Tuesday, August 19, 1980

AC/DC released “You Shook Me All Night Long”

Updated 1/27/2019.

image from shutupandplay.ca

You Shook Me All Night Long


Writer(s): Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Brian Johnson (see lyrics here)

Released: 8/19/1980

First Charted: 9/6/1980

Peak: 36 US, 42 CB, 42 HR, 38 UK, 8 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales *: 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.32 world (includes US + UK)

Radio Airplay *: --

Video Airplay *: 218.6

Streaming *: --

* in millions


AC/DC’s Back in Black has become such a mainstay on “best albums of all time” lists now that it is easy to forget the uncertainty the band faced when the album was released in 1980. On February 19 of that year, the band’s lead singer, Bon Scott, died after a drinking binge. It was Scott’s father who encouraged the band to find a new singer and soldier on. SF Brian Johnson stepped in and the band found the greatest success of their career.

Guitarists Angus and Malcom Young already had the title and the chords, but needed words. Johnson supplied his “gravelly, raspy vocals and easy-to-learn, almost exultant, double-entendre lyrics.” AMG (“She told me to come but I was already there”). The song is basically “a night-after bragging session with a heavy dose of swagger and pomp.” AMG It “was equal parts naughty and proud, pop-tinged yet stomp-worthy,” AMG which probably explains the song’s popularity at strip clubs. SF

The inspiration for “You Shook Me All Night Long” came while the band was recording in the Bahamas. Never a band known for “deep, meaningful lyrics,” SF Johnson turned images of American girls into lyrics where he compared women to cars in lines like “She was a fast machine/ She kept her motor clean.” SF Johnson said it “just fell into place so I can’t claim any credit on that thing.” SF Of the Young brothers’ work, he said, “It’s one of the greatest rock and roll riffs I’ve ever heard in my life.” SF

It has “a simple beat; a melodic, heavy rock-boogie riff; a shrill, pumping guitar solo.” AMG The “pop-tinged guitar chords give the song a slap-on-the-back, beer-swilling friendliness” AMG which is probably why it has become “a hard rock staple…popular at sporting events and bars, and…one of…hard rock’s most memorable party anthems.” AMG Johnson told USA Weekend he considers the song the highlight of the band’s catalog because “It was the first song I wrote with the guys and it has a special groovy beat that won’t let you go. It has such a special place in my heart…it might be one of the best rock songs ever written – if I do say so myself.” SF

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Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


Tuesday, August 5, 1980

Pat Benatar’s Crimes of Passion released

First posted 3/24/2008; updated 9/20/2020.

Crimes of Passion

Pat Benatar

Released: August 5, 1980

Peak: 2 US, -- UK, 2 CN, 16 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, -- UK, 5.67 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Treat Me Right (Dough Lubahn) [3:24] (12/29/80, 18 US, 3 CL, 31 AR, 12 CN)
  2. You Better Run (Eddie Brigati, Felix Cavaliere) [3:02] (7/8/80, 42 US, 11 CL, 31 AU)
  3. Never Wanna Leave You (Neil Giraldo, Benatar) [3:13]
  4. Hit Me with Your Best Shot (Eddie Schwartz) [2:51] (9/15/80, 9 US, 2 CL, 10 CN, 33 AU, gold single)
  5. Hell Is for Children (Giraldo, Benatar, Roger Capps) [4:48] (8 CL)
  6. Little Paradise (Giraldo) [3:32]
  7. I’m Gonna Follow You (Billy Steinberg) [4:28] (46 CL)
  8. Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush) [4:28] (46 CL)
  9. Prisoner of Love (Scott St. Clair Sheets) [3:05]
  10. Out-a-Touch (Giraldo, Benatar, Myron Grombacher) [4:19]

Total Running Time: 37:07


4.508 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


About the Album:

“With Crimes of Passion, Pat Benatar escaped the dreaded sophomore slump.” AMG Her first album, In the Heat of the Night, was a platinum seller which peaked at #12 and had two top-30 singles. Crimes of Passion sold more than five million copies, reached #2 on the Billboard album chart for 5 weeks, stuck behind John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy. The album also won Benatar her first Grammy Award – for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

While the album cemented Benatar’s status as a rock icon, the original Rolling Stone review knocked it for its “leaden reworkings of hard-rock clichĂ©s,” RS “sodden songwrting and excruciating excesses” RS and accused her of “lacking both subtlety and playfulness.” RS However, Benatar does avoid “the synth-happy trends of the early ‘80s and delivers a hard rocking ten-song session of power pop tempered with a few ballads for balance.” AMG

The lead single from the album was You Better Run. The song had originally been recorded by the Young Rascals and was a top-20 hit in 1966. Benatar’s version fell just shy of the top 40 hit, but became a landmark video in the MTV era as the network’s second video ever broadcast, following the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”

The album’s success was due “in no small part to the song that would become the most well-known…of her career, Hit Me with Your Best Shot.” AMG The song was her first top ten hit. It was written by Eddie Schwartz, who later co-wrote Paul Carrack’s “Don’t Shed a Tear” (1987) and the Doobie Brothers’ “The Doctor” (1989), both of which were top 10 hits.

The album’s third single, Treat Me Right, became Benatar’s second top-20 hit. On March 21, 1981, the song landed on the maiden album rock chart, despite being nearly three months old at that point. Other songs which likely would have hit that chart had it debuted six months earlier included Hell Is for Children, a slow-building rocker about child abuse, and the ballad I’m Gonna Follow You, released as the B-side of “Hit Me with Your Best Shot.”

“The rest of the album is mildly hit or miss, with a few moments of filler.” AMG Most notable may be Benatar’s version of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights. It “is probably one of the most underrated songs of her entire catalog.” AMG

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