Something seemed off when I read this AC/DC article with Angus Young saying, “it’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad.” Out of context, it was, when I read the entire interview, but it made for a good trip down musical memory lane.
They have a history of recording several ballads, some of which are very good, if you haven’t heard them before or don’t remember. This post will detail these unsung hero ballads — AC/DC-style!
Angus says: “People have said we’ve hung around long enough! But some bands fade when they try to adapt to what’s current. We play rock music. It’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad. Rock is what we do best.AC/DC’s Angus Young: It’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad… rock is what we do best | Louder
There is no arguing that AC/DC does straight up hard rock as good as any band. They are immortal in that regard, but they’ve done several ballads through the years. I mean, you only need to go back in time and listen.
Spotify subscribers, definitely put the original tunes in your AC/DC ballad rotation, but YouTubers can make a playlist of these “ballads” as well:
- “Love Song” originally on 1975 debut album, High Voltage (Australian release only), but not available in the version released elsewhere. – Bon Scott, vocals crooning: “Oh Jene!” (spelling from Wikipedia article) Given it’s been 45+ years, but Angus has to remember Bon Scott’s lyrics like: “when I think of you saying goodbye, oh the sky turns a deeper blue, that’s, that’s how I’d feel if I lost you” No idea who Jene is, but she’s the focus of this very much ballad AC/DC song.
2. “She’s Got Balls” from the front side of High Voltage. The rare soundboard version on YouTube of this performance may not sound like a ballad, but it’s one of the more “ballsy” blues ballads from their first album. Love the cooking bass and simple drum intro when Bon Scott comes in with, “she’s got style, that woman!” — what a terrible loss. I like this one better than their hit from Dirty Deeds, “Big Balls.”
3. “Little Lover” is another ballad-rocker song from High Voltage like “She’s Got Balls” I remember first hearing this album and being blown away by Angus and Malcolm trading relatively simple guitar riffs with a great feel and amazing signature tone.
4. “Big Balls” from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976), This is the most festive ballad rock song about balls ever created. “My balls are always bouncing, from the left to the right, it’s my belief that my big balls should be held every night.” LOL, I laughed at these lyrics which are, of course, littered with double entendres.
5. “Ride On” also from Dirty Deeds and in the soundtrack for the movie Maximum Overdrive (top of post). This sure seems like a ballad to me. It’s not as lovey-dovey lyrics-wise as “Love Song” but it’s a slow blues ballad. The type that only AC/DC has done.
7. “Gone Shootin” from Powerage. Ok, this one is not a ballad, per se, but the riff live captured below is played much faster tempo than the album version.
8. “Let Put My Love Into You” from Brian Johnson’s first album, the iconic Back In Black, is another AC/DC-style ballad. A rocker
9. “Two’s Up” from Blow Up Your Video (1988). Another AC/DC rocker that has the hard groove, but feels a little like a ballad when it gets to the melodic chorus. This is pretty much the end of the line for mellow songs on any of their albums.
AC/DC is rumored to be working on another studio album featuring tracks composed by Angus and Malcolm, his brother that died during the Rock or Bust tour. They had already tapped nephew Stevie Young to replace Malcolm on the tour, because he was too sick to tour. Then Brian Johnson had hearing problems and had to leave the tour. Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses stepped in to cover and did a great job. As if this wasn’t enough band drama, long time bassist Cliff Williams retired.
Will there be another AC/DC album? Dee Snider says yes. It probably will not have any ballads, based on Angus’s quotes, and be more in line with the material on their last album, Rock or Bust. We’ll be happy to welcome any new AC/DC music, ballads or not. I mean, who doesn’t like AC/DC?