AC/DC released “Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap” at right time

I’m not much of an AC/DC fan. Don’t love them. Don’t hate them. But they did hold my ear at different parts in my life.

One album stands out among the rest.

I was introduced to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap more than 20 years ago. And I believe it contains two of the band’s best songs.

Aside from the title track – a fitting classic in its own right – “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire)” and “Ride On” remain at the pinnacle for me.

Listed back-to-back on the sleeve at No. 7 and 8, respectively, they’re two songs that pleasantly stray from the AC/DC formula. Of course “Squealer” eventually brings you back to that place to finish things up, and in grand fashion, but let’s try to stay focused here.

Dirty Deeds is the only AC/DC album I have in my collection. That’s partially why I was surprised to have learned something new about it earlier this week.

For starters, the album was recorded and circulated in 1976 but not released in the United States until five years later, after lead singer Bon Scott had already died.

Over a three-year stretch from 1979-81 the band released eerily-titled Highway to Hell, had Scott die in February 1980, then recruited Brian Jonson as singer and shot to No. 4 on the charts with the release of Back in Black.

AC/DC fever was never so high. Then like a genius, someone figured it was ideal time to finally release Dirty Deeds, which went on to reach No. 3 on the charts by May 1981.

That meant AC/DC had two albums with two different singers dominating the rock world back in those Dirty Deeds days. That’s an impressive reversal of fortunes for the remaining members, and a fitting tribute to the one that was left behind.

(“Ride On” video by Kindly 4Real, featuring demolition derby competition from the DeKalb County Fair in Alexandria, Tennessee.)

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