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"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is the 2nd studio album by Australian rock band, AC/DC. It was released in 1976 and produced by Harry Vanda & George Young. The line-up for the album was Bon Scott (vocals), Angus Young (guitar), Malcolm Young (guitar), Mark Evans (bass) and Phil Rudd (drums).
There are two versions of this album, one in Australia only and the other was the international release. On the Australian album, "Jailbreak" and "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)" were present, but they were replaced on the international version by "Love at First Feel" and "Rocker". Both versions were released within two months of each other. The album cover shows seven people looking at the camera outside a motel and their eyes each have a strip of black to protect their innocence.
The album kicks off with the title track, which has a naughty-sounding main riff that doesn't fail to make me smile. You know it's AC/DC just as soon as you hear it because it has that cheekiness to it which the band had at the time. It's a song about a hitman who, for a varied fee, will dispose of your enemies by any means necessary. It's a great opening song for any album, but because it's the title track as well, it makes it that much more special. The solo Angus plays moving down the fret board sounds really good and is wonderfully backed up by brother Malcolm strumming the main riff throughout on the rhythm guitar.
"Love at First Feel" continues the tongue-in-cheek lyrics that the band loved to write with a catchy number that has a blues style to the rhythm guitar. Bon Scott sounds great on vocals, which is something that can be said about many songs on the album. Angus' solo in the bridge sounds like it could have been influenced by BB King, and let's face it, that's not a bad thing. You know you have a good song on your hands when it gets to the end and you realise it's only just over three minutes long and thought it was a couple more.
"Big Balls" is up next, and what a fun rock and roll song this really is. Lyrically, it's really clever. The narrator is saying that he is upper class and holds a lot of balls for socialites at his mansion but he's also talking about sexual nature at the same time in a nice double entendre. It's a happy-go-lucky song that makes me laugh and I especially like the ending that gives the game away, with the backing vocals singing "bollocks, knackers, bollocks" over and over. Yes folks, there was a time when AC/DC lived life on the edge, and this is one of those songs that they went above and beyond on.
"Rocker" is the fastest song on the album and it does, indeed, rock. AC/DC has always known exactly what makes a record tick and with "Rocker" comes a song that is fast, raw and energetic. There's not much to dislike about this song, and the thing I enjoy the most about it most is that the rhythm guitar complements the lead very well. Angus rarely does any rhythm here, instead opting to solo throughout most of the song. This is one of the band's finest songs from the Bon Scott era, and is what he was, pure and simple - a rocker. If he's sat on a fluffy cloud somewhere, he'll be rockin' and a rollin' all day and every day. I'm convinced Brian Johnson could not pull this song off, even if he tried.
"Problem Child" is a great rock song with a very catchy chorus and I do love how Bon Scott sings this, almost as if he really was a problem child as a youngster - something which wouldn't have surprised me in the very least. The main riff is typical Malcolm and Angus and the drums keep the time wonderfully. The real magic in this track lies with the unity of the band. I'm not sure if this was recorded live in the studio but you get the feeling that it was, because they're quite clearly having a lot of fun here.
"There's Gonna be Some Rockin'" is a straight-up blues rock song that has a killer riff which carries on throughout the song. What I like the most about this song is that AC/DC isn't afraid to change styles from hard rock to slow blues, and that's something the band does quite easily. I'd half expect Jake and Elwood Blues to have done this on the "Blues Brothers" movie but sadly that never happened. I can only dream, though, and it would have fitted right in with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's masterful performances. This song is one of those rare gems that is largely overlooked... but not by me.
"Ain't No Fun (Waiting 'Round to be a Millionaire)" begins with a slow riff that seems to effortlessly curl around the guitar fret board before the wonderful main riff begins. It's the longest song on the album but that doesn't take away the enjoyment it brings to the ears. This is the AC/DC that I always enjoyed the most, the all-attitude, all-rocking band that's out there to have fun, even though the title of the song suggests otherwise. The song is about the long road to the top and in the end, they eventually make it.
"Ride On" is my favourite song on the album and it's the slowest. That's something of a rarity for me, as I usually like the faster songs. Bon Scott completely nails this song with plenty of feeling, which is understandable because the song has a lot to do with his own life. He says in the lyrics that he'll change his ways (one of these days), and I often with he'd meant it because just four years after recording it, he would die of an alcohol-related problem. The solo is magnificent and sets the mood just as well as Bon's wonderful singing.
"Squealer" ends the album with another AC/DC song about sex, but what I really like about this tune is the bass, which carries a great riff that marches the song along at a moderate pace, even though it's a slow number. I'm not exactly sure what the story is behind the song, but I can only think it's about one of Bon's many conquests on the road with the band, or indeed some or all of his many conquests on the road!
In summary, if you want something from AC/DC's back catalogue of albums and you're not sure what to purchase, you have to consider "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". How many classic songs do you want on one album? This has many fan-favourite tracks and a few surprises included, too. Musically, AC/DC was a young band at this time, full of energy and brilliant song writing, and there are a lot of crowd favourites on this album. Or should I say there were a lot. AC/DC with Brian Johnson tends not to play too many Bon Scott songs (Johnson once said it was out of respect), but the titular track gets a regular outing, live. The band does get better through the 1970s and early 1980s, but unfortunately, that's where the Australian rockers run out of steam. I would highly recommend this album to anyone.
1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
2. Love at First Feel
3. Big Balls
5. Problem Child
6. There's Gonna be Some Rockin'
7. Ain't No Fun (Waiting 'Round to be a Millionaire)
8. Ride On
My rating: 9/10
There are two periods in the history of AC/DC: BB and AB. Rather like BC and AD, I much prefer the earlier period, which is Before Brian. Before Brian Johnson, that is. He's the Geordie singer who replaced Bon Scott and turned AC/DC from a raucous, good-humored rock band into crude and often witless heavy metal. Fortunately DDDDC is BB, so it's worth listening to both when you're an adolescent and when you're not. In fact, it has a strong claim to being the best of the BB albums, with Bon Scott's charisma, wit, and lyrical skill combining best with Angus Young's ear for a good, loud, unsophisticated tune. AC/DC are rhythm rather than melody, and nobody should go to them looking for subtlety, though they might find more of it than they were expecting at times. Bon Scott's lyrics are often intelligent as well as funny, and he has the same kind of skill at capturing everyday life as Chuck Berry, whose musical inspiration, in suitably mutated and misbegotten form, is definitely found on the BB albums. Though you didn't find Chuck Berry singing about the things Bon Scott sings about. Or indulging in the kind of asides that Scott indulges in. Whatever the truth, these sound so spontaneous and unrehearsed that they don't go stale. Listen out for the jokes at the end -- and the beginning -- of "Ain't No Fun Waitin' Round to be a Millionaire", for example, and revel in Young's riffing and Scott's word-play in between: "I got patches, On the patches, On my old blue jeans -- Well, they used to be blue, But then they used to be new, And they used to be clean." In cold print the full charm doesn't quite come across, but listen to Scott delivering it in his inimitable lived-in voice and see if I'm not wrong. I suspect that Scott was a far more complex man than his lyrics and choice of topics were immediately meant to suggest, but his int
elligence is still obvious and intelligence is what's needed to succeed in most walks of life. AC/CD, in the BB period, were the best at what they did, and although what they did wasn't all-important, I'm certainly glad that they did it -- and continue to do it every time someone puts one of their old records on.
I don't know if AC/DC decided to try something something different or if the album was just a collection of a few odds and ends on but this is what they produced. Dirty Deeds is one of my favourite AC/DC songs, just after Rosie and Let there be rock but this album has a few more songs... Most of the songs on it are normal, standard great AC/DC ones but if you listen to the recording of Rocker on it then you're in for a big surprise. The Rocker is laughable, if fact me and friends had great fun listening to it. Also 'Big Balls' although a funny track it is in a different style, something AC/DC tried to do and although It is great it's not in their well known style and loses it's novelty after about the 2nd listening. Many of the other tracks on the ablum are similar and the front cover just speaks for itself... You can tell that this is AC/DC trying something different, it nearly worked but this isn't one of my favourite albums, many love it, most loathe it. I'd say it was only worth buying if you're a die-hard fan or if you've listened to it beforehand and liked it. I found it good, but not one of my favourites.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
2 Love At First Feel
3 Big Balls
5 Problem Child
6 There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'
7 Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)
8 Ride On