AC/DC's "if ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude towards their ballsy brand of hard rock has done the Australian band well. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, AC/DC have achieved all of their success on their own terms, largely avoiding many of the music industry-related nonsense many of their peers have bowed down to.
When it comes to their music videos, AC/DC have taken the same kind of nonconformist approach as they have with their music and behind-the-scenes dealings. Unlike most of the artists who started cranking out video clips in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, AC/DC don’t have to look back at their work and cringe in horror. Quite simply, they’ve never sold out to try and be something they’re not. Today, Noisecreep is paying honor to the band and taking a look at the 10 Best AC/DC Videos.
'Safe in New York City'Directed by: Andy Morahan
Kicking off our list is AC/DC’s promotional clip for ‘Safe in New York City,’ a song that ended up on the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum -- a list of "lyrically questionable" songs that appeared in wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. In the video, the Aussie legends rock out in the mouth of a tunnel while being surrounded by armed police officers. The band takes the whole “traffic jam” thing quite literally with this one.
'Thunderstruck'Directed by: David Mallett
The video for the ‘Thunderstruck’ single features scenes filmed on a camera mounted on Angus Young’s guitar neck, offering a unique view of the crowd for the viewer. Filmed at London’s famed Brixton Academy, each audience member was given a t-shirt with the words “AC/DC -- I was Thunderstruck’ on the front and its Aug. 17, 1990 date on the back. Seen in the actual video, the t-shirts are now highly sought-after collector’s items.
'Big Gun'Directed by: David Mallett
Appearing on the superb soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie ‘Last Action Hero,’ ‘Big Gun’ is a classic meat and potatoes rocker. The video for the track guest stars Schwarzenegger who breaks into an AC/DC concert. At one point, the Austrian actor puts on Angus’ iconic cap and school uniform and starts imitating the guitarist’s stage moves. Trivia bit: future System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian can also be spotted in the ‘Big Gun’ video.
'Shake Your Foundations'Directed by: Brian Ward
Like ‘Big Gun,’ ‘Shake Your Foundations’ also appeared on a soundtrack to a less than stellar movie. This time it was Steven King’s ‘Maximum Overdrive.’ Dubbed ‘Who Made Who,’ the album is made mostly of new recordings of previously released AC/DC tracks, including ‘Shake Your Foundations’ which was originally on 1985’s ‘Fly on the Wall.’ The video doesn’t have a compelling storyline in it, but it’s a nice change of pace to see the arena-filling combo playing in a bar-like setting for a change.
‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)’Directed by: Derek Burbidge
‘For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)’ was hugely important for Brian Johnson as he had to prove the massive success of ‘Back in Black’ wasn’t a fluke. Replacing Bon Scott seemed impossible, but Johnson stepped up to the plate in a big way. The video for the title track to their ‘For Those…’ album showcases AC/DC with their then still new singer, kicking all kinds of butt at a show in Landover, Maryland, in late-1981.
'Touch Too Much'Directed by: Russell Mulcahy
Unless you’re one of our older readers, you probably never had the chance to see the Bon Scott fronted version of AC/DC in concert. That’s all the more reason this video of ‘Touch Too Much’ is a hard rock treasure. Filmed at a tour rehearsal in 1979, the video is a simple affair, but the sight of Scott delivering the song’s lyrics in a sleeveless denim jacket is cooler than any expensive effect could ever be.
‘It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)’Directed by: Paul Drane
The video for ‘It’s a Long Way to the Top’ finds Scott and the group on the back of a flat-bed truck rocking out with an Australian military marching band. Other artists have done a similar move in later videos (U2, Bjork), but no one has done it better than Angus Young and company. The street in Melbourne the video was filmed on was renamed ACDC Lane in 2004 as a tribute to the rockers.
'Let There Be Rock'Directed by: Russell Mulcahy
Although he passed away in early 1980 at the age of 33, late AC/DC singer Bon Scott’s bad boy spirit can still be felt in everything the group does. Recorded in a church in Sydney, the promo video for ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ features the frontman playing the role of a priest while his bandmates dress up like altar boys. No clip sums up AC/DC’s rebel attitude and comedic side as perfectly as this one.
'You Shook Me All Night Long’Directed by: Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler
This version of ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ (filmed for the ‘Who Made Who’ album) is arguably AC/DC’s most popular clip. A big part of its popularity (pun intended) is probably due to its inclusion of Corinne Russell, a well-endowed model known from ‘The Benny Hill Show’ in the ‘80s. Russell ended up marrying one of AC/DC’s roadies. Ever the jokesters, the band gave them a mechanical bull as a wedding present.
'Jailbreak'Directed by: Paul Drane
Featuring Scott and drummer Phil Rudd playing prisoners, bassist Mark Evans and guitarist Malcolm Young as guards and Angus Young in some strange prison-looking uniform, ‘Jailbreak’ tops Noisecreep’s 10 Best AC/DC Videos list. A fun clip, ‘Jailbreak’ was filmed for ‘Countdown,’ a long-running popular weekly Australian television program. Like the aforementioned ‘Let There Be Rock’ video, ‘Jailbreak’ also captures AC/DC tongue-in-cheek humor while still asserting their bad assness their entire time (not an easy feat).