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Happy Birthday Malcolm Young: The Man Behind The Band

Some of my earliest musical memories surround the band AC/DC. Some of the first songs I learned to play on the drums. Some of the first songs my band covered. Now, almost 15 years after my first glimpse, the band has left an indelible mark on my musical prowess. While Angus Young (his brother) and Bon Scott will always be remembered as the most famous members of the Australian rock group, the entire operation hinges on the rhythm guitar, played by Malcolm. Taking the path less traveled, he seemed just fine in the background knowing that he had written the riffs that his brother would make famous.

Today Malcolm turns 58 and in honor of his birthday, we’re going to countdown the top five songs written by the man behind one of the most commercially successful rock bands of all time.

  1. Whole Lotta Rosie: The opening to this song is incredible. It’s as fast paced as it is musical. Also, listen for the intricate rhythm guitar work in the background, performed by Malcolm.
  2. Money Talks: Another over the top opening, the song features the classic AC/DC tone paired with a super straight forward performance from every single instrument, classic of the bands work.
  3. Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution: One of the slowest songs the band ever recorded, the song is layered over a very unconventional guitar sound (for this band). With almost no complexity at all, it allows all of the guitar work to bleed through.
  4. The Jack: Being a big fan, people often tell me that every single AC/DC song sounds the same. To them, I respond with this song. A song that is a great example of musicality for the band. It blends the classic sound with a blues twinge.
  5. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It): This one is money. A fast paced guitar sound that becomes layered as both guitars combine to play the rhythm portion, this song demonstrates how a song can be made by a guitar tone.

Notable mentions: Of course there are  ton of songs missing from this list. All of the true AC/DC singles should be on this list. Riffs, written by Malcolm such as the opening to “Back In Black,” “Highway to Hell,” “You Shook Me All Night Long” or “Dirty Deeds” all contribute to the legacy of this famed guitar player.

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  • Comment by Groucho posted January 09, 2011 at 12:58

    You the man Malc!