Few names in music history are as synonymous with the term hard rock as AC/DC. AC/DC formed as a band in 1973, and released their first album, High Voltage two years later in 1975. As you can see they have been cranking out rock music for more than 3 decades which makes coming up with a list of the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time particularly tough. There were those who thought the band might disintegrate following the death of Bon Scott in 1980, but Brian Johnson quickly stepped in to replace the fallen rock legend, and AC/DC continued to grow their legend, releasing their massive album, Back in Black later that same year.
No matter which classic AC/DC songs I put on this list I am bound to get some argument from long time fans of the band claiming I missed this song or that song. That is the great thing about music. We’ve all got our own tastes. However, if you’ve been on another planet and are somehow unfamiliar with AC/DC’s music then this list of the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time should at least serve as a good primer. Check it out, and get listening.
10 – The Jack
Though not a song that gets the air play of some of AC/DC’s other classics, The Jack is actually a cleverly written song about The Clap. AC/DC might be hit you over the head hard rockers most of the time, but The Jack shows they’ve got a sense of humor too.
9 – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
Highway to Hell can give Back in Black a run for the money when it comes to determining what is the greatest AC/DC album of all time, and If You Want Blood is the best track from that album hands down.
8 — Shoot to Thrill
This one might not crack the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time for most people, but every time I hear it I can an adrenaline rush, and that is what hard rock music is all about. Need to get amped up before a big game, throw Shoot to Thrill in your iPod. I guarantee you it will get the blood pumping.
7 – It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)
This song basically journals exactly the types of hardships that AC/DC went through to achieve the success they did. Thinking about starting your own band? Listen to the lyrics in this song, and pay attention. It is a long, hard grueling journey.
6 – Whole Lotta Rosie
Now, this song would make anyone’s list of the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time. Whole Lotta Rosie is like a heavy metal story where Bon Scott tells the listener about his hookup with a woman who wouldn’t make it on the cover of any fashion magazine, but made up for her size and lack of beauty with her expert lovemaking skills. Classic heavy metal track.
5 – You Shook Me All Night Long
Off the smash hit album, Back in Black, You Should Me All Night Long endures today as one of the most heavily played AC/DC songs on mainstream radio. Though diehard fans of AC/DC might protest, this has been a good thing for the band, widening their fan base and making them one of the hugest bands in the world today.
4 – Hell’s Bells
Yes, another track off Back in Black on the list of the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time (and I’m not done yet). Some might consider this an affront to Bon Scott. Brian Johnson has been a great front man for the band, but for me Bon Scott will always be AC/DC’s lead man. Still, with 42 million albums sold, Back in Black is one of the biggest albums in rock music history, and with good reason.
3 – Thunderstruck
With the 1990 release of The Razor’s Edge, AC/DC proved they were back in a big way after a string of mediocre albums in the mid-80s and the huge hit Thunderstruck earned them an entire new generation of fans to go along with the diehards who had been following the band since the 70s. I went and saw them in Vancouver on The Razor’s Edge tour and my ears are still ringing. Unbelievably loud, but utterly fantastic concert.
2 – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
Bon Scott’s finest hour with the band in my opinion. His singing, the guitar riffs, the lyrics. Everything about this song just screams hard rock. Also the best AC/DC song to sing along to. Almost made number one, but was inched out by you know what.
1 – Back In Black
When Brian Johnson joined AC/DC following the death of Bon Scott there were many doubters who wondered in he could shoulder the load of fronting one of the world’s biggest hard rock bands. With the release of the song, Back In Black Johnson gave them their answer. His signature vocal stamp is all over this baby, and it is arguably the most recognizable song in heavy metal history. Definitely a no-brainer for top spot on the list of the top 10 AC/DC songs of all time.