AC/DC caused quite a stir in Prague the other week when they played Touch Too Much for the first time in 35 years, apparently at the behest of their new temporary (for how long, still not sure) singer, Axl Rose. Yep, Axl Rose, he of fellow old-but-not-as-old-as-Accadacca band, Guns n’ Roses.
Now that Axl Rose is singing for AC/DC, does this open up a plethora of Bon Scott-era classics the band might play? Here are a few we definitely think they should.
Rose is replacing Brian Johnson in rather uncertain and unclean circumstances – Johnson was dumped pretty unceremoniously by AC/DC earlier this year. It strikes parallels with how Johnson came into AC/DC, though it fortunately has a better ending: AC/DC’s singer before Johnson, Bon Scott, died in the backseat of a car after choking on his vomit in his sleep.
Johnson’s first album with Accadacca just so happened to be Back In Black, which was released mere months after Scott died. Given that set of events, it wasn’t surprising that Johnson was coy about singing Scott’s songs, especially the late frontman’s signature song Long Way to the Top.
Now that Rose is to Johnson what Johnson was to Scott, it’ll be interesting to see what old songs come out from Bon Scott-era AC/DC. Whereas Johnson’s songs were good humoured odes to having a fun time, Scott’s malevolent and misanthropic lyrics gave his rasp a scarier edge.
So, for more reasons than one, these are very interesting times. What better way to celebrate excitement than with a list?
Long Way To The Top – T.N.T (1975)
Brian Johnson didn’t like singing this song, because he felt it was his predecessor’s signature song. After all, Bon Scott played the bagpipes on this track.
Live Wire – T.N.T (1975)
They apparently used to open with this song, and for good reason.
Jailbreak – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
This song wasn’t released until 1984 in America, proving again the suits in the music industry don’t know what’s good (until everyone else does).
Squealer – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
They’ve never played Squealer live ever according to setlist.fm, and with its horrible lyrics it’s probably unlikely to ever happen. Still, musically, a great song.
Ain’t No Fun (Waiting To Be A Millionaire) – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
Bon Scott ain’t wrong. Quite lengthy, actually at 7:31, but it’s a slow burner that ends really red-hot.
Problem Child – Let There Be Rock (1977)
This is Angus Young in a bottle, from theme right down to the incomprehensibly loose but simple three chord riff.
Riff Raff – Powerage (1978)
Very understated. One of Slash’s favourite songs. Funnily enough, Axl Rose was playing this with Guns N Roses during the Chinese Democracy tour.
Down Payment Blues – Powerage (1978)
Young people in the 70s had money issues, too.