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Pantera Frontman Explores Dark Side of AC/DC Lyrics

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Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo recently gave AC/DC‘s lyrics to ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)’ a whole new meaning. In a video titled ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Manifesto,’ which you can watch above, Anselmo reads the words to the Australian rockers’ 1976 song and reveals a dark side to the lifestyle Bon Scott sings about.

In the song, which kicks off AC/DC’s ‘High Voltage’ album, Scott’s words, when backed by Angus Young‘s crunchy guitar riff and the band’s familiar thundering rhythm section, almost sound like a celebration of the debauched life spent on the road, even if it does come with a few bumps: “Gettin’ old, gettin’ gray, gettin’ ripped off / Underpaid, gettin’ sold, second-hand / That’s how it goes playin’ in a band.”

But Anselmo’s deep, ominous reading of those same words carry some heavy-duty weight. Slow-motion images of flying fists and the band hauling heavy gear drive home his point. So does the moody music that plays in the background.

‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Manifesto’ was conceived by a German magazine called ‘Visions,’ a copy of which shows up at the end of the minute-plus-long video.

Anselmo, who also fronts hard rockers Down, icily stares into the camera as the clip begins. By the time he gets to his final words — “I tell ya, folks, it’s a lot harder than it looks / It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll” — and the desolate images give way to enthusiastic fans, anyone considering a life in music instead of becoming an engineer or something less soul-draining oughta have their heads examined.

Next: Top 10 AC/DC Songs

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

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