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Dirty Deeds

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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap __________________________________________________


EK 80202

1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap  (3:46)

2. Love At First Feel

3. Big Balls  (2:39)

4. Rocker  (2:46)

5. Problem Child  (5:43)

6. There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’  (3:14)

7. Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)  (6:57)

8. Ride On  (5:47)

9. Squealer

All titles A. Young-M. Young-B. Scott
All titles published by J. Albert & Son (USA) Inc. (ASCAP)


Produced by Vanda and Young for Albert Productions

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
By David Wild

Trust me, people, you’re gonna have a ball.  Maybe two.

But before all the sonic pleasure begins, a few important words of warning: The balls to the wall CD that you have just purchased contains songs that are incredibly juvenile, creepily leering, politically incorrect and downright dirty in their thoughts and deeds.  In other words, what we have right here is just about everything that great old great rock & roll was supposed to be back in the first place.  More than a quarter century since this potent and sometimes deviant stack of tracks was first committed to vinyl – ah, sweet, sweet vinyl – this ragged slab of digitally remastered shock rock retains the ability to blow your mind and soil your schoolboy shorts.  Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was music that seemed simultaneously under the counter and over the top – music set to stun and amuse.

Yes, Sweet Virginia, back in the more carefree era of Happy Days – when young Americans first received AC/DC’s helpful but dangerous offer to do Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – this set of songs was truly shocking stuff.  Of course, what the hell did we expect from a band called AC/DC whose resident guitar god wore shorts and whose frontman was the audio equivalent of a horny grin.

From its wonderfully alternative title on, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap suggested that AC/DC was some sort of Aussie rock version of Murder Incorporated, mangy reservoir dogs from Down Under who were uninterested in any salvation beyond that which can be earned with wild electric guitars, a powerful, screeching voice and a whole lotta earthy attitude.

In America, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap turned out to be an unlikely and almost ghostly success story.  These songs were originally recorded in Australia in 1976 with the group’s first, great producers – former Easybeats Harry Vanda and George Young (the older brother of AC/DC’s kick-ass axemen Angus and Malcolm Young).  Overseas Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was released in between the High Voltage and Let There Be Rock albums, but this Bicentennial blast of pure lust and twisted guts was initially passed over for American distribution.  As the result of now obscure matters of taste – somebody somewhere apparently didn’t have any taste – this album went unreleased Over Here for a long dry stretch.

That is until tragedy struck and AC/DC’s indomitable first great frontman Bon Scott died on February 18, 1980 while out on the town drinking.  Death by misadventure, that’s what they called it.  Even in the bitter end, Bon Scott could hardly seem a more authentic rock and roll character.  Deciding to soldier on, the band signed on Brian Johnson as their new lead singer.  The resulting album, Back In Black, was an astounding triumph – it did far more than simply continue the momentum the band had established with 1979’s Highway To Hell – AC/DC’s first million-seller in the United States.  Back In Black would hit #4 on the album charts and sell many millions.  Suddenly the demand for AC/DC product was intense – and so Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was rather belatedly unleashed here with a cleverly tawdry new no-tell motel cover (eyes covered to protect the non-innocent) and a slightly alternate track listing.  Once ignored, Dirty Deeds arose one spot higher than Back In Black’s lofty peak, reaching #3 in May of 1981.  The rapid-fire release of these back-to-back hits further linked Brian Johnson and Bon Scott, as two of a vocal powerhouse kind.

For dirty white boys of a certain age, this was the album to be hidden from mom and other respectable types.  Hearing Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was a rite of passage, kinda like losing your virginity – although in all honesty I do believe listening to this long player took significantly longer than I did.  All these years later, I still can’t get these meaty beaty tunes out of my head and for some reason I still like to wear shorts as often as possible.

Whether you’re listening in long or short pants – or no pants at all, frighteningly - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is literally and figuratively a real blast.  Here’s how it all shapes up – deed by dirty deed:

“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” conjures up the image of the band as a sort of fantastically disreputable gang of pimps and deep discount contract killers.  In other words, it cuts surprisingly close to the wonderful, ugly truth of rock & roll.

“Love At First Feel” is a song about one of rock’s most enduring preoccupations – young blood.  Under age girls have been part of rock legend – and reality – since the beginning.

“Big Balls” – it may be slight exaggeration to call this classic low-brow/high society tale one big double entendre – actually it’s more like a single entendre.  The gang takes sexually loaded naughtiness to new heights – or new lows, depending on which way your head is headed.  That kind of unabashed determination – well, frankly, it takes a lot of balls.

“Rocker” – The eternal youthful spirit of AC/DC is nicely defined in the line in which our title rocker makes this claim: “Got slicked back hair/skin tight jeans/Cadillac car/And a teenage dream.”  Some dreams never die.

“Problem Child” is a lovely yet nasty piece of work – this is sorta like gangsta rap, without the rap part.

“There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’” is a bold statement of intent that just happens to be the perfect concert review of any AC/DC concert – then or now.  Let it rock.

“Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)” is 6:57 of AC/DC freely expressing their collective desire for a little upward financial mobility.  Maybe AC/DC were actually expressing a strongly feminist point of view here – standing up and loudly proclaiming a woman’s place in the workplace.  Then again, maybe not.

“Ride On” is arguably one of the most thoughtful numbers in the AC/DC canon.  With its uncharacteristically mellow moments and the real sense of consequences, “Ride On” is a sort of rock & roll Western, and Scott gives one of his best and most shaded vocals ever.

“Squealer” brings us right back to the beginning with more decidedly dirty deeds being done at what I only imagine are once again bargain rates.

At any price, at any age, these Dirty Deeds remain a real and rowdy bargain.


“Rocker” – Studio version. 
Live version previously released on Atlantic SD 19212 – If You Want Blood You’ve Got It.
“Problem Child” previously released on Atco SD 36-151 – Let There Be Rock.

All selections recorded in 1976.
Originally released as Atlantic 16033 on March 27, 1981.

Digitally Remastered from the original master tapes by George Marino at Sterling Sound
Mastering Supervision: Mike Fraser and Al Quaglieri
Digital Assembly: UE Nastasi

Original Sleeve Design and Photos: Hipgnosis
Original Inner Sleeve Photos: Paul Canty
Reissue Booklet Design: SMAY Vision

Photography: Photos courtesy of Albert Productions: digipak (inside left panel);
Philip Morris: page 2 (middle & bottom photos);
Bob King/Retna: page 3;
Paul Canty/London Features: pages 5 (left), 6 (left), 10 (top), 11 (right), 13;
Michael Putland/Retna: digipak (inside right panel), page 7;
Colin Stead: page 10 (bottom);
London Features: page 15;
Neil Zlozower: booklet back cover

Additional artifacts courtesy Albert Productions and Arnaud Durieux.


This CD takes advantage of ConnecteD technology and will work as a key to unlock exclusive bonus music, videos, photos and more at www.acdcrocks.com





© 1976, 2003 J. Albert & Son (Pty.) Ltd./ (P) 1976 J. Albert & Son (Pty.) Ltd./ Manufactured by Columbia Records, A Division of Sony Music/ 550 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022-3211/ “Columbia” Reg. U.S. Pat. & Tm. Off. Marca Registrada/ WARNING: All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.

EPIC EK 80202

This package consists of previously released material.
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