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Let There Be Rock

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Let There Be Rock

Let There Be Rock
Studio album by AC/DC
Released 21 March 1977
Recorded January–February 1977, Albert Studios, Sydney, Australia
Genre Hard rock, blues rock, rock and roll, boogie
Length 40:19 (Australian)
41:01 (International)
Label Albert
Producer George Young
AC/DC chronology
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
(1976)
Let There Be Rock
(1977)
Powerage
(1978)
Australian edition
Singles from Let There Be Rock
  1. "Dog Eat Dog"
    Released: 21 March 1977
  2. "Let There Be Rock"
    Released: 30 September 1977 (UK)
    31 October 1977 (AUS)
  3. "Whole Lotta Rosie"
    Released: June 1978 (UK)
    November 1978 (AUS)

Let There Be Rock is an album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's third internationally released studio album and the fourth to be released in Australia. All songs were written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott. It was originally released on 21 March 1977 in Australia on the Albert Productions label. A modified international edition was released on 25 July 1977 on Atlantic Records.

Contents

  • Recording 1
  • Composition 2
  • Reception 3
  • Track listing 4
    • Australia (and original international vinyl) 4.1
    • International 4.2
  • Personnel 5
  • Production 6
  • Charts 7
    • Certification 7.1
  • Reception 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Recording

By 1977, AC/DC had become extremely successful in their native Australia and had also achieved a degree of popularity in the U.K. and Europe, largely on the strength of their pulverizing live show. However, Atlantic Records in the United States had rejected the band's third album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, feeling the production was not up to par, and the band, which had yet to tour America, returned to Albert Studios in Sydney to record another album. From the beginning, it appears they intended to make a statement, with guitarist Angus Young telling VH1's Behind the Music in 2000, "Me and Malcolm said, 'Well, we really want a lot of guitars,' you know? Big guitars." The band's first album released in Australia, High Voltage, had contained glam-rock elements, while their ensuing releases had been recorded piecemeal as the group toured incessantly and were also altered for international release. Let There Be Rock, on the other hand, was recorded in one go and represented a major evolution in the band's sound, with many critics and fans citing it as the first true AC/DC album; in his book Highway to Hell: The Life and Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott, author Clinton Walker observes, "Let There Be Rock was the first fully rounded AC/DC album. The band had finally found itself."

Let There Be Rock was produced by the production team of

Composition

The album contains two AC/DC classics: "Let There Be Rock" and "Whole Lotta Rosie." According to AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, singer Bon Scott wrote the lyrics in an office at Albert's with the help of a Bible from a nearby bookstore. The song provides an encapsulated, fictionalized version of the history of rock 'n' roll. Building on a line from the Chuck Berry song "Roll Over Beethoven": "... tell Tchaikovsky the news", "Let There Be Rock" reveals that Tchaikovsky did in fact receive the message and subsequently shared it with the masses, resulting in the rise of rock 'n' roll. Following rock's birth, rock bands appeared everywhere, musicians found fame (while businesses made money off their efforts), and millions of people learned how to play electric guitar. The third and final verse speaks of a "42-decibel" rock band playing good, loud music in an establishment called "The Shaking Hand." This is usually changed to "92-decibel" in live versions of the song. In addition, light is correctly introduced before sound, unlike on the studio version. After the final verse, the song ends with an extended solo by Angus, which consists mainly of fast picking, string bends, and hammer-ons. A music video for "Let There Be Rock" was filmed in July 1977 (see 1977 in music) in the Surry Hills Kirk Gallery church and featured Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams, who replaced Mark Evans as the band's bassist shortly after the Let There Be Rock album was released. This marked one of Williams' first public appearances with AC/DC. Scott was dressed as a priest and the rest of the band as altar boys, with Angus Young wearing a halo prop on his head. Towards the end of the video it shows Angus, and the rest of the band jamming while he goes off on the guitar. In an alternate ending of the video, the colors are morphed and the camera zooms in on the stained glass window.[1] According to an interview with the Young brothers, Bon Scott injured himself in the final jump from the podium. "Let There Be Rock" was also released as a single in 1978, with a live version of the Let There Be Rock album track "Dog Eat Dog" as the B-side, which had been recorded in concert in Glasgow on 30 April 1978. When AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, Scott's replacement Brian Johnson quoted the song "Let There Be Rock" in the band's acceptance speech.

"Whole Lotta Rosie" is about an obese Tasmanian woman named Rosie, with whom the singer Scott had a one night stand at the Freeway Gardens Motel in North Melbourne.[2] In addition to pointing out the woman's size, the singer finds her to be one of the most talented lovers he's ever experienced. The song's first verse reveals Rosie's substantial physical measurements (42"-39"-56"), and that she weighs nineteen stone (266 pounds/approximately 120 kilograms). On the Live from the Atlantic Studios disc, however, Scott describes the titular woman as "...a Tasmanian devil ...weighs 305 pounds ...," a measurement that differs from the "19 stone" lyric (305 lb being 21 st 11 lb). In 1998, speaking to Vox magazine, Angus Young remembered:

We'd been in Tasmania and after the show [Bon Scott] said he was going to check out a few clubs. He said he'd got about 100 yards down the street when he heard this yell: 'Hey! Bon!' He looked around and saw this leg and thought: 'Oh well!' From what he said, there was this Rosie woman and a friend of hers. They were plying him with drinks and Rosie said to him: 'This month I've slept with 28 famous people,' and Bon went: 'Oh yeah?!' Anyway, in the morning he said he woke up pinned against the wall, he said he opened one eye and saw her lean over to her friend and whisper: '29!' There's very few people who'll go out and write a song about a big fat lady, but Bon said it was worthy.[3]

The song's main riff was also featured on an earlier recording with different lyrics, titled "Dirty Eyes", which saw official release on Volts, part of the Bonfire box set. "Dirty Eyes" features a different chord progression in the chorus and does not contain the "band duel" featured in "Rosie." In AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, Malcolm Young is quoted, "We were always big fans of early rock and roll, like Elvis and 'Heartbreak Hotel,' things like that - the stop-and-start things, the dynamics. If anything, for 'Whole Lotta Rosie' we were looking for a feel like Little Richard, a good steamin' rock feel, and see what we could lay on top with the guitars. It evoked that, but you're just looking for the vibe, what's exciting, and that's what we were listening to. Simple to put together, but still around like a classic."

According to the 1994 Bon Scott biography Highway to Hell, the album's opening track "Go Down" was inspired by "supergroupie" Ruby Lips while "Overdose," which features an extended introduction that showcases the symbiotic guitar relationship between the Young brothers, was inspired by a woman named Judy King. The lyrics equate a man overdosing on a woman like an addict would overdose on drugs, with Scott singing, "You're a habit I don't want to break." Whether or not the song had any meaning beyond the metaphor is subject to speculation; by all accounts, Scott was a hard drinker and indulged in drugs. In 2013, keyboardist John Bisset of Fraternity (Scott's band before AC/DC) told Uncut's Peter Watts “We were drinkers. We got into marijuana, mescaline and mushrooms, but alcohol was the mainstay...He drank heaps. He drank until he could barely stand. But he always remained the same person." According to Jesse Fink's book The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, former bassist Mark Evans reveals that Scott overdosed on heroin in 1975 and was nearly fired from the band: "There were some doubts about Bon at that stage. He'd had a problem or he'd had an OD very early on. It was just a dabble...Bon made a bad decision. It was only one bad decision. From what I was led to believe and came to believe, it was a very, very isolated incident." "Dog Eat Dog," a song about humanity's cutthroat nature, was released as a single in Australia, and included the non-album track "Carry Me Home" on the B-side, which was later released on Backtracks. The band would perform the single frequently in concert, as well as the album tracks "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" and "Bad Boy Boogie," the latter accompanying Angus Young's infamous striptease routine. The original vinyl version of the album released for international markets contained the same track list as the original Australian release but Atlantic Records removed the racy song "Crabsody In Blue" (about the problems of crabs) from later pressings of the international version. It was subsequently replaced with a shortened version of the song "Problem Child" from the Australian version of the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, which was originally released in September 1976. "Crabsody In Blue" was later released on the box set Backtracks. All international CD releases contain the modified track listing from the later vinyl pressings of the international version. The cover for the international version also marked the first appearance of the band's now iconic logo, designed by Gerard Huerta. The photograph used for the cover was taken on 19 March 1977 at the Kursaal Ballroom, Southend, Essex, UK.

Reception

Eduardo Rivadavia of

Track listing

Australia (and original international vinyl)

All songs written and composed by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott

No. Title Length
1. "Go Down" (5:20 for vinyl) 5:33
2. "Dog Eat Dog"   3:35
3. "Let There Be Rock"   6:07
4. "Bad Boy Boogie"   4:28
5. "Overdose"   6:09
6. "Crabsody in Blue"   4:45
7. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be"   4:15
8. "Whole Lotta Rosie"   5:22

International

Side One
No. Title Length
1. "Go Down" (Length 5:18 for vinyl) 5:31
2. "Dog Eat Dog"   3:34
3. "Let There Be Rock"   6:06
4. "Bad Boy Boogie"   4:27
Side Two
No. Title Length
1. "Problem Child"   5:24
2. "Overdose"   6:09
3. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Length 4:21 for vinyl) 4:14
4. "Whole Lotta Rosie"   5:24
  • Most CD releases feature this track listing along with a slightly longer version of "Go Down".
  • Track 5, "Problem Child", was originally released on Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in 1976. This is a shortened version of the original, missing the reprise coda.
  • For the original vinyl release, in all markets other than the USA and Japan, "Crabsody in Blue" was featured instead of "Problem Child".

Personnel

Production

  • Producers: George Young
  • Engineer: Mark Opitz
  • Mastering supervisor: Michael Fraser, Al Quaglieri
  • Mastering: George Marino
  • Digital assembly: Eugene Nastasi
  • Art direction: Bob Defrin
  • Liner notes: Murray Engleheart

Charts

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [8]

Reception to Let There Be Rock was generally positive; according to Allmusic, which gave the album a rating of four and a half out of five stars, AC/DC played "sweaty, dirty, nasty rock" and the band had "rarely done that kind of rock better than they did" on Let There Be Rock.[7] In 2001, Q magazine named Let There Be Rock as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time.[9]

References

  1. ^ Video Footage and Liner Notes, Family Jewels 2-Disc DVD Set 2005
  2. ^ Bon Scott Interview, Bonfire Box Set, Disc 4
  3. ^ Ewing, Jerry. VOX, February 1998. Albums. Re-issues. Blazer of Glory. AC/DC - Bonfire (EMI). P. 78
  4. ^ Let There Be Rock at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Chart Stats - AC/DC - Let There Be Rock". chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "American album certifications – AC/DC – Let There Be Rock".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  7. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Let There Be Rock -AC/DC".  
  8. ^ "AC/DC: Album Guide".  
  9. ^ "In our Lifetime #2". Rocklist.co.uk. Retrieved 7 July 2011. 

External links

  • Lyrics on AC/DC's official website
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