Monday, November 23, 1981

AC/DC released For Those about to Rock We Salute You

First posted 9/4/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

For Those About to Rock We Salute You

AC/DC


Buy Here:


Released: November 23, 1981


Peak: 13 US, 3 UK, -- CN, 3 AU


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, -- UK, 8.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: hard rock/heavy metal


Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. For Those about to Rock We Salute You (12/5/81, #15 UK, #4 AR)
  2. Put the Finger on You (12/19/81, #38 AR)
  3. Let’s Get It Up (12/19/81, #44 US, #13 UK, #9 AR)
  4. Inject the Venom
  5. Snowballed
  6. Evil Walks
  7. C.O.D.
  8. Breaking the Rules
  9. Night of the Long Knives
  10. Spellbound


Total Running Time: 40:10


The Players:

  • Brian Johnson (vocals)
  • Angus Young (guitar)
  • Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Cliff Williams (bass)
  • Phil Rudd (drums)

Rating:

3.500 out of 5.00 (average of 7 ratings)


Quotable: “A record Beavis and Butthead would describe as ‘cool’ – and, as usual, they’d be right.” – Andrew Mueller, Amazon.com

About the Album:

“Lesser bands might have been put off their stride by the death of their lead singer, but not AC/DC. No sooner had Bon Scott met his whiskey-sodden end in 1980 than AC/DC recruited a new singer, Brian Johnson – who sounded almost exactly like Scott – and released, in Back in Black, the biggest-selling album of their career.” AM

For Those About to Rock We Salute You is a suitably triumphant follow-up” AM with “some decent material,” SH but it also marks the point when “AC/DC’s hot streak began to draw to a close.” SH While Back in Black was infused with the energy and spirit of paying tribute to Bon Scott, it became apparent on the follow-up that the group really did miss Scott more than it initially indicated.” SH The band “slowed down the tempo frequently, sounding less aggressive and inspired.” SH

“Brian Johnson’s lyrics started to seem more calculated and a bit clichéd, lacking Scott’s devil-may-care sense of humor,” SH although they did also show that his “lyrical preoccupations were broadly congruent with those of his predecessor: Let’s Get It Up and Inject the Venom are as subtle as their titles sound.” AM And, of course, no matter how you view the whole album, “the cannon-punctuated title track – the most auspicious marriage of music and artillery since Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812 Overture’ – still provides a spectacular finale to AC/DC concerts.” AM

In the end, this is no Back in Black, but it “is a record Beavis and Butthead would describe as ‘cool’ – and, as usual, they’d be right.” AM

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, November 21, 1981

Steve Carlisle “WKRP in Cincinnati” charted

WKRP in Cincinnati

Steve Carlisle

Writer(s): Tom Wells, Hugh Wilson (see lyrics here)


First Charted: November 21, 1981


Peak: 65 US, 66 CB, 83 HR, 29 AC, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2.88 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

WKRP in Cincinnati was an American sitcom which aired on CBS for four seasons from 1978 to 1982. It focused on a fictional radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the staff’s adventures in trying to revive its fortunes. The creator, Hugh Wilson, based the show on his experience working in advertising and sales at a top 40 radio station in Atlanta. The show was hailed for its realistic portrayal of “eccentric DJs [and] a clueless general manager.” SF

Wilson wrote the lyrics for the theme song while Tom Wells composed the music. Jim Ellis added orchestrations and Steve Carlisle, a singer based out of Akron, Ohio, sang it. The song is a story about “the transient life of a radio professional, moving from market to market in search of a better gig, unable to settle down.” SF In the context of the show, it applied to Andy, who arrives at the station in the pilot as the station’s new program director.

A full-length version of the song, which ran just shy of three minutes, was released as a single in 1981. Carlisle also recorded multiple versions of the song, replacing the call letters and city in the line of the chorus. These were then sent to the various radio stations, many of which used them, which gave the song a good marketing push. Unfortunately, the song was also released at about the time the network announced it was cancelling the show.

The song was produced by the Akron-raised duo of Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia who had a top-10 hit in 1982 with the novelty song “Pac-Man Fever,” which celebrated the classic video game.


Resources:


First posted 9/3/2022.

Queen & David Bowie hit #1 in UK with “Under Pressure”

Under Pressure

Queen with David Bowie

Writer(s): Roger Taylor, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, John Deacon, Brian May (see lyrics here)


Released: October 26, 1981


First Charted: November 7, 1981


Peak: 29 US, 22 CB, 26 HR, 23 RR, 2 CL, 7 AR, 1 CO, 12 UK, 3 CN, 6 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.2 UK, 3.41 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 487.0 video, 1001.01 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Under Pressure” resulted from David Bowie popping into the studio one night where Queen was recording. KL It evolved from a song called “Feel Like” which Queen had been working on. WK David Bowie and all four members of Queen are credited as songwriters on the track, but bassist John Deacon said it was primarily written by singer Freddie Mercury. Guitarist Brian May said “David took over the song lyrically.” WK The lyrics focus on “how pressure can destroy lives, but love can be the answer.” SF

There is also some debate about who wrote the bassline, which would later be used on Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” the first #1 rap song on the Billboard Hot 100. Stylus magazine called the iconic bassline the best in popular music history. WK May and drummer Roger Taylor credit Deacon, but he says Bowie wrote it. Bowie himself says the bassline was already written before he was involved with the song. WK

This was released in the UK the same week that Queen’s Greatest Hits topped the album chart. However, “Under Pressure” was not on the UK version of the anthology. It was on the U.S. version and Queen’s 1982 Hot Space album. This was only the second time in the history of the UK charts that two acts who’d formerly topped the charts collaborated for another #1. The first time was with 1967’s “Something Stupid” by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. KL

All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the song “an utterly majestic, otherworldly duet.” WK A Rolling Stone poll named the song the second best collaboration of all time. WK Far Out Magazine’s Jack Whatley said it “is an incredibly powerful and poignant pop song that we will likely not see matched in our lifetimes.” WK Stylus music critic Anthony Miccio went so far as to declare it “the best song of all time.” WK


Resources:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Queen
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for David Bowie
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Pages 275-6.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia


Related Links:


First posted 8/4/2021; last updated 11/29/2021.

Olivia Newton-John hits #1 with “Physical” for first of 10 weeks

Physical

Olivia Newton-John

Writer(s): Steve Kipner, Terry Shaddick (see lyrics here)


First Charted: October 3, 1981


Peak: 110 US, 18 CB, 19 HR, 2 RR, 29 AC, 28 RB, 7 UK, 16 CN, 15 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.25 UK, 2.65 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 34.2 video, 51.44 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

When Olivia Newton-John took the role of Sandy in 1978’s movie version of Grease, it was clear she was looking to change her clean-cut, “good-girl image,” SF considering her character’s transformation “from virginal to vamp.” BB Still, “the longtime girl-next-door singer” BB had doubts about releasing “Physical”, SF a song “loaded with sexual innuendo.” BB Her managers convinced her the song would be a huge hit. SF

Still, lyrics like “There’s nothing left to talk about/ Unless it’s horizontally” got the song banned by some radio stations. At adult contemporary radio the song stalled at #29, but it took off at pop radio. In fact, the controversy probably helped the song toward becoming the biggest hit of 1981 WHC and of Olivia’s career. A Billboard magazine survey even named it the sexiest song of all-time. SF

A video heightened the controversy with what was then considered risqué, but would be tame by today’s standards. JA The video played off the aerobics movement of the day, practically becoming the theme song for the exercise trend. SF Olivia worked out in the gym with out-of-shape men who transformed into body-builder physiques. The end of the video, which suggested the men were gay and consequently immune to Olivia’s advances, was often cut when aired on MTV. WK It still picked up the Grammy for Video of the Year.

The song also was received by some critics with less than an enthusiastic response. AOL Radio’s Matthew Wilkening said, “An entire generation’s leg-warmered, pastel spandex shame is laid bare in just under four minutes.” WK He ranked it one of the 100 worst songs ever. WK


Resources:

  • BB Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 157.
  • SF Songfacts.com
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 110.


Related Links:


First posted 10/3/2011; last updated 12/4/2021.