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

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

11/21/1981:

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, 869.15 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 and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Queen
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for David Bowie
  • DMDB page for parent album Greatest Hits (Queen, 1981)
  • DMDB page for parent album The Best of 1980/1987 (David Bowie, 2007)
  • 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

First posted 8/4/2021.

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

First posted 10/3/2011; updated 3/11/2021.

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 (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, -- 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.” BB100 Still, “the longtime girl-next-door singer” BB100 had doubts about releasing “Physical”, SF a song “loaded with sexual innuendo.” BB100 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 and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Olivia Newton-John
  • BB100 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.
  • WHC Joel Whitburn (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 110.