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How AC/DC Channeled A Record Label’s Wrath In “Dog Eat Dog”

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade – unless you’re AC/DC. In that case, smash the lemons and turn them into an explosive rock song.

AC/DC were furious with Atlantic Records in late 1976 after their American label decided that Dirty deeds made cheap was not worthy of release in the US market.

“There’s always been a siege mentality in this band,” bassist Mark Evans recalled later. “But once we all found out that Atlantic knocked us down, the attitude was, ‘Fuck them! Who do they think they are? So from then on it was, ‘Fuck, let’s show them!’ »

Filled with fury – with their already fiery brand of rock – AC/DC headed to Alberts Studios in Sydney in early 1977 to record their next LP. Anger over Atlantic’s decision fueled the sessions.

“We were really pissed off about it,” Evans admitted. “It didn’t need to be discussed. We were going to come in and make this album and shove it up his ass.

The result would be Let there be rockan incendiary LP brimming with unbridled aggressiveness.

“We were all little guys,” Evans noted in the book. AC/DC: Hell is not a bad place. “None of us would accept being dictated to by anyone. You can joke about it and call it little man syndrome or whatever, but that’s exactly what it takes. We were a bunch of arrogant assholes. To have something like that, it was just, ‘Dude, we’ll show you.’ “

Despite the band’s outrage at Atlantic’s decision, “Dog Eat Dog” was the only song that directly addressed the issue in its lyrics.

Listen to AC/DC’s “Dog Eat Dog”

AC/DC made their feelings explicit. They had no time for the “business” types of music and had no interest in changing their style to appease corporate American interests: “Businessman, when you make a deal / Do you know who you can trust / Do you sign your life / Do you write your name in the dust?” vocalist Bon Scott shouted at the start of the track.

Later, he summarizes the mentality of the music industry: “And it’s an eye for an eye / Tooth for a tooth / It’s a lie / It’s the truth / To see a blind man on the street / To look for something free / To listen to the nice man ask his friends / Hey, what’s in it for me.”

AC/DC Director Michael Browning described later their view as “complete disregard for what Americans think. It’s been their attitude from the start, it’s what has made them so durable and huge – never really compromising in situations like this.

Released on March 21, 1977, “Dog Eat Dog” served as Let there be rockis the first single. Although it only enjoyed marginal popularity, the album as a whole proved to be a turning point. Let there be rock went Top 20 in the UK and Australia, and even broke through in the US, giving A/C their first taste of US success – whether they cared or not.

AC/DC album chart

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