AC/DC 's rowdy image, giant riffs and macho lyrics about sex, drinking and damnation have helped make them one of the top hard-rock bands in history. Thanks in large part to duck-walking, knickers-clad guitar showman Angus Young, who became as famous for mooning audiences as for his gritty blues-based lead guitar, the group has remained one of the world’s most dependable concert draws. AC/DC’s albums consistently go platinum, despite never having produced a Top Twenty single in the US. Here’s a few reasons why they out-rock British giants Led Zeppelin.
1.Bon Scott:He had a whole lot of Rosie and lived like a true blue rock star while Robert Plant sang about vikings and flower power and sat outside cottages in Wales.
2.AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums in their long career, with Back in Black itself shipping 42 million. They’re still doing well to this day, with 18 million albums sold in the last five years.
3.Highway to Hell or Stairway to Heaven? Everyone other than Jimmy Page is bored shitless of the latter. Robert Plant hates to sing it, and the backwards guitar slide towards the end of Highway is simple but magic.
4.Angus Young is one of the best guitarists ever. True, Page looked cooler, could widdle with the best of them (apart from Alvin Lee and Jimi Hendrix) and didn’t wear shorts, but if you have ever seen AC/DC live, with Angus writhing around on the floor spewing out Chuck Berry bluesy licks at a thousand miles an hour, you will understand.
5.Page used to endlessly solo during Dazed and Confused, but there is no way he could keep up with Thunderstruck.
6.There is a mutual admiration between AC/DC and the Rolling Stones. They jammed back at ‘Toronto Rocks’, and it was a guitar wankfest. This resulted in a Rolling Stones/AC/DC short tour in 2003.
7.Brian Johnson, who took over from the sadly departed Bon Scott can scream like a Rock God from the Planet Big Bollocks, but has never screamed out, ‘I’m a Golden God.’ That’s probably because, under that flat cap, he has described his hair as looking like a burst open sofa.
8.Angus and the boys never went out of fashion: glam rock, punk, new wave, hair metal and grunge, rode it all. Led Zep were reviled, the same as many bands of the time in the late 70’s. Punks liked AC-DC.
9.They are the best live show you will ever see, no fucking question. Just pure rock and roll, 34 years into their career.
10.I lived in the house Bon Scott died outside of, Overhill Road East Dulwich. Irrelevant, you probably think, but it made me more interested in the group and their history. That man knew how to live. Maybe just a ‘touch too much.’
11.None of AC/DC have lived in Alistair Crowley’s old house, built on a site of a desecrated Church, called Boleskine, on the shores of Loch Ness. It’s pink, and frankly quite terrifying. I should know, I’ve been there. ‘Trespassers will be persecuted’ was the welcoming sign. That’s before a screaming mental comes out and threatens to kill you.
12.Jimmy Page had to end up jamming with Bill Wyman on the ‘Arms’ tour in 1983, stoned off his tits. AC/DC got the rest of the Stones eventually, Keith loved Powerage, and appreciated another version of Chuck Berry-style guitar playing.
13.Best riff- Back in Black or Whole Lotta Love? Hands down Back in Black. Even girls like it.
14. AC/DC sold nearly 700, 000 singles in their first week of having released their catalogue on i-Tunes and 48,000 albums were downloaded. Not bad for a one trick pony.
15.AC/DC are the people’s band. Led Zeppelin – as much as I respect what they did – were far more up their own arses, and frankly still are. AC/DC would play in your local, Robert Plant probably would as well, as long as it’s with obscure bluegrass singers. Jimmy Page still wants the glory and stadiums, John Paul Jones would look on with wry amusement, wishing he could just disappear with his beloved mandolin.
16.School uniforms or full on Nazi Regalia? Both a bit strange, but dressing up as a SS Officer? Page is English for God’s sake.
17.It could be argued that Led Zeppelin lost momentum before the death of the powerhouse master of the drums, John Bonham, in 1980, which effectively finished them. AC/DC lost Bon Scott around the same time and still carried on on the advice of his dad, the oddly named ‘Chick’, and started to rule the rock world.
18.Bon Scott, back in the late Seventies, when asked if he was AC or DC, replied ‘ Neither. I’m the lightnin’ flash in the middle.’ This is the band who also got STDs immortalised into song. The Zeppelin camp has always been more guarded about their own activities, and that’s probably for the best. But if you are a fan, and believe it or not I am, you know the alleged stories.
19.‘It’s a long way to the top...’, but both got there, just one just kept going. Zep always hint about a full blown reunion, but it seems Robert Plant can’t face it, and the shit that happened to him in the late Seventies will give you a clue as to why.
20. Angus Young, when asked why he was so nonchalant about selling so many records, replied, 'What were you expecting? Somersaults?’ Can’t beat that.
The Song Remains The Same? Fucking works though.