Honestly, when I first got into AC/DC, I was blasting For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981) more than Back in Black (1980) because I’ve heard “You Shook Me All Night Long” a million times, but you don’t hear “Evil Walks” or “Let’s Get It Up” often. I wanted to dive deep into the band’s catalog, so this album was a breath of fresh air.
Being the follow-up to Back in Black, the album came with struggles; of course, from the band fed up with record-producer Mutt Lange and manager Peter Mensch. Lange was a perfectionist and wanted things done a certain way, which can be time-consuming at times. Brian Johnson and the Young brothers spent quite some time lying on the sofa waiting for Lange to be ready and start recording. They were “bored sh*tless!”
Mensch was about discovering new acts and managing multiple bands at the same time. It seemed that he lacked sympathy, and the care wasn’t there anymore, from the band’s perspective. They were already having a hard time with Lange, and Mensch hadn’t seen that. You can read the full article here about the struggles of making For Those About to Rock We Salute You.
Enough said about that, though! This album kicks a**! There’s no bad song on it, some stronger than others, but still better than today’s music! From the 80s to the early 90s, Johnson’s vocals were top-notch. Your throat hurts listening to these songs because it’s like, “how the heck does he do it?” People can’t underestimate Phil Rudd’s drums, especially on the fills during “Inject the Venom.”
My favorite tracks are “Snowballed” and “C.O.D.” For some reason, I thought it was badass to start a song with the lyrics, “Call of a dog / Cry of a bitch.” The whole album (from my perspective) was a kick to the face for all the Christian groups throwing hate at AC/DC, calling them devil worshippers. Another example includes “Evil Walks.” Yeah, Angus Young wears devil horns, but the band has always been about what sounds good and what would be a hit. For goodness sake, they’re just songs, and Angus said so himself!
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” gets a lot of recognition, but “Let’s Get It Up” deserves some credit as well. Lyrically it’s the best song on the album. “Loose wires cause fires / Gettin’ tangled in my desires, so / Screw ’em up and plug ’em in / Then switch it on and start all over again.” AC/DC played it on the respective tour, but they haven’t played it since, unfortunately.
When the album got finished, everyone got fed up with it. Maybe that’s why the band doesn’t play much from it anymore. But if there was one album to get me pumped up and I need to let my anger out, this would be the AC/DC album I’d play. For Those About to Rock We Salute You became the band’s first number one album in the U.S., their second being Black Ice (2008).
Let me know your favorite track from For Those About to Rock We Salute You in the comments below!
Take care and see ya real soon!
Another great write up Lana! I’m starting to think I was a bit too harsh in my review. Totally agree with Phil Rudd’s drums on Inject the Venom. Spellbound to me is their most underrated song. Love that one even if it is a bit of a slow burn.
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Thank you so much BuriedOnMars! I’m so glad you feel that way because personally I think ‘For Those About to Rock’ is such an underrated album. I love that we enjoy different songs on the album as well!
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