AC/DC Live wish list – Why so underplayed? Spotify Playlist

AC/DC live – Why So Underplayed?

It is either with great sadness or with a degree of relief, that we have to accept that we probably won’t be seeing AC/DC on a stadium filling world tour ever again. Maybe that depends on your point of view over their last tour and no doubt you have an opinion. Personally, I reckon that it’s Angus’s decision and Angus’s alone. But if this is the end then above anything else we all need to say a huge thanks. Yet amongst the great times, is it wrong of us to have wanted more? For the band to have played the occasional deep-album cut? We are not owed a thing by AC/DC, but we can’t help dreaming. So that’s where this playlist takes us. The tracks that should have made it a little more often.

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)

This might just be the most criminal omission of all. Who doesn’t love this track? Who doesn’t love it more than The Jack? In Australia, it was named it the 9th greatest Aussie song ever recorded by the Australian Performing Rights Association. OK, so Slim Dusty, Men At Work and Crowded House occupying numbers 5, 4 and 7 respectively somewhat undermines the credibility of the list, but still.

The admittedly flawed SetlistFM is showing that it hasn’t received a live airing since 1979!! Maybe it’s the bagpipes? Surely that is no excuse? In the only other rock song I can think of right now with bagpipes in it (no, not Mull of Kintyre), The Wildhearts’ Give The Girl A Gun, when Ginger wanted to play it live for the first time in years he just asked his fans. A kid from Belfast then jumped on a RyanAir flight with his pipes in return for no more than a bar tab and the chance to play on stage with his heroes. So imagine if Angus asked?

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Anyway, please Angus, pretty please, just one last time play It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll) .

Riff Raff

Before it was added towards the end of the Rock or Bust tour, Riff Raff had had just one outing since 1979 (and that was a VH1 special and so not really a proper gig). So there is only one single take of Brian Johnson singing possibly my favourite AC/DC track. That’s mind boggling. Maybe Brian just didn’t love it that much? Maybe he didn’t think his voice worked for it? Who knows? Either way, despite pumping out some of the greatest live performances in rock n’ roll, can we honestly say that none of them could be improved by dropping The Jack in favour of Riff Raff? Even just once in a while.

Touch Too Much

From what we can tell, until Axl/DC added it to the Rock Or Bust tour, Touch Too Much had not been played since 1979. Of course, with Bon dying so soon after recording it there was never much opportunity for him to play it live. But for it to be ignored on every single one of Brian’s set lists, is astounding.

Live Wire

When Axl Rose hooked up with AC/DC to enable them to finish up the Rock Or Bust World Tour plenty of people had a lot to say about it (for what it’s worth, in my opinion, NO ONE has the right to tell Angus Young – as in THE ANGUS YOUNG – a man who has done more for our record collections than pretty much anyone else, what he can or can’t do) but the one thing that even those that were most vocal in their objections duly nodded their appreciation at was that it was Axl that instigated some much-loved tracks getting their first airing in decades. One such track was Live Wire. Not played since 1982!!! 35 years without playing one of their greatest songs? Thanks Axl, we owe you a beer for that one.

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You Ain’t Gotta Hold Of Me

What? Never heard of it. Well, that’s because it was only on the original Australian release of High Voltage. It was striped from the international release and not heard of again until the ’74 Jailbreak EP. Even the mammoth Backtracks rarities collection didn’t feature it. What makes You Ain’t Gotta Hold Of Me such a gem for AC/DC fans is also the reason that we’ll never hear it again live. Hear that lead guitar? Tone sound a bit different? Well that’s because it’s not Angus’s Gibson. It’s Malcolm’s Gretsch. To the best of our knowledge You Ain’t Gotta Hold Of Me is Malcolm Young’s only step forward to take lead.

Who Made Who

Now hear us out before you stop reading. Forget the cheesy 80s production and subdued guitars (was Malcolm even there when it was recorded?). Listen instead to the live versions that surfaced when it was last included as a set regular back in 1991. It always needed to be played at full tilt without worrying about the sonic fashions of it’s mid-80s and on the iconic Razor’s Edge tour we saw what could really be done with it. Set free by the talents of the band’s most technical drummer, Chris Slade* we saw what a live monster it could be. Where Simon Wright had been so constrained in the studio, with Chris holding the sticks, Who Made Who came to life on stage.

(*Chris and his wie are friends of BathroomWall so we are biased, but that doesn’t stop it being true)

Chris Slade of AC/DC pops in for a cuppa tea

AC/DC drummer, Chris Slade is an old pal of BathroomWall (we also do the T-shirts for his solo band, Chris Slade Timeline) and every so often he pops in for a cuppa tea and a jaffa cake

If You Want Blood (You Got It)

Nah, this one gets played every show, right? Nope. What? Wait? Let me get this right. AC/DC hadn’t played If You Want Blood live since forever? Amazingly, that’s true. They didn’t even include it on the live album on the same name, so lord only knows how they make set list decisions? Another one to thank Axl for as it became a semi-regular during his stint having not been played live since 2003 and before that, 1979. I know AC/DC have the most amazing and deep back catalogue but that’s crazier than mid-90s Axl Rose.

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Down Payment Blues

Bon Scott’s ode to his pre-rock star financial problems (poor Bon couldn’t even afford to feed his cat…). When you think of listing AC/DC tracks, Down Payment Blues probably isn’t the first you think of. However it’s still one of their greatest deep album cuts. Full of brooding menace, a signature solo and a stark reminder that for all Bon’s swagger and Angus’s frantic fingers, that its their rhythm section that really set’s AC/DC apart as the greatest.

Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution

Our list is not just classic Bon Scott era tracks. Not a bit of it. When heading out on the road, Brian’s contribution is also left behind too often. The slow building closer to Black In Black has had it’s moments on stage, being a staple of the Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip jaunts, it hasn’t been heard since.

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