Albert Productions in Australia and in some other parts of the world. It was also released in the same year as “High Voltage” the Australian version.
However when Atlantic Records signed the band, they more or less killed the “TNT” and “High Voltage” Australian albums. From “TNT”, they took all the songs they wanted except for “Rocker” and “School Days” and released them on “High Voltage”, which is AC/DC’s first international release on Atlantic Records in May 1976.
From the Australian, “High Voltage” album, the label, took “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover”. The other tracks like “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” were later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984 much to the disgust of Malcolm Young. “Stick Around” and “Love Song” got an international release on “Backtracks”
Producing the”TNT” album is George Young and Harry Vanda from The Easybeats. George of course is the older brother of guitarists Malcolm Young and Angus Young and he also played a large part in constructing the songs. An uncredited co-writer with his bro’s.
The bass player on the album is Mark Evans. He did his own concert tribute series to his time with AC/DC in Australia in the early 2000’s with guest vocalists from Australian rock bands. It was probably the next best thing to watching AC/DC live.
The three big ones are “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”, “High Voltage” and “TNT”. “High Voltage” has that A – C – D – C chord progression for the Chorus. A cool little Angus Young nugget. And “TNT” has a similar progression but in E – G – A – G.
But it’s those other derivative album tracks that hooked me.
Like “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer”. Musically it’s a derivative version of “Long Way To The Top”. Even the story line in the lyrics is derivative of “Long Way To The Top”.
My daddy was working nine to five when my momma was having me.
By the time I was half alive I knew what I was gonna be.
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.
Gonna be a rock and roll singer.
And then it changes with “The Jack”. A foot stomping dirgey 12 bar blues romp, about a sexually transmitted disease told like a card game. Because how was Bon Scott to know that his lady friend had been dealt with before, as she said to him she never had a full house. I guess that was all lies, because she had the card that would bring him down.
“Live Wire” has all the bits and pieces of songs that would come later. “Who Made Who” is there. “Touch Too Much” is there. “You Shook Me All Night Long” is there. “Whole Lotta Rosie” is there. And of course, “Dirty Deeds” is there.
The lead break from Angus, is one of my favourites here. It has so many different techniques and styles all in one cohesive solo.
And Bon Scott was rivalling Gene Simmons in the lyrical department, with “like a hot rod baby, stick this in your fuse box”.
“Rocker” is a 3 minute “Baby Please Don’t Go” on steroids.
“Can I Sit Next to You Girl” has this groove that I call the “Status Quo” groove.
And those little riff fills in the verses.
How good are they?
“School Days” is a Chuck Berry cover. And when you hear the riff, you can appreciate how the Young brothers took all of their different influences and created their Aussie Pub Rock song. Because the main riff in “School Days” can be interchanged with “Long Way To The Top” and it wouldn’t be out of place.