It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) – AC/DC – 1975

AC-DC It's a Long Way to the Top Single CoverIt’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll, but these boys made it. Back in 1975 they were still little known Aussie rockers – but they were on their way.

ac/dc on the radio

This week a local station played ten songs in a row from their pick of the top ten rock bands of the seventies. Here’s who they chose:

1. Led Zeppelin

2. Queen

3. Pink Floyd

4. Aerosmith

5. Black Sabbath

6. The Who

7. AC/DC

8. The Rolling Stones

9. Deep Purple

10. Uriah Heep

As I listened to the songs I realised there was only one band who hadn’t featured on seventiesmusic – AC/DC.

ACDC 3beginnings

The history of AC/DC is well chronicled. Formed in Australia by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young—the boys were inspired by their brother George who was a member of iconic Aussie band, The Easybeats.

When lead singer Bon Scott died in 1980 (meaning it’s his voice we hear on this week’s song), the band thought seriously about quitting. It was Bon’s parents who urged them to keep going saying it was what Bon would have wanted.

The rest is history, with Bon’s replacement, Brian Johnson, AC/DC have gone on to become one of the highest-grossing bands of all time.


ACDC 2As of 2010, AC/DC had sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. That included 71 million albums in the United States.

Back in Black, having sold 50 million units worldwide, is the second-highest-selling album by any artist and the highest-selling album by any band—Michael Jackson’s Thriller claims the #1 spot.

AC/DC rank fourth on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and seventh on MTV’s list of the Greatest Heavy Metal Bands of All Time.

In 2004, AC/DC were listed at #72 on the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

it’s a long way to the top (if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll) fax

  • It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) is the first track from AC/DC’s album T.N.T.
  • The song was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott and was released in December 1975.
  • It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) is known for its use of bagpipes—perhaps the first heavy rock song to use them. The idea to use bagpipes came from George Young. He heard Bon was in a pipe band and encouraged him. What he didn’t know was that Bon was a drummer and had never played the pipes. He rose to the challenge, however, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) also appears on the international version of the album High Voltage.
  • Artists to cover the song include: Jack Black (in the movie, School of Rock), Pat Boone, Dropkick Murphys, John Farnham, Motörhead, Hanson, The Wiggles, and Lucinda Williams
  • Metallica play the song over the PA at every concert just before they perform.
  • It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) was Bon’s signature song and so, out of respect for him, AC/DC no longer performs it.
  • It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) lyrics.

it’s a long way to the top (if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll) – ac/dc – 1975 – video

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