banner ad
banner ad
banner ad

Shane’s Rock Challenge: AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

| 13 June 2014 | Reply

Shane’s Rock Challenge: AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
By Shane Pinnegar

ACDC - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap cover

It’s hard to believe Atlantic Records in the U.S. refused to release DDDDC at the time – something they eventually paid for, the Young Brothers never ones to forget or forgive, ever.

At the time the band were on the bones of their arses and dead tired: three or four years of constant gigging had yielded little more than a cult following. They needed to try something different to break out of the rut.

The failure (at the time) of Dirty Deeds instead taught them the opposite: stay rock solid, ignore fads and trends, eschew artistic evolution.

This would be the last AC/DC album to push the envelope but, listening now, it seems completely part of their oeuvre – maybe because Australia got the full intended release and we grew up with the record in a way that the rest if the world didn’t?

Anyway, the opening title track and closing Jailbreak (whose original Aussie music video, featured below, has the band in prison and guard uniforms and shows the snaggletoothed and snarling Bon coming to a bloody end) are still part of their live set, beloved around the world – which says a lot to Atlantic.

So what threw the U.S. label? Well… there’s Big Balls, a throbbing double entendre that is – to Aussies, at least – classic Bon Scott. To America in 1975 it might have been bewildering at best to hear him align his sexual prowess with ballrooms full of revellers!

Squealer again delves into adults only territory with the take of an *ahem* enthusiastic young lass, while Ain’t No Fun Waitin’ Round To Be A Millionaire explores not dissimilar subject matter to Long Way To The Top, but no doubt Bon’s closing aside “get your fucking jumbo jet outta my airport” didn’t endear them to the U.S. execs. Shame, as it’s a rollicking track.

Problem Child is a head shaking Accadacca rocker, but Ride On is perhaps the mellowest song they’ve ever recorded. Bon sounds tired, weary to his bones. He’d put in a decade worth of the road before hooking up with these upstarts, and he was beginning to wonder if it was worth it. It’s a revelatory song, and it’s sad we never saw its like again.

When Atlantic USA finally did release the record they chopped up the track listing dramatically, just as they had for the band’s earlier records. They even changed the cover (just as they had for their debut High Voltage), and it would take decades before the band released many of the Australian-version-only tracks internationally, on the Backtracks set.

For better or worse, Dirty Deeds was a turning point for AC/DC, and from this moment on they put up even higher barriers around themselves, became even more ruthless in following their own, increasingly myopic path. It would eventually pay off, but not soon enough to save Scott, and their post-success decline would be swift.

Category: Shane's Rock Challenge

About the Author ()

Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

Leave a Reply

Please verify you\'re a real person: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

banner ad
banner ad