Way back in September I guested on The LeBrain Train where we discussed out favourite lesser known AC/DC tracks. What we in the biz call “Deep Cuts”. We’re going to be doing it again tonight at 7pm EST for ZZ Top, but I thought it would be fun to look back at my AC/DC Deep Cuts first.
A few things before we start: This list is different from the one a gave in September. The songs are the same but the order has been switched up. I originally placed how far in the song is on an album over how much I liked them. That didn’t feel right this time. Only a few tunes in the middle got switched. My #1 is still #1.
Also, I stuck to only picking one track from an album, so that meant I had to leave a lot of good ones on the floor.
Finally, since this is a Nigel Tufnel Top 10, we start at 11. So…
#11. Rock ‘n Roll Singer|T.N.T.(Aus)/High Voltage(INT)
Lyrically, Rock ‘n Roll Singer is a bio piece by Bon Scott. Musically, it just flat out rocks. For some reason though, the song never really took off as a better known track. Heck, the band stopped playing it live in 1976. Well, at least The Cult got a hit out of its riff.
#10. Love at First Feel|Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap(INT)
If there was one thing the International version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap got right, was to place Love at First Feel right after the title track. The opening of it sounds like a continuation of Dirty Deeds, but then the bait and switch happens with a tongue-in-cheek shuffle. The band sounds like they are having more fun than usual on this one but I don’t believe they ever played it live.
#9. Baptism By Fire|Rock Or Bust
Baptism By Fire is buried deep on side 2 of Rock or Bust, so there is a good chance you might have missed it. Angus’ main solo is a little on the understated side, but I love the groove of main riff one this one. Especially the hint of Live Wire during the switch from chorus to verse.
#8. Wheels|Black Ice
Wheeeeeeeeeeeels! The annotation Angus pulls off during the bends on this solo make me want to glue his fingers to my palms. The band is cooking during this one. Cooking!
#7. Back In Business|Fly On The Wall
Fly On The Wall is not AC/DC at their best, but Back In Business the band’s sleaziest, greasiest, and downright dirtiest riff they have ever come up with. An easy one to miss with it being the album’s 2nd to last track. Play. It. Loud!
#6. Give It Up|Stiff Upper Lip
However you feel about Stiff Upper Lip, you have to admit that the album is bookended perfectly with the title track to start and Give it Up on the tail end. This song just makes me want to move every time the band hits that dank e-chord!
#5. Shot of Love|The Razors Edge
We already know how well Angus and Malcolm compliment each other, but if you ever needed proof, Shot of Love is it. They are both playing the same chords but their attack is completely different. A gem on The Razors Edge that has never been played live.
#4. Landslide|Flick Of The Switch
Landslide has Brian Johnson’s brilliant “sleazy preacher” intro and one of the band’s most underrated riffs. This got played live when they were supporting Flick of The Switch, but was dropped from the following tours. Heck, the entirety of Flick could be considered a Top 10 Deep Cut list on its own, but Landslide is my fav of the bunch.
#3. Overdose|Let There Be Rock
Maybe its slow ‘n sludgy intro keeps the band from playing it live, but Overdose is a terrific song that is often… overlooked. (See what I did there?) Anyway, the mid-tempo feel of this one has Angus ripping one of his bluesiest solos ever, and Malcolm does his best Malcolm by giving a tune an staggering amount of variation with only three chords. Simply brilliant.
#2. Kicked In The Teeth|Powerage
Powerage‘s closer would have been its opener if I was running camp AC/DC in 1978. Much like Whole Lotta Rosie, the song begins with a call and answer between Bon and the band that before heading off into a riff that is so simple. It is a crime how Angus’ stellar gutiar solo is mostly ignored. I should be hearing this on the radio every where I go instead of Heartache Tonight by the Eagles.
#1. Spellbound|For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
AC/DC are not known for their lyrics but they do crank out an emotional gem once in a while. Spellbound features some of the best poetry Brian Johnson has come up with:
Beaten by a blind man
Wrong way up a dead end
Screaming through a speed trap
As I tear into a tail pipe
I can do nothing right
I never sleep at night
Can’t even start a fight
My feet have left the ground
Spinning round and round
I don’t know if he is singing about a car crash or if it is a metaphor for another kind of crash, but I dig it. The guitars match the tone of the lyrics too with the walk up to the big riff, the chugging of the chords, and Angus’ attack on the solo. I place this on the same shelf Ride On.
That is the list as it stands right now! Tomorrow? Who knows? If you want to see how the original list stacked up, the full video is right here:
Mike and the other guests do mention all of the songs that were on my cutting room floor, so check it out! And don’t forget to tune in at 7pm EST for tonight’s LeBrain Train as we tackle ZZ Top’s Top 10 Deep Cuts!