Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)

1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 2. Love at First Feel 3. Big Balls 4. Rocker 5. Problem Child 6. There's Gonna Be Some Rockin' 7. Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire) 8. Ride On 9. Squealer


The group's second album (their third in their homeland of Australia) showed the band early on that they probably shouldn't mess too much with the AC/DC formula. The band that consistently gets accused (in a good way) of having every single one of their albums sound the same actually makes some small, yet significant, changes on this record, and while they never "blow it", it's easy to see that they probably should have left some things alone.

Things start of great with the title track, the song that is easiest the best and most memorable thing here. After that, they start to slowly experiment in ways that never quite sound the way that they should. The second song Love At First Feel definitely has a naughty song title that makes fans snicker, but the song seems a bit too mainstream to really fit into the catalog of great AC/DC tunes. They follow with a track with a…..er…..similar title, Big Balls, that's pretty silly and stupid. I'm sure Beavis and Butthead would chuckle through the whole thing, but it's basically Bon Scott mimicking a rich aristocrat rambling about how big his balls are. It's a bit of a waste since the riff that goes through the tune is pretty solid. So in other words, this would have been a great song had it been an instrumental. They then include a couple of "standard" rock cuts - the rockabilly-ish Rocker and the drunk-at-the-pub singalong There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'. They're both good, but seem a bit too conventional and don't really contain the band's brand as audibly as one would like.

The biggest disappointment for me is the song Problem Child. The problem with this song is that it's a great three-minute song, but whatever reason, the guys drag it out to about six minutes. I really can't figure this one out. Perhaps they were short a song, so they felt they had to expand this one somewhat? It's a shame that it's basically ruined by the monotonous repetition that kills anything good that the song might already contain.

The guys do pick it up a bit near the end of the album. Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire) is highly underrated. The fact that it's buried after a lot of the aforementioned sins might have something to do with its lack of notoriety. Even so, like Problem Child, it runs a tad longer than it should. Ride On is the closest thing these guys ever did to a ballad. "Ballad" is actually a bit of an unfair description. It's definitely "slowed down" and it's about one that has had their heart broken. They actually handle the tune quite well. It wears its heart on its sleeve without ever having to worry about it showing up on an Easy Listening station somewhere.

The whole album is very listenable and the guys never embarrass themselves. For me, however, it's definitely the low point of the Bon Scott era. I don't even think the album got released in the United States until the band exploded in the early eighties after Back in Black. There was probably a reason.

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