The SECRET Behind AC/DC’s Success!
The Steakhouse Parable!
Now, there’s not really a whole lot that can be analyzed when analyzing AC/DC. I could easily just say that they are a rock solid band that have been making great hard rock songs for over 40 years and then call it a day, but I’m paid hourly, so I kinda have to make the most of my time, so here we go.
AC/DC started what would be their illustrious careers in 1973, during the time period where the hard rock scene was already to just fine, to say the least. They started out simply as what they are today, a hard rock band that wrote and performed consistently good hard rock songs. Now if you haven’t heard any of AC/DC‘s songs, first of all, how are you here? Second of all, to sum up what they sound like, they write fairly simple hard rock songs with straight forward beats and riffs. Other bands from this time period the AC/DC could consider their competition were bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Beatles (still), The Rolling Stones among many many others. Competition was certainly stiff…
So how is it that even with all these rhythmically and instrumentally phenomenal bands that were known for their complex instrumentation that AC/DC was able to stand out as much as they did? Well, let’s look at it this way. DISCLAIMER: I am not saying by any stretch of the imagination that the other bands mentioned aren’t still amazing and that their music isn’t still great today, this example is purely by way of comparison and that alone! Okay, now then…
Imagine you’ve lived on the same street for 10 years. Right across the street from you are three restaurants. The first two buildings have been homes to ever changing restaurants that are ones that are always hip and try to stay up to date on the latest trend. They constantly change what restaurant they are and have for the past 10 years, and the third one is an old simple steakhouse. The steakhouse gets maybe about 100 customers a day on a consistent basis and has for the past 10 years. The other two restaurants, when a new ones come around, they have a big initial boom of business because they have appealed to the latest trend. The Steakhouse keeps at the same fluctuation of business. The other two restaurants don’t realize is that trends eventually die out, thus they are losing business, but the Steakhouse is still its consistent customer base. So out go the old other two restaurants, and in come the new, but it’s wash rinse repeat. The Steakhouse prevails because consistency is key!
AC/DC is is the Steakhouse in this example except for one small detail. They don’t just have a consistent fanbase, they have an expanding fanbase. Their consistency is the secret to their success. They appeal to a much broader audience by making music that is easily digestible, pun completely intended. They have never alienated their audience by making things too complex or trying to capitalize on a trend. They are the innovators of making a lot of money for fairly easy work (excluding touring, merchandising etc.). So you can keep your flashy trendy chocolate soufflé, I’ll have me some good old fashioned steak!