The Best Song From Every AC/DC Album
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 31: Angus Young (C), Brian Johnson (R) and Dave Evans (L) perform on stage at Vicente Calderon stadium on May 31, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Dominating The Charts and Airwaves For Decades
For over four decades, AC/DC has blessed us with an excellent catalogue of music. They gave us one classic hit after another and so it wasn’t long before they became household names. These bad boys from Australia proved they were more than just another band when they showed resiliency amidst several hurdles they encountered on their way to the proverbial top of the rock ‘n roll chain. Long past their heyday, they remain iconic figures not just in rock but even in pop culture.
From 1975-2014, their albums sold millions of copies worldwide. Excluding the live albums, we’re picking out the BEST song in every studio album.
1. High Voltage [Australia] (1975) – “Soul-Stripper”
It’s AC/DC at their funkiest. Even if they haven’t found their sound yet, their old school tunes are still pretty impressive all things considered.
2. T.N.T. (1975) – “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”
It’s Bon Scott’s signature song but more than that, it perfectly described the band’s struggles when they were starting out. They started performing in smaller venues but after a few years, they were selling out stadiums. Plus, Scott played bagpipes here so there’s that.
3. High Voltage (1976) – “High Voltage”
Their first international release, the title track is the perfect song to ‘introduce’ the band to fans outside of Australia. And it describes their live performances too – electrifying.
4. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976) – “Ride On”
Vastly different from all their other songs, “Ride On” has that bluesy feel almost like a ballad. Bon Scott didn’t disappoint with his soulful delivery.
5. Let There Be Rock (1977) – “Whole Lotta Rosie”
A fan favorite – the song is about Bon Scott’s one-night stand with an obese Tasmanian woman. According to the song, even is she’s “Weighing in at nineteen stone,” she’s the “Only one that turn me on all through the night.”
It’s not exactly the most fun lyrics but it’s the song that helped them achieve worldwide fame. Besides, it remains a staple in their repertoire.
6. Powerage (1978) – “Down Payment Blues”
One of their under-appreciated albums, the songs aren’t just about sex and alcohol. But through this record, we slowly get to see how AC/DC’s sound was formed. “Down Payment Blues” was the highlight – from the buildup to Scott’s vocal performance, it’s an absolute gem.
7. Highway to Hell (1979) – “Highway to Hell”
It’s the last album that featured Bon Scott. “Highway to Hell” was the song that propelled them towards international stardom thanks in part to the iconic riffs from the Young brothers. This track became an instant classic and 40 years later, younger musicians are still rocking out to it.
8. Back in Black (1980) – “Back in Black”
“Back in Black” is a treasure trove of legendary tunes but its centerpiece remains the title track. After Scott passed away a few months before this was released, AC/DC decided to honor him in the most Bon Scott way possible – by creating the most explosive, energetic, and electrifying tune on their catalogue. That raw, primal power is what AC/DC is all about.
9. For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981) – “For Those About to Rock We Salute You”
Inspired by the Roman ancient salute, it may not have the same punch as their stronger songs but this is still one of the greatest rock anthems in existence.
10. Flick of the Switch (1983) – “Guns for Hire”
Although it’s not their finest record, this album still has its moments including “Guns for Hire” which pales in comparison to “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black” but still monstrous for all that.
11. Fly on the Wall (1985) – “Sink the Pink”
One of the most unfairly overlooked and misunderstood rock albums, “Fly on the Wall” received harsh reviews from critics and AC/DC purists. It didn’t have the same punch as its predecessors but it still contained the raw energy we loved from the band. In “Sink the Pink,” Angus Young lets loose with his face-melting riffs. It’s edgy and still has that balls-to-the-wall attitude.
12. Blow Up Your Video (1988) – “Heatseeker”
This album has a few fillers which are decent but still forgettable. The two standouts are “Heatseeker” and “That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll” which have the same AC/DC elements fans love.
13. The Razors Edge (1990) – “Thunderstruck”
After a few failed attempts at reclaiming their throne, AC/DC finally struck gold with their lead single “Thunderstruck.” It’s the song that helped them sell over five million copies of The Razors Edge and has remained a fan favorite.
14. Ballbreaker (1995) – “Hard as Rock”
It’s your classic AC/DC sound. Ballbreaker is the album that’s greater than the sum of its parts. While individually, the songs seem like watered-down versions of their monster hits, it’s still a good record especially since on a closer look, there are no bad songs.
15. Stiff Upper Lip (2000) – “Stiff Upper Lip”
AC/DC recaptured their old magic with this album as they went back to their roots. There are numerous gems including several bluesy numbers. Fans were bursting with excitement when this was released because long past their prime, they were still dominating rock ‘n roll.
16. Black Ice (2008) – “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train”
This rousing and catchy number is the best way to open this album. It takes us back to their glory days and no matter what the critics say, Brian Johnson’s vocals are stronger than ever.
17. Rock or Bust (2014) – “Rock or Bust”
Almost four decades after their first album, AC/DC proved they were far from being passé. They came back with a bang! It has the markings of a typical AC/DC record – full of angst, highly unapologetic, and aggressive. It’s straight-up rock ‘n roll.