AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock" Turns 40 Years Old!

March 22, 2017

Stuart Miles |

AC/DC's 4th studio album (and second U.S. release), "Let There Be Rock" was released on March 21st, 1977...40 YEARS AGO! For this release, the Young Brothers and BON SCOTT approached the recording sessions with the same attitude and ferocious brand of rock and boogie that defined their first 3 albums, and the entire recording process took only a few weeks to complete. GEORGE YOUNG, the older brother of both Angus & Malcolm, was again the producer for "Let There Be Rock," and he oversaw the same 'procedure' for recording the album as he had done with the previous 3, namely, fast, furious and inspired. "Let There Be Rock" was pretty much the album that positioned AC/DC for the 'global domination' that they would soon achieve, but it wasn't because of any new approach or difference in the way they wrote & performed songs...rather, it was a direct result of the band's unwavering belief and faith in their music, and the dedicated efforts that they put in towards that goal. In the book "Highway To Hell: The Life & Times of AC/DC Legend Bon Scott," (Macmillan, 1994) the singer, addressing the question of if their fans should expect anything different after AC/DC's first 3 LPs, said that everything was "business as usual," and "that’s all there is, there’s no more than that. You play what you were brought up on, what you believe in.  It's also speculated that, for this particular recording, the band was motivated in part by the refusal of their record company (Atlantic Records) to release their 3rd album, "Dirty Deeds..." in the U.S. because they (the record company) felt that the album was 'sub-par.'  So, AC/DC was a might "angry," and and they poured that anger and frustration into the recording sessions. It should also be noted that AC/DC didn't waste time with 'demos'; all their songs were cut 'live' in the studio, with the band sometimes working endlessly on the 'groove,' whether it took 10 minutes or 10 hours. And once they did 'lock in,' there was no interrupting the process! This particular fact has been reinforced over the years with the anecdote (from producer GEORGE YOUNG) that during the recording of ANGUS YOUNG's guitar solo, his amp overheated and caught fire in the studio, but that DIDN'T keep the band from finishing the take! Of that episode, George Young said, “There was no way we were going to stop a s— hot performance for a technical reason like amps blowing up!”

In addition to the locomotive power & tempo of the title song, "Let There Be Rock" also contained a bunch of songs that would become AC/DC 'standards:' "Whole Lotta Rose," "Bad Boy Boogie," & "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be."  Rock On!