Thursday, October 04, 2007

Number 552 - ACDC


Number 552

AC DC

"You Shook me All Night Long"

(1980)
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Genre:Hard Rock
art by neserit
Moments in time stand out like a beacon in a storm. AC/DC delivered "Back in Black" in 1980 with cyclonic measure. Sure their lead singer was dead, which usually is a good career move for a band, but in this case AC/DC hadn't quite got the library/back catalogue for that dough coming through the doors for the next 40 years. So with "Back in Black" AC/DC recruit a dead ringer of a voice named Brian Johnson, and record, well, their masterpiece.
Out of all the "Hard Rock" bands to exist over the decades to come, AC/DC are the most respected and worshiped by their peers. This is a title that does not come easy, unless your the best and well, AC/DC are the best of their genre, Just ask Rhinobucket or anyone else if you care to ask.
The first sound on Back in Black is the deep, ominous drone of church bells -- or "Hell's Bells," as it were, opening the album and AC/DC's next era with a fanfare while ringing a fond farewell to Bon Scott, their late lead singer who partied himself straight to hell. But this implies that Back in Black is some kind of tribute to Scott, which may be true on a superficial level -- black is a funeral cover, hell's bells certainly signify death -- but this isn't filled with mournful songs about the departed. It's a more fitting tribute, actually, since AC/DC not only carried on without him, but they delivered a record that to the casual ear sounds like the seamless successor to Highway to Hell, right down to how Brian Johnson's screech is a perfect ringer for Scott's growl.
art by DarkWolf12
Most listeners could be forgiven for thinking that Johnson was Scott, but Johnson is different than Bon. He's driven by the same obsessions -- sex and drink and rock & roll, basically -- but there isn't nearly as much malevolence in his words or attitude as there was with Scott. Bon sounded like a criminal, Brian sounds like a rowdy scamp throughout Back in Black, which helps give it a real party atmosphere. Of course, Johnson shouldn't be given all the credit for Back in Black, since Angus and Malcolm carry on with the song-oriented riffing that made Highway to Hell close to divine. Song for song, they deliver not just mammoth riffs but songs that are anthems, from the greasy "Shoot to Thrill" to the pummeling "Back in Black," which pales only next to "You Shook Me All Night Long," the greatest one-night-stand anthem in rock history. That tawdry celebration of sex is what made AC/DC different from all other metal bands -- there was no sword & sorcery, no darkness, just a rowdy party, and they never held a bigger, better party than they did on Back in Black. ~ [Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]

But You Shook Me?
art by acdc-fans
"You Shook Me All Night Long" is one of AC/DC's most known songs that appeared on their most successful album, Back in Black. The song also reappeared on their later album Who Made Who. It is one of the band's top 40 singles, reaching number 35 in the North American pop singles chart in 1980. You Shook Me All Night Long" placed at No. 10 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s. In the song, the lead singer Brian Johnson relates the story of a night with a beautiful woman. The woman is identified in the lyrics as American, which perhaps contributes to the song's enduring popularity in the US.

There are two versions to the music video. The first version, directed by Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler, is similar to the other Back in Black videos ("Back in Black", "Hells Bells", "What Do You Do for Your Money Honey", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", and "Shoot to Thrill") and is only available on the special Back in Black, The Videos which could be attained by purchasing a recent Back in Black album. In the second version, directed by David Mallet and released six years after the song's original release, Angus and Malcolm Young follow Brian around, with Angus in his signature schoolboy outfit. "You Shook Me All Night Long" was also the second song to be played by AC/DC on Saturday Night Live in 2000, following their performance of "Stiff Upper Lip.". The title of the song is taken from the lyrics of a Willie Dixon song called 'You Shook Me,' which was covered by Led Zeppelin on their first album, the lyrics of which go, "You Shook Me Baby, You Shook Me All Night Long". "You Shook Me All Night Long" is perhaps one of the most controversial film clips AC/DC ever released. The film casts many leather clad women with zippers at the groin region of their suits; however, a softer censored alternative version exists without these shots. ~[Source:Wikipedia]
For Led Zeppelin see Number 957 & Number 577
For Rhinobucket see Number 667
What does Rolling Stone think about AC/DC?
Literally thousands of bands have talked about making an album like Back in Black -- a singular blast of red-blooded, riff-driven rock & roll -- but only AC/DC have succeeded so wildly. In February 1980, just after the Aussie fivesome had broken stateside with 1979's Highway to Hell, singer Bon Scott choked on his own vomit in the back of a car. The band initially returned to the studio as a form of therapy, but six weeks after Scott's death, it had found a replacement and soon after hopped a plane to the Bahamas to begin recording. If AC/DC were beset by sadness or uncertainty about how to proceed, they kept it to themselves. Indeed, Back in Black might be the leanest and meanest record of all time -- balls-out arena rock that punks could love.
Now reissued with slightly crisper sound and a skimpy making-of DVD, Back in Black is the rare classic record that actually sounds timeless. Synergistically soused brothers Angus and Malcolm Young conceived the songs' riffs first, defining each track with adrenalized blues blurts so archetypal that the sheet music ought to be chiseled on stone tablets. With future Def Leppard producer (and Mr. Shania Twain) Robert "Mutt" Lange emphasizing the hooks amid the racket, the results were body-rocking rather than overblown. Scott's replacement, Brian Johnson -- who, appropriately enough, was toiling on an auto assembly line in England when he was called in for an audition -- worked the grooves like a street brawler on jukebox shout-alongs such as "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Hells Bells" and the defiant title cut.
Back in Black is so explosive that people forget that it was intended as a tribute to Scott. The same spirit that made the band tell the Grim Reaper to go fuck himself also made for some Spinal Tap-esque moments -- particularly on the locker-room epic "Givin' the Dog a Bone." The 20 million people who bought this album didn't care. Back in Black marked AC/DC's artistic peak, but how couldn't it? You could spend a lifetime trying to imitate music this perfectly simple. ~ [RS:CHRISTIAN HAORD]
For Shania twain see Number 757
For Spinal Tap see Number 659
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (No, no no, its about sex you know) and the Album ranked at Number 73
(Why has Rolling Stone never had a front cover of AC/DC???)
This song has a total crowbarred rating of 73.6 out of 108
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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bon Scott was definitely the driving force behind AC/DC and his stylings and lyrics will last forever. There's a Canadian AC/DC Vocalist, Don Coleman, who recorded a song to celebrate the life and spirit of Bon Scott called "Women, Whiskey & Rock'n'Roll" which has been airing in 16 countries. The top Aussie musicians who knew Bon personally all think the song is a 'ripper' with special requests for a copy coming from Vince Lovegrove ( bandmate with Bon in The Valentines) and Bob Daisley ( friend of Bon and long time bass player with Ozzy Osbourne). Even AC/DC have recognized WW&RnR by having the homage video on their website at - acdc.com/fromtheband (search "Celebrating the life..")by clicking on the lightning bolt next to the video panels shown. There's also a dedicated site for the song at; myspace.com/doncoleman. With AC/DC releasing their "Black Ice" CD soonand no doubt touring shortly afterwards, it would be a real TNT concert if they had Don Coleman open for them when they tour Canada's East Coast.

7:22 am  

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