Angus Young names AC/DC's “most regrettable” song

Angus Young of AC/DC performs live onstage during the Rock Or Bust Tour at Quicken Loans Arena on September 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio
(Image credit: Duane Prokop/Getty Images for BT PR)

Best of 2020: Angus Young doesn’t seem like a man with many regrets. But the AC/DC electric guitar legend does have a most regrettable AC/DC song.

In a recent interview with Vulture, Young pointed to the 1975 ballad (yes, AC/DC have a ballad), Love Song, which appeared on the Australian version of their debut album, High Voltage, as the unfortunate winner in this category.

“That was very different for us,” he said of the tune. “I didn’t know if we were trying to parody love songs of the time, because Bon [Scott] wrote the lyrics. I don’t even remember what the words are.

“I remember that song because the guy who worked for us at our record label told us that’s what was on the local radio at the time – very soft music. His thought we should release that song, because it’ll probably get some airplay. I remember thinking, Who in their right mind would want this to go out?”

He continued, “We were very fortunate, though, because all of the radio stations who had seen us live knew this was not who we were. So these stations started to flip the record over and play the other song, which was a cover of a blues standard called Baby, Please Don’t Go. We actually scored a hit from the B-side! That was the one saving grace of the song.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Angus is asked to name his No. 1 AC/DC song, and picks two. “If I was just thinking of the guitar, since I’m a guitar player, I’d say Riff Raff,” he responds. “The guitar work was a challenge but interesting in the way the song rolled out. That’s my guitar answer. But if it’s for a whole song, Thunderstruck is a big one. I like that answer.”

Interestingly, Love Song, like Thunderstruck, features a single-note pull-off motif in its melody, suggesting there’s perhaps, in some instances, a fine line between “regrettable” and "number one”.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.