ACDC – Let There Be Rock

The song was co-written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, and lyricist Bon Scott. The title track of and the third track on the band’s fourth album, it was released as a single in October 1977 backed by “Problem Child.”

George Young (Angus and Malcolm’s brother), acted as producer alongside partner and former bandmate Harry Vanda. In a familiar writing and recording process that was fast, furious and inspired, the entire album was completed in a matter of weeks.

The music video for “Let There Be Rock” was filmed in July 1977. It was recorded in the Kirk Gallery church in Surry Hills, New South Wales and featured Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams, who replaced Mark Evans as the band’s bassist shortly after the Let There Be Rock album was released.

Angus Young: “I remember the amp literally exploded during the recording session. My brother watched it with crazed eyes, and he told me ‘Come on! Keep on playing!’ while the stuff was steaming.”

From Songfacts

Running to a shade over 6 minutes, it was produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.

In spite of its appearing to be nothing more than a typically mindless rock anthem, this is actually quite a sophisticated track:

In the beginning
Back in 1955
The white man had the schmaltz
The black man had the blues

is an allusion to the birth of rock ‘n’ roll. The genre developed from boogie woogie; the first rock ‘n’ roll song is generally acknowledged to be “Rocket 88,” to which Ike Turner was a very unlikely contributor considering the way his music was to develop, but then the two men who gave rock ‘n’ roll to the world in the first instance were if anything even more unlikely. There was the white man – who had performed as Yodelling Bill Haley – and the black man, a qualified beautician named Chuck Berry. Both Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock” and Berry’s “Maybellene” were released in 1955, and as they say, the rest is history. 

An anthem for the band, AC/DC has played this song at every concert since 1978. They often play it very fast and the solo can be extended all the way to 20 minutes as Angus rises above the stage and does the “spasm.” 

Let There Be Rock

In the beginning
Back in nineteen fifty five
Man didn’t know about a rock ‘n’ roll show
And all that jive
The white man had the smoltz
The black man had the blues
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tchaikovsky had the news
He said

Let there be sound, and there was sound
Let there be light, and there was light
Let there be drums, and there was drums
Let there be guitar, and there was guitar
Let there be rock

And it came to pass
That rock ‘n’ roll was born
All across the land every rockin’ band
Was blowing up a storm
An the guitar man got famous
The businessman got rich
And in every bar there was a super star
With a seven year itch
There were fifteen million fingers
Learning how to play
And you could hear the fingers picking
And this is what they had to say

Let there be light
Let there be rock

One night in a club called the shaking hand
There was a ninety two decibel rocking band
The music was good and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd

Let there be rock


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

44 thoughts on “ACDC – Let There Be Rock”

  1. well that should wake people up and get them goin’! Surprised they’ve played it every show since ’78 – that’s a lot of performances. Puts me in mind of what we were talking about with Queen being labeled “heavy metal” … now THIS seems a pretty good example of a template for “heavy metal”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This discussion could last for ages…I have always wondered what heavy metal is…what my mind goes to are the hair metal bands of the 80s…not Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, or those seventies hard rock bands…if that is so…then the Beatles Helter Skelter would be heavy metal…it’s harder than Motley Crue’s version…so where is the line?

      And Deke…if you are reading this…join in!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Interesting point boy’s. You can go back decades. I classify a lot of it as hard rock. Sabbath/Maiden/ KISS/Crue/ Aero. I never ever really categorized it but others did. I was a firm believer in Let The Music Do The Talking so to speak. I liked a lot of it but some people get squirlly over calling it certain genres like Hair Metal. If we say Hair Metal I get that as the market of bands was over saturated by 87 until Guns N Roses came out with a more street rock approach and next thing you know all the cokehead A&R guys were signing up GNR lookalikes!
        As I mentioned and as you and Dave know a lot of my reviews are Hair Metal based but as I have mentioned in a few reviews listen with your ears not look with your eyes. Society is very judgey to say the least but it’s only rock n roll and I like it. lol

        Thanks for letting me ramble on and on…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. No man that was great! So you believe somewhat what I do…I don’t know why but I always thought about the 80s…hair or bald lol…it was a certain tone…it wasn’t raw like…well Helter Skelter or Paranoid…it was different than that…but all in all it doesn’t matter…we like what we like.

        Oh you forgot the biggest heavy metal band….Jethro Tull! lol… NOT… everyone wants to put something in a box.

        No thank you dude.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ha. All good Max. As you know when a band hits big the suits snap everything up that resemble that sound no matter what genre.
        Look at Billy Ray Cyrus man that dude was mega for two records.
        He came here at the time (’93 I think) and he sold out our gardens. A guy I was working with going to the show by himself. I was like why even bother dude? His reply was there was going to be at least 4,900 woman leaving lol….
        Than all that new country came out and it jsut went there.. Grunge how many bands. To me Soundgarden and STP are rock as I dig em..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah…the women….Never thought of that but man what a price to pay!I remember that country period…line dancing and the sort….not me…I’ve had enough country because of where I live…I like the old old…that seems to be my life story…”I like the old old” lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I agree Deke, as one of my friend’s says, ‘there’s only 2 types of music – good or bad.” Too much labeling keeps you from finding a fair bit of music you might enjoy. Also one of the big problems with commercial radio these days – they’re so adament about following their tight little “format”

        Liked by 2 people

      6. I was just talking about this the other day. Sabbath’s sound today would be labeled as stoner rock, but I consider them to be the genesis of metal. They were the first band that used a dark guitar tone and eerie lyrics set to scare the listener. That combination was the spark that lit the fire. To me, hair bands in the ’80s were doing their best Van Halen for the most part.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes I heard a lot of pop/metal in the eighties. It was a tone in their sound. I can see Sabbath being the genesis. The guitar in lets say Paranoid is raw…just like Helter Skelter…raw as you can get but in Heavy Metal…or what I always perceived as Heavy Metal is more wide and not as raw or punkish…man that probably doesn’t make sense but I hear it as a guitar player.
        The dark tone…I never thought of that so that is interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. good point on ‘Helter Skelter’… it probably was a relative prototype for metal that would come later. I don’t know when I first began hearing the term “heavy metal”. Like you say, in the 70s, it was just “hard rock” from BTO to Aerosmith to Black Sabbath

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I think mine was the cartoon that was called Heavy Metal…the one where Don Felder did the theme music for.


    1. We play some of their songs like TNT in the garage every few weeks. The drummer told me that ACDC may sound easy on drums…but it’s anything but….this one is up there in the BPM.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, that Scott voice and Angus with his twisted mouth and twisted playing. Chased them all over Texas…

    Heavy metal was always more bass driven to me than guitar. Metallica, Judas Priest, the post I did on Volbeat, Iron Maiden, Monster Magnet…some of which gets into the “cookie monster” bands. AC/DC is not metal. They are just pure, unadulterated rock.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea but take Judas Priest…Living After Midnight….that is not a metal song…so it depends on what they play.


      1. Yes…Scandinavia was crazy over it….why I don’t know….too much time on their hands.


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