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    • AC/DC rock music: Cannon
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    When I first got started with the band I never considered production really. I heard great songs, some of which I likes more or less. I knew different albums had their own sound (hello Fly, Video, and TRE) but I didn't necessarily think they had bad production (knew nothing about it anyway), I just thought "this is the sound, and how the band made it and wanted it".
    It wasn't until the internet came along with newsgroups and forums, that I paid any attention to production, that being when I'd see all of the threads debating such. It was then that all of a sudden instead of a production being "unique" to my ears on any given album, it then became "bad" or "good". Those opinions then sometimes made me take another listen, make me critical, and sometimes kill enjoyment of something I'd always liked. The same concept applies to lyric criticism.

    It was sort of like the completely happy fat kid, not realizing he was fat and being content, becoming aware of themselves through a nasty comment on the playground.

    At the end of the day if you like it, then to hell with the rest.....
    But are any others in my boat? Or do my comments make anyone think "hey I did enjoy that album/track at one time....until other opinions made me stop and analyze it .....".

    I KNOW this is a forum. It's partly for debate. And I love it, and reading opinions. But to what degree do we analyze AC/DC? They're a fun RnR band ....more fun than any other. It's not deep or supposed to be.

    Jerry Lee, Lil Richard, Chuck...really........some of the greatest RnR music ever..... but in most cases there's no rich production, and the lyrics are nonsense too.
    Whole Lotta Shakin. I consider this true RnR at it's finest ....but really....."we got chicken in the barn". WTH? Really? Is that line any more absurd than "lettuce on top"?

    Just some rambling food for thought...have a great weekend folks!
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    Interesting post, Cannon.

    For sure I remember years ago, it wasn't discussed in quite the same way, there was less understanding of what made a production good or bad, when I was at college...it was more just realising albums sounded different to one-another.

    However, with time, and musical understanding (playing in bands and things) I do recall starting to note things which didn't seem quite right in one release compared to another. And I became very aware of overly commercial, sugary sounding stuff and not liking it at all.

    With lyrics though, I do remember even from way back being irritated by naff lyrics.
  1.  
    The first time I thought something was lacking when lstening to a newly released AC/DC album was BUYV. The sound of that album was less powerful than I was used to. I listened to albums in headphones often so it was apparent.

    I don't care about the lyrics of AC/DC. They have always been good enough to me. The lads are intelligent and don't release sub-par material compared to other bands. Bon's lyrics were obviously great. Nobody wrote like him. The old rock n' roll and blues songs sometimes also had lyrics that could be considered nonsensical. It is the way many times how the words are phrased that is key. I don't care about sexual innuendo either. It is only rock n' roll and all good rock n' roll has this ingredient. It is fun.
  2.  
    Of course, there is no objective "good" or "bad" when it comes to production/lyrics, it's just that comparisons can be drawn between things like Fly and things like BIB, and, through an understanding of which one sold MANY more copies and got much more radio airplay, you can tell that something's off with Fly. That doesn't necessarily make it bad, but people just realize that it's different than what made the band popular, and what they love so dearly, that it becomes a bit like "wtf is this". Of course, many love Fly because of the songwriting, and even the production has gained a following because of its uniqueness and its unpleasantness. The main criticism with Fly's production for me isn't that it's unpleasant, but that it's unclear on the vocal, bass, and drum side of things. They seem to be bleeding all over each other, and I wish they were louder in the mix.

    Back on point, though. I totally understand where you're coming from, as I could see the same thing happening with me. Whether I'm lucky or unlucky for this, I was told that the production of Fly and Video were shit before I even heard them, so I had an opinion going in that I didn't even make for myself. Your experience was quite the opposite, but the best thing I can say is that you like what you like, and you dislike what you dislike. Everybody's guilty of disliking something because of a perceived "wrongness" with it that might not even be fair, and I think Fly falls victim to that (at least publicly), but criticism is nothing but fair.

    As for lyrics, I wouldn't really care about that. Everybody saying that Young/Young lyrics are not so good are correct (at least in comparison to Bon), but does it matter? Pure rock and roll has never been meaningful, and while having deeper meaning is in no way a downside, it is also in no way necessary to make a song good. Young/Young lyrics are so daft that you can almost imagine Mal and Angus giving you a big wink while listening to it, but I couldn't really see ACDC doing anything else. They've always been a good time band, and those lyrics are entertaining in their stupidity. I do think there's a line to be crossed, though - the lyrics on RTBA aren't just jokingly bad, they are actually cringeworthy.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinEverybody saying that Young/Young lyrics are not so good are correct (at least in comparison to Bon), but does it matter?


    Would it matter if Gone Shootin' were called John Bootin' (song about a footballer and his g/f) and the lyrics were very similar to Cover You In Oil? Same quality song?

    How about if Sin City were called Bin Pity (song about a girl who didn't put the rubbish out) and the lyrics were very similar to some other Y&Y song? Same quality song?
  3.  
    Posted By: 900
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinEverybody saying that Young/Young lyrics are not so good are correct (at least in comparison to Bon), but does it matter?


    Would it matter if Gone Shootin' were called John Bootin' (song about a footballer and his g/f) and the lyrics were very similar to Cover You In Oil? Same quality song?

    How about if Sin City were called Bin Pity (song about a girl who didn't put the rubbish out) and the lyrics were very similar to some other Y&Y song? Same quality song?
    No they wouldn't be the same quality, but what I'm saying is that lyrics aren't necessary to make or break an ACDC song. Rosie is, bluntly speaking, about fucking a fat girl, but that's one of the most loved songs in their catalog.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinNo they wouldn't be the same quality, but what I'm saying is that lyrics aren't necessary to make or break an ACDC song. Rosie is, bluntly speaking, about fucking a fat girl, but that's one of the most loved songs in their catalog.


    True but Rosie's lyrics are vastly superior to those of Love Bomb or something.

    There are so many musically great tracks since 1990 which have become totally unmemorable. and I think some of these would be held in much higher esteem with good song titles and writing.

    But, your view is shared by other people, so each to his own I guess.
  4.  
    Posted By: 900
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinNo they wouldn't be the same quality, but what I'm saying is that lyrics aren't necessary to make or break an ACDC song. Rosie is, bluntly speaking, about fucking a fat girl, but that's one of the most loved songs in their catalog.


    True but Rosie's lyrics are vastly superior to those of Love Bomb or something.

    There are so many musically great tracks since 1990 which have become totally unmemorable. and I think some of these would be held in much higher esteem with good song titles and writing.

    But, your view is shared by other people, so each to his own I guess.
    I can agree that it certainly would have made the tracks better, but the music itself has always been the key ingredient to good ACDC.

    I suppose there's a good way of writing about meaningless topics and a bad way. Bon's lyrics were always clever, no matter the topic, while Y/Y was the opposite of subtle, even if both were talking about rock and roll, sex, kicking ass, or things of the sort.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinI can agree that it certainly would have made the tracks better, but the music itself has always been the key ingredient to good ACDC.


    It starts with good music, but again, so many songs diminished, or downright ruined - Honeyroll for example.

    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinI suppose there's a good way of writing about meaningless topics and a bad way. Bon's lyrics were always clever, no matter the topic, while Y/Y was the opposite of subtle, even if both were talking about rock and roll, sex, kicking ass, or things of the sort.


    Yeah but the missing bit there is Brian - plenty of songs about sex, drugs and rock n roll, but done with a bit of class.

    Hell - even the Scorpions have written (mostly) good lyrics over the years, and they're German!
  5.  
    Without great lyrics a song can never be truely great (unless it's instrumental of course!). I don't know about all the old time rockers mentioned in the OP, but Chuck surely had great and clever lyrics. "Roll over Beethoven", it's about rock 'n' roll but the title itself is enough to give you goosebumps because of its godliness.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 28th 2019
     
    Posted By: soulstripper666Without great lyrics a song can never be truely great


    Agree... Maybe there are some exceptions, but I can't think of any.

    Posted By: soulstripper666"Roll over Beethoven"


    Post 90s AC/DC would be more likely to write "Bend Over Beethoven"
  6.  
    Thunderstruck is a great song. Lyrics not great, but effective for the purpose of the song.
  7.  
    Posted By: CannonIt was sort of like the completely happy fat kid, not realizing he was fat and being content, becoming aware of themselves through a nasty comment on the playground.

    At the end of the day if you like it, then to hell with the rest.....
    But are any others in my boat? Or do my comments make anyone think "hey I did enjoy that album/track at one time....until other opinions made me stop and analyze it .....".


    Haha, that is a great analogy!

    I mean, yes to some degree, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying them.

    Posted By: 900
    It starts with good music, but again, so many songs diminished, or downright ruined - Honeyroll for example.


    Honestly, I love Honey Roll, but I listen to Brian as just another instrument basically; don't even think about what words he's forming and you'll enjoy the song much more. Musically, it's a really good song, with that funky, intricate main riff, that utterly meat and potatoes verse riff where Mal just punches each chord in the face, a cool Riff-Raff-esque bridge before an excellent solo by Angus and a wonderfully building outro topped by another great solo.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: 7seven
    • Sep 29th 2019 edited
     
    I've started listening to Ac/Dc in 1990 as i was 8 years "Young" and i was born in germany. So i couldn't understand the lyrics and i don't care at all. I just rocked the fuck out :-) Later i found out about some bloody cool "toilet wall poetry" by Bon and loved it even more. I also found out about some lyrics you can flush straight through the toilet, haha... But in the end when we talk about Ac/Dc the lyrics are not that important when the music gets me.

    Similar with the productions, as a 8 year old kid who listens to most stuff for the first time i didn't care for studio perfection, at least me doesn't care as i was young.

    Now i'm 37 and all that matters is that i still can listen to nearly all of their songs, good/bad production or poetry/gibberish lyrics, as long as the music gets me. What a gift ...
  8.  
    Posted By: MyCubiclePenguinBack on point, though. I totally understand where you're coming from, as I could see the same thing happening with me. Whether I'm lucky or unlucky for this, I was told that the production of Fly and Video were shit before I even heard them, so I had an opinion going in that I didn't even make for myself. Your experience was quite the opposite, but the best thing I can say is that you like what you like, and you dislike what you dislike. Everybody's guilty of disliking something because of a perceived "wrongness" with it that might not even be fair, and I think Fly falls victim to that (at least publicly), but criticism is nothing but fair.

    That's what I said back in the FOTW topic, I think the album was written down in history as "bad" and this opinion got passed on to the next generations as absolute truth, to the point that a lot of people didn't even listen to the album or felt embarassed of saying that they liked it. Luckily I always had strong opinions so in general I follow my own rules when it comes to what I like and what I don't.
    In regards to the lyrics, the Young/Young ones are usually pretty terrible, especially on later albums like "Black Ice" (I think "Ballbreaker" still had a few nice ideas lyrically). I don't understand when they write stuff like "Give it all, give it, Give it what you got/Come on give it all a lot/Pick it up move it/Give it to the spot", it seems like they're just writing random stuff to follow a vocal line and make it sound good, without giving the song a real meaning. It sounds akin to phonetical singing, if you know what I mean. Luckily english language is not my mother tongue so somehow I can ignore lyrics while listening to the songs if I want, but still it's a bit depressing considering how good and memorable Bon's lyrics used to be for instance. Even Brian's lyrics in the 80s had their moments.
  9.  
    Brian's lyrics dropped in quality when the band ended their working relationship with Mutt Lange and then Tony Platt. Coincidence?
  10.  
    Posted By: mutt_langes_permBrian's lyrics dropped in quality when the band ended their working relationship with Mutt Lange and then Tony Platt. Coincidence?

    In those years probably the input on the lyrics was collective, ideas from the Youngs thrown in with some of Brians' and then the producers changed things here and there to make them fit the vocal lines better.
    • AC/DC rock music: Rocco
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: mutt_langes_permBrian's lyrics dropped in quality when the band ended their working relationship with Mutt Lange and then Tony Platt. Coincidence?


    That's not true IMO. To me his best lyrics are on BUYV. I also think his lyrics on FOTS are very good and not inferior to those on BIB and FTATR.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: Venom InjectorI don't understand when they write stuff like "Give it all, give it, Give it what you got/Come on give it all a lot/Pick it up move it/Give it to the spot", it seems like they're just writing random stuff to follow a vocal line and make it sound good, without giving the song a real meaning.


    Even worse is the feeling that they thought "that'll do....the kids will dig that..." - as if the lyrics having fuck-all apparent meaning were hiding some genuine meaning. It's almost patronising, and it's a great shame.

    Posted By: RoccoThat's not true IMO. To me his best lyrics are on BUYV. I also think his lyrics on FOTS are very good and not inferior to those on BIB and FTATR.


    I like his lyrics on those records as well, nicely done.
  11.  
    Posted By: Rocco
    Posted By: mutt_langes_permBrian's lyrics dropped in quality when the band ended their working relationship with Mutt Lange and then Tony Platt. Coincidence?


    That's not true IMO. To me his best lyrics are on BUYV. I also think his lyrics on FOTS are very good and not inferior to those on BIB and FTATR.

    I kinda like the lyrics on FOTS actually. When the Youngs took over you could definitely notice that Brian's lyrics were not too bad after all.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: Cannondo my comments make anyone think "hey I did enjoy that album/track at one time....until other opinions made me stop and analyze it .....".
    No, not really.
  12.  
    You guys need to listen to Go Zone and Ruff Stuff. Then get back to me. :)

    I stated that Brian's lyrics dipped in quality after the band stopped working with Mutt Lange AND Tony Platt. Tony Platt engineered FOTS, so I would consider FOTS to be in the good pile when it comes to lyrics (just not as good as BIB and FTATR).
    Something definitely changed after FOTS...
    • AC/DC rock music: Rocco
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: mutt_langes_permYou guys need to listen to Go Zone and Ruff Stuff. Then get back to me. :)

    I stated that Brian's lyrics dipped in quality after the band stopped working with Mutt Lange AND Tony Platt. Tony Platt engineered FOTS, so I would consider FOTS to be in the good pile when it comes to lyrics (just not as good as BIB and FTATR).
    Something definitely changed after FOTS...


    Nothing wrong with the lyrics to Ruff Stuff for me. And citing Go Zone as a general decline in his lyric writing is like stating Bon's lyrics on Powerage were shit because of Kicked In The Teeth. Go and check the lyrics to Meanstreak, TTIWRNR, NOT, SSFN or TMW. They are all great. The lyrics to the song WMW are brilliant too. And I really don't think Platt had that much of a hand in the lyric department. As you said, he was "only" the engineer.
  13.  
    Posted By: mutt_langes_permBrian's lyrics dropped in quality when the band ended their working relationship with Mutt Lange and then Tony Platt. Coincidence?


    A few other things dropped in quality as well.

    Honestly, I think success had quite a bit to do with it. What I mean is their story changed, the harder times of the struggle in making it is more fruitful than when they were enjoying the benefits of that labour and wealth changed their experiences and material to draw upon.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    As a non native English speaker, i'm not directly offended by bad lyrics (It's hard to understand what Bon or Brian sang in the first place)
    For me it's more or less syllables and words that work well together with the music that counts. So i don't have any problems with R&R Train.
    If there is also a good story to tell than that's a bonus but not a must have.

    There are two exceptions though: Blow My Mind and Beat Your Chest.
    • AC/DC rock music: savsav
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    What disappoints me is that it seems Brian was happy to sing any old lyrics that Angus and Malcolm came up with. It’s sad because Brian is capable of writing good lyrics . I’m not sure if Brian didn’t want to or the Youngs just froze him out of the writing it’s a shame either way
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: ThankassThere are two exceptions though: Blow My Mind and Beat Your Chest.


    There has also been a weirdly cringeworthy theme of shouting and 'out loud':

    Rock Your Heart Out: "Throw your fists up, shout your mouth out"

    Rock The House: "I'm gonna yell out, she's gonna shout"

    Give It Up: "Stick it up, shout it loud"

    Rock The Blues Away: "Tellin' jokes out loud, laughin' with the crowd"

    Rock The Blues Away: "I hear some great rock sounds, that make you want to sing out loud"
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: benji
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: 900
    Posted By: ThankassThere are two exceptions though: Blow My Mind and Beat Your Chest.


    There has also been a weirdly cringeworthy theme of shouting and 'out loud':

    Rock Your Heart Out: "Throw your fists up, shout your mouth out"

    Rock The House: "I'm gonna yell out, she's gonna shout"

    Give It Up: "Stick it up, shout it loud"

    Rock The Blues Away: "Tellin' jokes out loud, laughin' with the crowd"

    Rock The Blues Away: "I hear some great rock sounds, that make you want to sing out loud"


    Don’t forget the “come on and shout it out loud” in Play Ball lol
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: benjiDon’t forget the “come on and shout it out loud” in Play Ball lol


    LoL, fuck I had a feeling I'd missed one! JFC, that is crazy. Talk about recycling toilet paper...
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Grim177
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Rock Your Heart Out: "Feel her shout loud"
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: Grim177Rock Your Heart Out: "Feel her shout loud"


    Fucking hell, you're right - I'm not sure I've ever even realised that's what's sung there.

    Wow, just mad. Bad enough recycling, but to do it within songs? That's honky-tonk, honk-tonkingly insane. TERRIBLE songwriting.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Inferno
    • Sep 30th 2019 edited
     










    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    ^BoL
  14.  
    Does High Voltage count?
  15.  
    Posted By: MeanstreakThunderstruck is a great song. Lyrics not great, but effective for the purpose of the song.


    Sure the lyrics work somewhat, although the song would've been better if they'd been more coherent. As it is the the two verses seem to have nothing in common. First some lines about a railroad accident, and then in the second verse it's about a band touring the States meeting with girls in Texas? What do these things have in common and what do they have to do with being struck by thunder?
  16.  
    On a side note, I was thinking that "Rock or Bust" album lyrics are probably all Angus' work, considering Malcolm was already very ill. While it's reasonable that riffs were partially co-written by him over the years, I doubt the Youngs have also an archive for lyrics, especially since they appear to be written after the song structures are completed.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Sep 30th 2019
     
    Posted By: soulstripper666Sure the lyrics work somewhat, although the song would've been better if they'd been more coherent. As it is the the two verses seem to have nothing in common. First some lines about a railroad accident, and then in the second verse it's about a band touring the States meeting with girls in Texas? What do these things have in common and what do they have to do with being struck by thunder?


    I remember blasting it out all the time when I worked in a warehouse years ago, and this chap there, who became a close friend, yelled out one time "He's singing about NOTHING!" - really unimpressed!

    The good side of the tale is he eventually started asking me to put the track on, got massively into them, and came with me to see them at Wembley. We got fucking mashed beforehand and had a right old laugh.
  17.  
    To they guy who said that Brian's lyrics dropped in quality after Platt left. That's simply not true. Try reading them instead of listening to them. Personally I think BiB is far from Brian's strongest effort lyrical-wise. Mostly on that album the lyrics are an effort of being in the style of Bon, but lacking his finesse. On FTATR Brian carved out a new style wich worked perfect with the heavier style on the album. On FOTS and FOTW the lyrics were more light-hearted again, probably because he was asked to stay away from deep stuff like Spellbound. On BUYV he was experimenting once again with great results. It's a pity that his era as a lyricist ended there.

    To the guy who didn't know if Brian stopped writing voluntary or not. Considering the figures you surely get if you're credited as one composer of an AC/DC song I'm sure noone in their right mind would opt to step away ... And please don't mention Brian's divorce :-)
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Oct 1st 2019 edited
     
    Posted By: soulstripper666
    Posted By: MeanstreakThunderstruck is a great song. Lyrics not great, but effective for the purpose of the song.


    Sure the lyrics work somewhat, although the song would've been better if they'd been more coherent. As it is the the two verses seem to have nothing in common. First some lines about a railroad accident, and then in the second verse it's about a band touring the States meeting with girls in Texas? What do these things have in common and what do they have to do with being struck by thunder?
    They were touring the US by train in 1988. Brian got stuck with his foot while hurrying to a fish and chips shop he spotted at the other side of the track. When playing in Dallas they met some Texas gals and had a wild party (the trigger for Brian's divorce). After the tour Angus flew back to Duesseldorf (closest airport to his hometown Aalten). Above Germany his plane was struck by lightning.

    It's all logical.
  18.  
    I mean, you could probably interpret the caught on a railroad track as some kind of metaphor.
    • AC/DC rock music: Mike206
    • Oct 1st 2019
     
    My cat could write better lyrics than this,
    Drivin' in my car
    Headed for the local bar
    Pickin' up my girl tonight
    Everything is gonna be alright
    Shootin' pool with my friends
    Smokin' cigarettes
    Tellin' jokes out loud
    We're laughing way too proud
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Inferno
    • Oct 1st 2019
     
    I think it's "laughing with the crowd". Which then makes it's way better. : )
  19.  
    Posted By: Mike206My cat could write better lyrics than this,
    Drivin' in my car
    Headed for the local bar
    Pickin' up my girl tonight
    Everything is gonna be alright
    Shootin' pool with my friends
    Smokin' cigarettes
    Tellin' jokes out loud
    We're laughing way too proud


    Nothing wrong with those lyrics. At least get them right. I can identify with them probably more than a nu-metal song or something. Of course nothing spectacular and it is somewhat banal, but who has the time to care about things like that? The lyrics are quite picturesque, about a guy going out a night enjoying the simple things in life. I associate the lyrics to a 1950's kind of setting. It could have been written during that era. The lyrics are also suitable to the music which has elements of the sounds from that time.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    Posted By: MeanstreakI associate the lyrics to a 1950's kind of setting. It could have been written during that era.


    That's an interesting thought, it has that sense of 'olden days' innocence. But the lyrics to That's The Way I Wanna Rock n Roll, which has the 50s vibe, have a touch of class to them. Whereas these on RTBA seem infantile, to me anyway.
    • AC/DC rock music: Cannon
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    The lyrics to RTBA aren't "Powerage poetry", but they do make perfect sense.
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    Posted By: CannonThe lyrics to RTBA aren't "Powerage poetry", but they do make perfect sense.


    That's true. Especially the "telling jokes out loud" bit. A lesser band / songwriter would have got that all wrong and said "telling jokes but somehow not out loud" or something.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: DrBelford
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    Nothing wrong with that line. It just emphasises the relaxed atmosphere described in the song (meaning: Nobody needs to talk in a lowered voice).
    • AC/DC rock music: 900
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    Well in that case why not "shout out jokes out loud" thereby making it more of a raucous atmosphere?
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: DrBelford
    • Oct 2nd 2019 edited
     
    But wouldn't "shouting jokes" (=raucous) take a little away from the "laid back" mood the song is trying to convey?

    It doesn't exactly come across like a "party hard" kinda song to me.
    •  
      AC/DC rock music: Thankass
    • Oct 2nd 2019
     
    The lyrics togther with the springsteen esque music makes it cheesy for me. It somehow creates a way too artificial dad rock vibe. Let alone the video clip. It lacks ac/dc menace.

    I could imagine the lyrics underneath TTWIWRR's music. Would work better imo.