Top 10 Bon Scott AC/DC Lyrics
Every year, without fail, February 19 is one of the saddest days on the classic rock calendar, as it marks the insurmountable loss of AC/DC singer Bon Scott, who died after a “night of misadventure” in 1980 at the tender age of 33. As with all premature rock star deaths, Bon’s invariably left a huge creative and personal void for fans, who can only imagine the incredible music he had yet to sing and co-write with AC/DC’s Young brothers. So as we once again seek new ways to pay tribute to one of rock’s great talents and true originals, we felt it suitable to try and identify the Top 10 Bon Scott Lyrics, with a focus on his unique gifts as a blue-collar poet. Well, for the most part anyway, since women, wine and debauchery, tawdry tales and endless double-entendres, were always an integral part of Bon’s lyric-writing genius – and just another major reason why we all feel like we’re on first-name terms with Mr. Scott. This round’s on us, Bon.
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer’
Bon pretty much outlined his five-year-plan towards achieving fame and glory (and that of any wannabe rock and roll front man, for that matter – you’re all welcome!), no matter the obstacles right here. Along the way, lines like the one cited above showed the defiant streak that would endear him to rock-loving teenage rebels everywhere, making ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer’ an obvious choice to kick off for our list of the Top 10 Bon Scott Lyrics.
‘Carry Me Home’
This profanity-laced, almost stream-of-conscience sequence of late-night drunken repartee remains one of the very best AC/DC numbers left off their U.S.-released album. Originally recorded during the ‘Dirty Deeds’ sessions and released in Australia as the B-side of ‘Let There Be Rock’s’ ‘Dog Eat Dog’ single, ‘Carry Me Home’ welcomes anyone who hears it to grab the bar-stool, share a drink (or twenty), and carouse with both bartenders and fellow patrons alongside Bon himself.
Scott is better known as a ladies’ man than he is a gamblin’ man, but the AC/DC classic ‘Sin City’ proved he knew more than enough casino lingo to weave a believable tale about the betting man’s darker obsessions, underneath the bright boardwalk lights. Between his cynical wordplay and The Youngs’ ominous chords AC/DC never sounded more menacing, thanks in large part to Bon’s evocative wordplay.
‘Ride On’ is one of the few songs in AC/DCs vast catalog you could truly call a ‘ballad,’ and its mellow tone and heartfelt lyrics provided a much-needed respite from the tawdry tales dominating 1976’s ‘Dirty Deeds’ LP. As such, this sorry loner’s lament showcases Bon choosing his words carefully in order to convey the emotion and subtlety required by his band mates’ equally restrained performance. Ride on, Bon, ride on.
‘Touch Too Much’
The presence of producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lang may have helped AC/DC streamline their songs somewhat for optimal platinum success on 1979’s ‘Highway to Hell.’ But not even he could entirely sanitize Bon’s lyrics for safe radio broadcast, as evidenced by the album’s most obvious should-a-been single, ‘Touch Too Much.’ Here, not even references to classic Greek sculpture (we’re talking about the Venus de Milo, of course) could make a dent on Bon’s lurid charm and persistent come-ons to his willing female “victims.”
‘What’s Next to the Moon’
One of many underrated gems from the ‘Powerage’ album, ‘What’s Next to the Moon’ sees Bon converting a relatively straightforward tale about tying his old lady to the railroad tracks (err, as one does) into a far more complex, almost impressionistic apraisal a lover’s fatal obsession. Confused? Just approach the song like a WAAAAY more subtle precursor to Guns n’ Roses’ ‘I Used to Love Her’ and you’ll see what we mean.
‘Whole Lotta Rosie’
Here’s another occasion where the higher aspirations for our list of Top 10 Bon Scott Lyrics were trumped by the man’s unparalleled gift for spinning even the tawdriest sexual adventures into downright comical yarns. In fact, it was largely Bon’s willingness to poke fun at himself that endeared him to everyday working stiffs everywhere, allowing them to see right through his superstar aura and relate with him on a personal level. Few rock stars have that kind of confidence to be so down-to-earth.
‘Ain’t No Fun (Waitin’ ‘Round to be a Millionaire)’
The longest-running studio cut in AC/DC’s entire catalog, at just over seven minutes of slowly building boogie rock intensity, ‘Ain’t No Fun’ still ends way too soon for us: just as Bon is telling his next-door neighbor, Howard, to “Get your f*ckin’ jumbo jet off my airport”! Before then, rock’s street-poet laureate conjures up countless brilliant couplets glorifying the process of starving for rock and roll immortality – once again connecting with the average Joe’s experience of rock and roll – not that of the precious few who actually make it.
‘Let There Be Rock’
There’s no way we could leave AC/DC’s biblical interpretation of rock and roll’s creation off our list of Top 10 Bon Scott Lyrics. After all, truer words were never uttered from any church pulpit! And you can credit the religious fervor and wild-eyed intensity of pastor Bon’s delivery of said lyrics for ensuring that rock’s gospel will neither be taken lightly, nor carelessly misinterpreted by his loyal flock. Praise God, rock without end, amen!
‘Down Payment Blues’
And the No. 1 choice in our list of the Top 10 Bon Scott Lyrics is the cult favorite ‘Down Payment Blues’ – yet another hardscrabble tale from 1978’s ‘Powerage’ focused on those of us living just enough for the city, as Stevie would say. Clearly, Bon Scott was at his most piercing, philosophical and poetic when ruminating about the rags-to-riches (but-still-wearing-rags) contradictions of the rock and roll lifestyle he endured, and for that we will be forever grateful. Heck, given what we know about Bon, he’d be the first in line to cover your down payment, whether you were friend or stranger, no questions asked.