Today marks the 40th anniversary of the legendary lead singer of AC/D/C, Bon Scott. One of the most iconic rock vocalists of all time we’re paying our respects to the notorious Scott by looking back at one of his most impressive vocal performances.
We’re looking back at Scott’s isolated vocal on the title track from their 1977 LP Let There Be Rock as a lasting testament to the almighty power of Scott’s whiskey-soaked razor blade voice. Even without the band, this song could bring the house down.
Born in Scotland, Scott moved to Australia at the age of 6. Spending a lot of time in bands during his adolescence, the singer eventually found a home at the front of AC/DC after he took over from Dave Evans in 1974. It would prove to be a life-changing decision.
The band would soon outgrow their native Australia and take over the world with their hard rock style. Backed by the Young brothers and with Scott’s rock and roll lyrics at the heart of things, AC/DC were quickly one of the biggest bands on the planet. But it would come to an all too premature end for Scott.
On February 19th, 1980, the singer would be out drinking with friends and ended up sleeping in a parked car in East Dulwich, London. During the night the official coroner report suggests that Scott died from “acute alcohol poisoning” and “death by misadventure”, though this is still hotly debated.
It can be alluring to focus on the singer’s somewhat mysterious death but we’d prefer to focus on the joy he provided during his life and there isn’t a more joyous AC/DC song than ‘Let There Be Rock’. Written between Malcolm & Angus Young as well as Scott, the track is an unbridled moment of classic rock power.
The track is based on the fictionalised rise of rock and roll. Taking on from Chuck Berry’s classic line, “… tell Tchaikovsky the news” from ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, the song builds on this theory and extrapolates it to new “42 decibel” heights. Though the track is finished with Young’s shredding solo, it is on Scott’s vocal that the song really hangs.
Aside from all the technical qualities Scott provides on ‘Let There Be Rock’, the real moment of artistic joy comes from Scott’s embodiment of the track. He is gravelly lead singer, the amp-pushing leader of heavy rock, in many ways, he is the rock and roll dream,
The dream would end in a nightmare for AC/DC and their fans with Scott’s death but at least we can revel in the life he gave to us all. For now, let us remember the late great Bon Scott with the isolated vocal on ‘Let There Be Rock’ below.