AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

‘Let There Be Rock’ is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the third and title track of their album Let There Be Rock, released in March 1977, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott. It was also released as a single, with a B-side of ‘Problem Child’, in 1977. The song provides an encapsulated, fictionalised version of the history of rock 'n' roll. Building on a line from the Chuck Berry song "Roll Over Beethoven": "... tell Tchaikovsky the news", ‘Let There Be Rock’ reveals that Tchaikovsky did in fact receive the message and subsequently shared it with the masses, resulting in the rise of rock 'n' roll.

Following rock's birth, rock bands appeared everywhere, musicians found fame (while businesses made money off their efforts), and millions of people learned how to play electric guitar. The third and final verse speaks of a "42-decibel" rock band playing good, loud music in an establishment called "The Shaking Hand". This is usually changed to "92-decibel" in live versions of the song. After the final verse, the song ends with an extended solo by Angus Young, which consists mainly of tremolo picking, string bends, and hammer-ons.


Angus Young said of this song: "I remember the amp literally exploded during the recording session. My brother watched it with crazed eyes, and he told me 'Come on! Keep on playing!' while the stuff was steaming."

‘Let There Be Rock’ is widely considered one of the band's best songs. The Guardian ranked the song number four on its list of the 40 greatest AC/DC songs, and the British rock magazine Kerrang! ranked the song number three on its list of the 20 greatest AC/DC songs. An anthem for the band, AC/DC has played this song at every concert since 1978. They often play it very fast and the solo can be extended all the way to 20 minutes as Angus rises above the stage and does the "spasm."

The music video for ‘Let There Be Rock’ was filmed in July 1977. It was recorded in the Kirk Gallery church in Surry Hills, New South Wales and featured Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams, who replaced Mark Evans as the band's bassist shortly after the Let There Be Rock album was released. This marked one of Williams' first public appearances with AC/DC. Scott was dressed as a priest and the rest of the band as altar boys, with Angus Young wearing a halo prop on his head. Towards the end of the video, it shows Angus, and the rest of the band jamming while he plays the guitar. In an alternate ending of the video, the colors are morphed and the camera zooms in on the stained-glass window. According to an interview with the Young brothers, Scott injured himself in the final jump from the podium. In the video and studio recording, Scott also sings the pre-chorus incorrectly, introducing 'sound' before 'light.' This is corrected during live performances of the song.

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Labels – Albert, Atlantic
Songwriters – Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott
Producers – Harry Vanda, George Young


[Verse 1]
In the beginning
Back in nineteen-fifty-five
Man didn't know about a rock 'n' roll show
An' all that jive
The white man had the schmaltz
The black man had the blues
No one knew what they was gonna do
But Tchaikovsky had the news
He said, "Let there be sound"
There was sound
"Let there be light"
There was light
"Let there be drums"
There was drums
"Let there be guitar"
There was guitar
Oh, let there be rock
[Solo 1]
[Verse 2]
And it came to pass
That rock 'n' roll was born
And all across the land, every rockin' band
Was blowing up a storm
And the guitar man got famous
The businessmen got rich
And in every bar, there was a superstar
With a seven year itch
There were fifteen-million fingers
Learning how to play
And you could hear the fingers pickin'
And this is what they had to say:
"Let there be light
Oh, let there be rock
[Solo 2]
[Verse 3]
One night, in the club called "The Shaking Hand"
There was a 42 decibel rockin' band
And the music was good, and the music was loud
And the singer turned and he said to the crowd:
"Let there be rock"
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