AC/DC’s 1985 Fly on the Wall Album By Song Topic

The next album we’re looking at is 1985’s Fly on the Wall.

We’ve got eleven categories of lyrical content to choose from (and if none of these fit we’ll create new ones). Our categories so far are; sex, gambling, rocking (the importance of), love, personal power/ego, crime, loneliness, parties, the human condition, rejection of social norms and alcohol.

The Songs

Fly on the Wall – human condition, supporting lyrical evidence “I was trapped like a fly on the wall, I was caged like a zoo animal”.

Shake Your Foundations – parties, supporting lyrical evidence “You want to come and I’ll meet you at the door”.

First Blood – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Maybe wrong, maybe right, but I like it every night”. It is possible I’ve misunderstood this song and it’s about black pudding.

Danger – partly crime and partly alcohol, crime supporting lyrical evidence “The cops could not appreciate my natural charm”, alcohol supporting evidence “Another night of drinkin’, just one before I’m through”.

Sink the Pink – it’s very hard to know if this is about pool or sex or both. Pool supporting lyrical evidence “She wanna give it a shot, hit the spot, then I’m gonna rack ’em up, get that hot”, sex supporting lyrical evidence “Put your gear into fire, lay your bullets on the ground, turn your head to desire”. If a penis is a gun then bullets are sperm. I’m going to categorise this as sex.

Playing with Girls – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Lookin’ for the good-time girls in their black nylon tights”.

Stand Up – sex, of the swift upright variety, supporting lyrical evidence “Stand up, stand up and make it”.

Hell or High Water – I’m going to call this the human condition but I’ve spent ages thinking about it and it might just be rhyming gibberish. When I categorise a song as the human condition I mean universal themes that everyperson can relate to, supporting lyrical evidence “Mama done told me, Daddy done scold me”. We’ve all been told things and scolded.

Back in Business – half crime, half personal power/ego, crime supporting lyrical evidence “You want some trouble, I’m the king of vice, I’m a wreckin’ ball, I’m a stingin’ knife”, personal power/ego supporting lyrical evidence “I’m a cannon ball goin’ down the track”.

Send for the Man – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “You make a black sheep a ram, this ain’t a gun in my pocket, I got the goods in my hand”.

Conclusion – this album is 50% sex, 20% human condition, 10% parties, 10% crime, 5% personal power/ego and 5% alcohol. By this point in AC/DC’s career they had probably decided to make half of every album about sex. I wonder what other mucky lines we’ll find under Brian’s hat in the next six albums? I’d like him to challenge himself by making a song that sounds like it’s about biscuits but is really about sex, something like “select my pink wafer from the Rover family assortment”, or “Melt my Tim Tam” or “Rip the foil off my Fruit Club”. 

Fly on the Wall by Song Topic

The next album we’ll look at is Blow Up Your Video. It was just before 1988 when I began listening to AC/DC and I can remember the excitement of Blow Up Your Video being released!

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