Review Of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap — 4 years ago
That Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was not released in the U. S. until 1981 is a remarkable shame. (The tracks on it were recorded in 1976 or, in some cases, earlier.) The album stands with Highway To Hell and Back In Black as AC/DC’s finest work.
The title track, with its stop-time rhythm part, sing-along chorus, and lyrics about a miscreant for hire, starts off very strong, although the background singing or heavy breathing or whatever you might call it through the verses is quite distracting. “Love At First Feel” is a good song, but unremarkable other than the clever title and Scott’s slimy way of singing about his underage mistress.
Almost all of AC/DC’s music uses delightful euphemistic imagery, but “Big Balls” takes it to an entirely different level. It actually is not a terrible tune, but only Bon Scott could pull it off so well. Along with Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-a-Ling”, “Big Balls” shares this critic’s prize for best songs about the male genitalia.
“Rocker” is short, sweet, and one of the most frenetic songs the band ever recorded. While they do better utilizing space in mid-tempo tunes, nothing else will get you moving quite like this does. The false ending is a nice touch. “Problem Child” uses a signature riff and the familiar theme of the singer as a bad, bad man well. “There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’” and “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting ’round To Be A Millionaire)” are ok, but do not rise to the leve of the rest of the material.
The band changes the vibe entirely for “Ride On”, shifting to an uncharacteristic slow, understated ballad-like feel. This sounds like it would fail spectacularly, but the slow, sinister accompaniment and Scott’s mournful singing are actually quite effective.
The closing song, “Squealer”, may be the best part of the disc. Like “The Jack”, “Whole Lotta Rosie”, “Love At First Feel”, and many other AC/DC songs, it chronicles a sexual exploit, in this case one with an especially enthusiastic virgin. The song builds from a rocking snaky bassline, adds simple but powerful guitar chords, and then explodes into an extended, orgasmic guitar solo. Not a bad formula for a hard-partying rock & roll song, or the entire album.