Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Although the band are commonly classified as hard rock and are considered a pioneer of heavy metal, they have always classified their music as rock and roll.

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album “Powerage. The band recorded their highly successful album Highway to Hell in 1979. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the band released their best-selling album, Back in Black.

The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright, though the band resurged in the early 1990s with the release of The Razor’s Edge. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics. Since then, the band has stayed the same with the 1980-1984 lineup. The band’s most recent album, Black Ice, was released on 20 October 2008.

Brothers Malcolm, Angus and George Young were born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to Sydney with most of their family in 1963. George was the first to learn to play the guitar. He became a member of the Easybeats, one of Australia’s most successful bands of the 1960s. In 1966, they became the first local rock act to have an international hit, with the song “Friday on My Mind”. Malcolm followed in George’s footsteps by playing with a Newcastle, New South Wales, band called the Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the New York—based Velvet Underground)

Brothers Malcolm, Angus and George Young were born in Glasgow, Scotland, and moved to Sydney with most of their family in 1963. George was the first to learn to play the guitar. He became a member of the Easybeats, one of Australia’s most successful bands of the 1960s. In 1966, they became the first local rock act to have an international hit, with the song “Friday on My Mind”. Malcolm followed in George’s footsteps by playing with a Newcastle, New South Wales, band called the Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the New York-based Velvet Underground).

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

The song’s narrator invites people experiencing problems to either call him on 36-24-36 or visit him at his home, at which point he will perform assorted unsavoury acts to resolve said problems. Situations in which he offers assistance include those involving lewd high school headmasters and significant others who are either adulterous or who persistently find fault with their partners. As detailed by the song, the “dirty deeds” performed at low cost include:

  • Concrete shoes
  • Cyanide
  • TNT
  • Neckties
  • Contracts
  • High voltage

Two of the services offered share names with AC/DC’s first two Australian albums, T.N.T. and High Voltage. They are also the names of songs that appeared on Australia’s T.N.T. and the international version of High Voltage. Additionally, the six digits of the telephone number provided by the speaker are the idealized “perfect measurements” of a woman (36″-24″-36″).

The phrase “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” is an homage to the cartoon Beany and Cecil, which Angus Young watched when he was a child. One of the cartoon’s characters was named Dishonest John, who carried a business card that read: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays, and Special Rates.”

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If you’re havin’ trouble with your high school head/huh, huh, huh, huh
He’s givin’ you the blues/huh, huh, huh
You wanna graduate but not in ‘is bed/huh, huh, huh, huh
Here’s what you gotta do/huh, huh, huh
Pick up the phone, I’m always home/huh, huh, huh, huh, huh
Call me anytime/huh, huh, huh
Just ring: three-six-two-four-three-six, hey
I lead a life of crime

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap

You got problems in your life of love/huh, huh, huh, huh
You got a broken heart/huh, huh, huh
He’s double-dealin’ with your best friend/huh, huh, huh, huh, huh
That’s when the teardrops start FELLA, well-uh/huh, huh, huh
Pick up the phone, I’m here alone/huh, huh, huh, huh, huh
Or make a social call/huh, huh, huh, huh
Come right in, forget about him
We’ll have ourselves a ball, eh

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap, oohh
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap
Whoa yeah

You got a lady and you want her gone/huh, huh, huh, huh
But you ain’t got the guts/huh, huh, huh
She keeps naggin’ at you night ‘n’ day/huh, huh, huh, huh
Enough to drive you nuts/huh, huh, huh, huh
Pick up the phone, leave her alone/huh, huh, huh, huh
It’s time you made a stand/huh, huh, huh, huh
For a fee, I’m happy to be
Your back door man, hey

Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap, yeah
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds and they’re done dirt cheap
Concrete shoes
Cyanide
T.N.T
Done dirt cheap
Ooo, neckties
Contracts
High voltage
Done dirt cheap, eah

Dirty deeds, do anything you want me to, done dirt cheap
Dirty deeds, dirty deeds, dirty deeds, done dirt cheap

Yaaagh

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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