In my mind, If You Want Blood will forever epitomize AC/DC’s willingness to give it all.
I’ve been a fan of AC/DC forever. In my mind, they will always be one the of the greatest rock bands of all time. This March 31st will be Angus Young’s 63rd birthday. I thought we’d celebrate the date by revisiting one of my favorite AC/DC albums and music videos “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It”.
The ‘70s introduced the live recording experience. In fact, live albums became a traditional stopgap between studio efforts. They were successful because they brought the live experience to the fan outside the music venue.
Released just six months after the album, Powerage, If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It is now considered one of the greatest live albums of all time. This release was the one that broke AC/DC into the mainstream. It was a top twenty hit in the UK and eventually reached number 13! Ironically, this notorious record was released on Friday, October 13th (1978). A magical recording revealed during the spookiest month of the year!
In my opinion, this live album is AC/DC at their best. As the title insinuates this lineup gave everything they had on stage, including their blood! The records’ famed cover features Angus Young impaled by a guitar! Bon Scott holds him up while leering at the astonished crowd. The back cover was even more spectacular featuring Angus lying in his own blood with a broken guitar sticking out of his back! The AC/DC awe factor was in full swing and this was clearly the beginning. Recorded during the Powerage tour, it contained songs from all of the classic albums: Powerage, T.N.T., Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Let There Be Rock. The entire concert was supposedly filmed but it has never been released in its entirety.
The video and song “If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It” was offered in conjunction with the band’s breakthrough album Highway To Hell. Highway To Hell was released in 1979. It became the first AC/DC release to break the US Top 100. It eventually reached number seventeen and propelled the band into the mainstream ranks. Highway To Hell is the second highest selling AC/DC album, (Back In Black, a tribute to Bon, is number one) and is considered one of the greatest hard rock albums of all time.
The music video is a feast for the eyes, a performance offering of a band hitting on all cylinders. It’s hard to believe that Bon Scott would be dead less than a year later. This was a line-up that gave it all on stage, blood, sweat and tears. My favorite part of this effort is near the end when Bon impales Angus with a guitar!
The song “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” is also featured in five feature films; The Longest Yard, Shoot Em Up, Final Destination 5, The Dukes of Hazzard (film) and Empire Records.
I hope Angus Young has a kick ass birthday. He’s a guitar god that I will always treasure. In my mind, If You Want Blood will forever epitomize AC/DC’s willingness to give it all. Nothing has stopped them, not even death, and nothing ever will. \m/
- Bon Scott – Vocals
- Angus Young – Guitar
- Malcolm Young – Guitar
- Cliff Williams – Bass
- Phil Rudd – Drums