AC/DC – For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) (1981)

AC/DC – For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) (1981, Atlantic)

  1. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
  2. Put The Finger On You
  3. Let’s Get It Up
  4. Inject The Venom
  5. Snowballed
  6. Evil Walks
  7. C.O.D.
  8. Breaking The Rules
  9. Night Of The Long Knives
  10. Spellbound

Band Lineup:
Brian Johnson – Lead Vocals
Angus Young – Lead Guitar
Malcolm Young – Rhythm Guitar & Backing Vocals
Cliff Williams – Bass & Backing Vocals
Phil Rudd – Drums

Producer: Robert John “Mutt” Lange

Total Time = 40:01

AC/DC official website

This was the first album I bought in 1982. I will never forget going to Good Vibrations about a week after Christmas with a gift certificate I got as a present stuffed in my pocket along with a little cash. I remember walking in the store, seeing the new release rack with FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK displayed right up front. The album had come out in late November and I had it on my Christmas list but buying Rock tapes wasn’t something my family was going to do because they still considered me a kid (I was 9 yrs old!). Thanks to my Mom, I had an envelope to open Christmas morning with a $10 gift certificate inside! Probably the best present I got that year!

I used my good fortune to buy FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK on both vinyl and cassette, blowing everything I had in my wallet. I had never bought two formats of the same album but I remember having this theory that the title track was so good that the album had to be completely awesome. That meant I needed the vinyl for home and the tape for school when Xmas break was over. We used to listen to tapes in the schoolyard before school (the nuns hated that!) and I knew for a fact that none of my friends had, or got for Xmas, this album. Mom had a cassette deck in her car so I was able to enjoy my new album on the way home…..for some reason, Mom shut me down when she heard ‘Let’s Get It Up’ and ‘Inject The Venom’ and she pulled over to inspect the rest of the song titles!

I’ve always had a soft spot for this album, not only because of the buying experience, but because I think it gets forgotten following AC/DC’s two biggest records: HIGHWAY TO HELL (1979) and BACK IN BLACK (1980). This album is kind of like a new band’s follow-up after a huge debut album, it had to follow the international phenomenon that was BACK IN BLACK with the death of original throat Bon Scott still fresh in fans’ minds. This was also the first time I had bought a new AC/DC album so close to it’s release date so this was fresh music, I hadn’t heard much on the radio aside from the title track.

‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’ is one of the best songs AC/DC ever recorded and is embedded into most fans’ brains as one of the top Heavy Metal anthems of all-time…..not much has to be said about this classic. The next three songs are my favorites from the album: ‘Put The Finger On You’ reminds me of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ with it’s groove, ‘Let’s Get It Up’ has that sleazy stomp that defined the Bon-era, ‘Inject The Venom’ is heavy as hell and has serious power. Of them all, ‘Inject The Venom’ is tops for me on the record and even surpasses the iconic title song. I’ve always liked how the music cuts out for Brian Johnson’s vocal and the chorus has power without being overdone.

‘Snowballed’ is a cool uptempo song that slows come the chorus, Brian belting the lyrics while Angus and Malcolm weave in and out of the groove. I’ve never liked ‘Evil Walks’ or ‘C.O.D.’ for some reason. It’s not necessarily that they are bad songs, I just never got past the titles and they follow five great songs. ‘Breaking The Rules’ slows the album down to about the same pace as the title cut but it doesn’t have the bite to it as ‘For Those About To Rock’, I describe it usually as being too “quiet”. The tempo picks up again with the much under-rated ‘Night Of The Long Knives’, a song that sports a cool Angus riff and cymbal crashing from Phil Rudd. This song picks up right where ‘Snowballed’ left off, I almost wish this one was farther up in the sequencing to keep the pace going. ‘Spellbound’ is another mid-tempo song like ‘Breaking The Rules’ but it’s better due to it’s groove. I’ve always felt like the band was holding back a little around the chorus, needing a little more power.

Bottom Line:
A near perfect record! If I could get into ‘Evil Walks’, ‘C.O.D.’ and ‘Breaking The Rules’ more then I think that the album would be flawless. That said, this seems to be my favorite Brian Johnson-era album, even surpassing the mega-seller BACK IN BLACK! The best songs for me are ‘Inject The Venom’, the title track and ‘Night Of The Long Knives’.

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