The Who’s Pete Townshend calls it the greatest hard rock album in history. Eddie Van Halen admits to stealing riffs from it to twist and turn them into some of his band’s greatest hits. And it first hit store shelves in Australia 40 years ago today, to be followed by the slightly-altered international version on July 25th of the same year.
If Spinal Tap’s Marshall amps went to 11, AC/DC’s went to 12 for this one, and gave rise to one of the most famous tales from the band’s history: guitarist Angus Young’s smoking amp during the recording of the title track. As he was overdubbing the guitar solo, his amp began to fuse out and smoke began to fill the studio. Producer George Young gestured wildly from behind the mixing desk to keep going, and the band’s version on the creation of rock ‘n roll was born.
The most famous song on the album is undoubtedly it’s closing track, the blistering Whole Lotta Rosie. And hopefully ‘blistering’ wasn’t what lead singer Bon Scott was after spending a one-night stand at the Freeway Gardens Motel in North Melbourne with a very large Tasmanian groupie of questionable origin who lent her name and sizeable attributes to the lyrics of the song.