Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Flashback #2 - 'Whole Lotta Rosie'

Bon Scott - stick this in your fusebox!
It was 1976, I was 14, I was mooching around in the old Virgin Records shop in Edinburgh, and about to have an encounter with the manic blues rock of none other than AC/DC.

This was nothing like the Megastores of later years of course - themselves gone the way of all flesh now.  It was a single unit in a side street, albeit in the centre of town. I didn't have the funds to buy too many albums back then, so I decided to splurge something like 75p on a single of 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. I can't remember exactly how I'd lighted upon it.  I'd heard some of their stuff on a rock show on the local radio station, Radio Forth, mostly from Powerage I guess, which was their most recent studio album. And probably I'd been reading good things about their upcoming live album, If You Want Blood, You Got It, in Sounds.
I think I may even have had a listen to 'Rosie' in one of those old booths with headphones they used to have in record stores back then. And of course it was terrific: the chanting of "Angus! Angus!" alternating with the first blasts of that guitar riff; Bon Scott's bluesy drawl of the opening lines, building up to his delightfully daft yell of "42-39-56 - You can see she's got it all!"; and then lift off, into three minutes or so of supercharged mayhem.
Of course, this was the "single edit", with a couple of minutes or so lopped off the album version, but I've always had a soft spot for it regardless. It's lean, direct, no messing, and the call and response guitar section has always seemed sharper to me for being half as long as in the full version. Great stuff.
Anyway, here they are giving the song some welly on the BBC TV show Rock Goes To College.  Enjoy!

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