AC/DC’s 1983 Flick of the Switch Album By Song Topic

The next album we’re looking at is 1983’s Flick of the Switch.

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

Rising Power – love, supporting lyrical evidence “You’ve got a love life up all night”.

This House Is on Fire – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Hot personality, she bring on the flames.

Flick of the Switch – sex, of the complicated, messy, electric kind, supporting lyrical evidence “With a flick of the switch she’ll blow you sky high”.

Nervous Shakedown – crime, supporting lyrical evidence “Law is gonna get you this time, and throw away the key”

Landslide – personal power/ego, supporting lyrical evidence “He’s out to win, he got the lot to top the last shot”.

Guns for Hire – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “My gun’s for hire, shoot you with desire”. In this song gun = penis, as we’ve already seen in Shoot to Thrill.

Deep in the Hole – love, supporting lyrical evidence “That woman got me deep in the hole”.

Bedlam in Belgium – crime, specifically a gig that local law enforcers were not keen should take place “We wanted to play, play for the crowd, law said no way”.

Badlands – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “I got a .45 that’ll make you fry”. This is the second song on this album to use the gun = penis metaphor!

Brain Shake – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Cause she’s a joy to ride”.

Conclusion – this album is 50% sex, 20% love, 20 crime and 10% personal power/ego. It’s quite heavy on the gun = penis metaphor, okay guys, we get it, you’re packing a considerable weapon in the trouser region. Of course I could be wrong about my interpretations and “I got a .45 that’ll make you fry” could be referring to a situation in which someone is coerced at gunpoint into cooking a full English breakfast.

Flick of the Switch by song topic

The next album we’ll look at is Fly on the Wall.

AC/DC’s 1981 For Those About to Rock We Salute You Album By Song Topic

The next album we’re looking at is 1981’s For Those About to Rock We Salute You. I can’t see a cannon without thinking of this album, which makes me smile on days out at castles (Carrickfergus is a nice one).

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

For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “We rock at dawn on the front line”.

Put the Finger on You – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “You can feel it on your ankle, feel it on your knee, feel it on your thigh, can you feel me?”

Let’s Get It Up – sex, although on the rare occasions I’ve put a tent up I’ve thought about this song. Supporting lyrical evidence “It’s high tide, so let’s ride, the moon is rising and so am I”.

Inject the Venom – crime, supporting lyrical evidence “Come choose your victim, Take him by surprise”.

Snowballed – the human condition, supporting lyrical evidence “Women, drink and money are going to make you pay”.

Evil Walks – sex, of the complicated kind, supporting lyrical content “You got ’em tied to your bed, with your dark, dark secrets”.

C.O.D. – sex, specifically catching a sexually transmitted disease, supporting lyrical evidence “Cream of a dream is the cause of the itch”.

Breaking the Rules – rejection of social norms, supporting lyrical evidence “Those regulation fools with their regulation rules”.

Night of the Long Knives – I’m calling this half crime, and half the human condition because it’s about not knowing who to trust. Crime supporting lyrical evidence “Oh stab him in the back once”, human condition supporting lyrical evidence “Who’s your friend and who’s your foe? Who’s your Judas? You don’t know”.

Spellbound – this is a weird one, it seems to be about someone disorientated and incapacitated. It’s the opposite of personal power/ego. I’m going to call it the human condition because I think it represents a difficult patch in someone’s life, supporting lyrical evidence “I’m a victim of a bad crash, I can do nothing right”.

Conclusion – This album is 40% sex, 25% human condition, 15% crime, 10% rocking (the importance of) and 10% rejection of social norms.

For Those About to Rock by Song Topic.jpg

The next album we’ll look at is Flick of the Switch.

AC/DC’s 1980 Back in Black Album By Song Topic

The next album we’re looking at is 1980’s Back in Black. This is an utterly epic album.

We’ve got ten 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 and rejection of social norms.

The Songs

Hells Bells – personal power/ego, supporting lyrical evidence “I’m a rolling thunder, a pouring rain, I’m comin’ on like a hurricane”.  There’s a hint in this song that the personal power experienced is due to demonic assistance “If you’re into evil you’re a friend of mine”.

Shoot to Thrill – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “I got my gun at the ready, gonna fire at will”. It’s important to note here that gun = penis, like in many great rock songs.

What Do You Do for Money Honey – sex, specifically prostitution, supporting lyrical evidence “Never gonna give it for free”.

Given the Dog a Bone – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “She got the power of union”.

Let Me Put My Love into You – love, supporting lyrical evidence “Let me put my love into you, babe, let me cut your cake with my knife”. It’s important to note here that cake = vagina.

Back in Black – personal power/ego, supporting lyrical evidence “Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack”. In the old days when having a phone ring tone was a thing, mine was Back in Black. I was in Tescos talking to a friend I’d bumped into and coincidentally both our phones rang at the same time. We both had Back in Black as our ring tone. The purpose of this story is to prove that I’m quite cool and so are my friends, even if I do like pie charts.

You Shook Me All Night Long – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Working double time, on the seduction line”.

Have a Drink on Me – I could categorise this as having parties, a category which so far only has Big Balls in it. However, this song is specifically about alcohol consumption so I’m going to start a new category of alcohol. Supporting lyrical evidence “So join me for a drink boys, we’re gonna make a big noise”.

Shake a Leg – this is a combination of sex and rejection of social norms. Supporting sex lyrical evidence “Big licks, skin flicks, tricky dicks are my chemistry” and “So stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen for me”. Supporting rejection of social norms lyrical evidence “Goin’ against the grain” and “Fighting on the wrong side of the law”.

Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution, rock ‘n’ roll ain’t gonna die”.

Conclusion – This album is 45% sex, 20% personal power/ego, 10% love, 10% alcohol, 10% rocking (the importance of) and 5% rejection of social norms.

Back In Black by Song Topic

The next album we’ll look at is For Those About to Rock We Salute You.

AC/DC’s 1979 Highway To Hell Album By Song Topic

ACDCHighwayToHellLoungeThe next album we’re looking at is 1979’s Highway To Hell. This is one of the most iconic album covers and its artwork hangs in my lounge. 

We’ve got ten 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 and rejection of social norms.

The Songs

Highway to Hell – personal power/ego, supporting lyrical evidence “Nobody’s gonna slow me down”.

Girls Got Rhythm – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “She’s got the backseat rhythm” and “Love me till I’m legless, aching and sore”.

Walk All Over You – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Oh baby I ain’t got much, resistance to your touch” and “Leave on the lace and turn off the light”.

Touch Too Much – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “She knew we was making love”.

Beating Around the Bush – love, supporting lyrical evidence “I’m gonna give you just a one more chance, try to save our romance”. This is about a woman who has been unfaithful.

Shot Down in Flames – sex, but from the rare angle of not getting it, supporting lyrical evidence “When a guy with a chip on his shoulder said, toss off buddy she’s mine”. I especially like the use of toss off in this context because that’s the logical conclusion to being shot down in flames all night, you’d have to return home unaccompanied by female company and toss off.

Get It Hot – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “And no one’s playing hard to get, just a good old rock ‘n’ roll”.

If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) – the human condition, supporting lyrical evidence “It’s animal, livin’ in the human zoo”.

Love Hungry Man – love, supporting lyrical evidence “I need your lovin’ more and more”.

Night Prowler – crime, supporting lyrical evidence “And you don’t feel the steel, till it’s hangin’ out your back”

Conclusion – A very sexy album. This album is 50% sex, 20% love, 10% personal power/ego, 10% the human condition and 10% crime. You probably want to listen to it now, go on, treat yourself to the beautiful boisterous Bon vocals.  

Highway to Hell by Song Topic

Let’s take a moment here to feel sad that this is the last Bon Scott album and to reflect that he left a wonderful legacy of music for us to enjoy.

The next album we’ll look at will be Back In Black.

 

AC/DC’s 1978 Powerage Album By Song Topic

The next album we’re looking at is 1978’s Powerage. We’ll look at the CD version rather than the European LP version. We’ve got ten 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 and rejection of social norms.

The Songs

Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation – this is tricky to classify, it seems like a song about a woman, but perhaps also about someone who plays rock ‘n’ roll. I’m going to call it half sex and half rocking (the importance of). The supporting sex lyrical evidence is “Damnation, you’re a toy for a boy”, the supporting someone who plays rock ‘n’ roll lyrical evidence is “And it’s a rock ‘n’ roll damnation, Ma’s own whippin’ boy”.

Down Payment Blues – this is a rocking (the importance of) song and the protagonist is a poor musician. Supporting lyrical evidence “Rock ‘n’ roller welfare”.

Gimme a Bullet – this is a love song. Supporting lyrical evidence “Doctor, doctor, ain’t no cure, for the pain in my heart”.

Riff Raff – this is not straightforward. I’m going to call it crime, but I think it’s more like a wrongful accusation kind of crime. Supporting lyrical evidence “I never shot nobody, don’t even carry a gun”.

Sin City – this is about Las Vegas. I’m going to call this half gambling and half sex. Supporting gambling lyrical evidence “So spin that wheel, cut that pack, and roll those loaded dice”, supporting sex lyrical evidence “Oh, let me roll you baby!”

What’s Next to the Moon – this is a love song but not a pleasant one, it’s also a crime song. The love object has been tied to a railroad track. This vaguely reminds me of a song I learnt at my primary school called Tom Dooley, which is a sweetheart murder ballad and probably sounded sinister sung by a class of eight-year-olds. I’m going to classify this as half crime and half love. Supporting love lyrical evidence “It’s your love that I want, It’s your love that I need”, supporting crime lyrical evidence “Alright, officer, I confess, everything’s coming back, I didn’t mean to hurt that woman of mine”.

Gone Shootin’ – I think this might be a song about a woman overdosing and/or committing suicide. Supporting lyrical evidence “I stirred my coffee with the same spoon” (a spoon used to prepare hard drugs?) and “She took another pill”. However, since there is a history in rock and metal of people jumping to conclusions about songs being about suicide when they were not (I’m referring to Ozzy Osbourne’s Suicide Solution, which was, according to Ozzy, about the death of Bon Scott) I’m reluctant to make a decision. I’m classifying this as a love song, because it’s about a lost love.

Up to My Neck in You – this is a love song. Supporting lyrical evidence “You came along when I needed you, now I’m up, I’m up to my neck in you”. I adore this song, this was the song my husband and I chose for the recessional music (the bit where the newlyweds leave the room) on our wedding day. It is totally a love song.

Kicked in the Teeth – this is a love song, if it was sex rather than love the protagonist wouldn’t be so cross. Supporting lyrical evidence “Two faced woman with the two faced lies”.

Conclusion – This album is 50% about love (albeit in some warped forms and unpleasant situations), 17% about rocking (the importance of), 17% about crime, 11% about sex and 5% about gambling. This was the hardest set of songs to categorise so far, there’s a complexity to the song writing which wasn’t in the earlier stuff.

Powerage By Song Topic

Having looked at five albums (41 songs), we can see that sex and rocking are the best represented in AC/DC lyrics. I’m surprised by how little gambling has featured.

First 5 ACDC Albums by Song Topic

The next album we’ll look at is 1979’s Highway to Hell.

 

AC/DC’s 1977 Let There Be Rock Album By Song Topic

AC/DC’s 1977 album Let There Be Rock is the next to get its songs looked at closely to see where they fit in our eight categories of lyrical content. So far we’ve got; sex, gambling, rocking (the importance of), love, personal power/ego, crime, loneliness and parties.

The songs

Go Down – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Lickin’ on that lickin’ stick the way you do”. This was a fast song to classify, it’s overwhelmingly blow jobby.

Dog Eat Dog – this is about the ups and downs of life, it’s a bit deeper than your average AC/DC song, it’s not super deep, but you could probably have a paddle in it. I’m going to classify this as the human condition, supporting lyrical evidence “Read the news, someone win, someone lose”.

Let There Be Rock – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “the music was good and the music was loud”.

Bad Boy Boogie – this is half sex, and half being out of step with the rest of society. Supporting sex lyrical evidence “I’ve had me more dirty women than most men ever had”. Supporting lyrical evidence for being out of step with the rest of society “I said right and they said left”. I’m going to call this new category rejection of social norms.

Problem Child – we’ve already assigned this to the category of crime because it appeared on Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

Overdose – love, supporting lyrical evidence “I overdosed on you”.

Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be – sex, of the complicated variety, supporting lyrical evidence “Don’t mind her playing a demon, as long as it’s with me, if this is hell then you could say, it’s heavenly”.

Whole Lotta Rosie – sex, specifically with a nineteen stone woman, supporting lyrical evidence “Honey you can do it, do it to me all night long”.

Conclusion – This album is 44% about sex, 12.5% about love, 12.5% about crime, 12.5% about the human condition, 12.5% about rocking (the importance of) and 6% about the rejection of social norms. How do we feel about AC/DC having a go at the philosophical “Dog Eat Dog?” I’ll be honest, I’d have preferred a Big Balls 2.

Let There Be Rock By Song Topic

The next album we’ll look at is 1978’s Powerage. We’ve got ten categories of lyrical content now; sex, gambling, rocking (the importance of), love, personal power/ego, crime, loneliness parties, the human condition and rejection of social norms.

AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap By Song Topic

AC/DC’s third studio album, according to Wikipedia is High Voltage 1976 International version. All of the tracks on this International version have already been considered for lyrical content because they appeared on the early Australia only releases.

So, we’re going to look next at the international version of the beautifully alliterative Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album and ask ourselves do the lyrics fall into the categories of

sex

love

gambling

rocking (the importance of)

personal power/ego

or another topic?

The songs

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – crime, supporting lyrical evidence “I lead a life of crime”.

Love at First Feel – love, supporting lyrical evidence “I fell in love in the first degree”.

Big Balls – having parties, with a side order of sex, supporting having parties lyrical evidence “All the social papers say I’ve got the biggest balls of all”, supporting sex lyrical evidence “And everybody comes and comes again”.

Rocker – this has already appeared on the Australian version of T.N.T and we decided it was about rocking (the importance of).

Problem Child – crime, specifically juvenile delinquency, supporting lyrical evidence “With a flick of my knife, I can change your life”.

There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’ – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “There’s gonna be some rockin’ at the show tonight”.

Ain’t No Fun (Waiting ‘Round to Be a Millionaire) – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “So if you’ve got the money, we’ve got the sound”.

Ride On – persistence? Touring? This one is hard to classify. I’m going to call it loneliness, supporting lyrical evidence “But I’m lonely, Lord I’m lonely”.

Squealer – sex, specifically with an inexperienced partner, supporting lyrical evidence “She said she’d never been, never been balled before”.

Conclusion – We get 22% crime in this album, 33% rocking (the importance of), 17% sex (a big decrease when compared with previous albums), 11% love, 11% loneliness and 6% having parties. This is quite a varied album. I’ve adored the song “Big Balls” since I first heard it, aged around thirteen. I’d love to get some ball room notoriety. Why do mice have small balls? Because they can’t dance very well.

Dirty Deeds By Topic

The next album we’ll look at is the international version of Let There Be Rock. Are you enjoying this? I am. We’ve got eight categories of lyrical content now; sex, gambling, rocking (the importance of), love, personal power/ego, crime, loneliness and parties.

 

AC/DC’s T.N.T 1975 Australia Only Album By Song Topic

Here’s the second part of my project of listening to AC/DC and working out which categories their songs fall into. Today we’ll ask ourselves if the songs on the studio album T.N.T. (1975) Australia Only are about

sex

gambling

rocking (the importance of)

or another topic.

The songs

It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “It’s harder than it looks”.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “I gotta be on top some day, I want to be a star”.

The Jack – sex but using gambling metaphors, suddenly AC/DC have got a bit sophisticated, “But how was I to know, that she’d been shuffled before”.

Live Wire – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “And if you need some lovin’, and if you need some man”.

T.N.T. – this is partly sex and partly personal power/ego, supporting lyrical sex evidence “Women to the left of me, and women to the right, supporting lyrical personal power/ego evidence “The man is back in town, don’t you mess me ’round”.

Rocker – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “I’m a rocker, I’m a roller, I’m a right out of controller”.

Can I Sit Next to You Girl – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Can I sit next to you, and then take you home”.

High Voltage – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “And you ask me why I like to play, I got to get my kicks some way”.

School Days – this is a cover and was originally by Chuck Berry, this is partly sex and partly rocking (the importance of). Supporting sex lyrical evidence “You gotta hear somthin’ that’s really hot, with the one you love you’re makin’ romance”. Supporting rocking (the importance of) lyrical evidence “All day long you’ve been waitin’ to dance, and you feel the music from head to toe”.

Conclusion – This album is 50% about rocking (the importance of), 44% about sex and 6% about personal power/ego. AC/DC’s early ambition is really coming out in this album. Of the sex described lyrically on this album, 75% is of the happy time with a lovely lady variety, with just 25%, described (in The Jack) as being about more complicated relations.

TNT 1975 Aus Only Pie Chart

I’m wondering if I should ditch the pie charts? I know some people who love a chart or graph and others who aren’t so enamoured. Let me know if you have a strong opinion. And keep listening to the mighty AC/DC!

AC/DC’s High Voltage 1975 Australia Only Album By Song Topic

Have you ever listened to AC/DC and thought that their songs seem to fall into one of three categories; songs about sex, songs about gambling and songs about rocking (the importance of)?

Have you then considered going through every one of their studio albums and working out the percentage of each song topic contained within that album?

When you’ve done all 17 albums (17 because you’ve included the two early Australia only albums because if a thing is worth doing it’s worth doing properly) you will reach an amalgamated score and will know if AC/DC are mainly about sex, about gambling or about rocking (the importance of) and this will be satisfying.

Anyway, this is my new project. The first album I’ve looked at is High Voltage (1975) Australia Only Version.

High Voltage (1975) Australia Only Version The Songs

Baby Please Don’t Go – this is a cover, originally by Big Joe Williams and is about sex.

She’s Got Balls – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “She’s got spunk that woman”.

Little Lover – sex, supporting lyrical evidence is all of the lyrics, but for example “The wet patch on your seat, was it Coca Cola?”.

Stick Around – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “C’mon baby sit on this”.

Soul Stripper – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “Then she laid her hand on my lap”.

You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me – sex, supporting lyrical evidence “You can take me to your bedroom”.

Love Song – Love rather than sex, supporting lyrical evidence, “Oh, I’ve got hearts and flowers for you, if you leave me you’ll make me cry”. This is not typical AC/DC lyrical fare.

Show Business – rocking (the importance of), supporting lyrical evidence “You want to roll, you want to rock”.

High Voltage 1975 Aus Only Pie Chart

Conclusion – This album is 75% sex, with 12.5% love and 12.5% rocking. It occurs to me that the sex written about could be divided into happy sex where AC/DC are having a nice time with a lovely lady like in “Little Lover” and less happy sex in which it’s complicated, like in “Soul Stripper”. So, to further subdivide High Voltage 1975 Australia Only Version, of the songs about sex, two of them (Soul Stripper and You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me) are about complicated relations while four are more straight forward sounding sex situations (sexuations? no, this is not a good word).

The next album to get my forensic lyrical analysis will be T.N.T. (1975) Australia only. My early prediction is that AC/DC will get less sexy and more focused on rocking (the importance of) over time, but we’ll see.

Feeding Things To Snaggletooth Part 102

I think sherbet lemons ought to be renamed sherbet Lemmys in honour of the great man. I’d start an online petition about it if I wasn’t already busy being weird in lots of other ways and if politics wasn’t in the pickle it’s in. I’d love to know what Lemmy would have made of Brexit. Anyway, so far it’s just me and a Twitter chum (thanks Gord Turner @StormLeaf for making yourself a mental note) using the term sherbet Lemmys but please do join in. I’m also trying to get the ten pound note referred to as a persuasion but that’s a side quest.

Recently Snaggletooth has licked a sherbet Lemmy, chomped burger flavour crisps, eaten rock from Birmingham, the Home Of Metal (check out the Black Sabbath Exhibition if you haven’t already, it’s wonderful!) and had some dark chocolate. Yum!