On November 23, 1981, "AC/DC" released their eighth studio album "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)".
After the meteoric success of the album "Back In Black", "AC/DC" became one of the most sought-after, popular and leading rock bands in the world.
In December 1980, the film "Let There Be Rock" was released with excerpts from the tour that accompanied the album "Highway To Hell" and interviews from the Bon Scott era. "Atlantic" which previously refused to release the 1976 album "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" on U.S. soil, was suddenly happy to do so. "Red Bus Records" suddenly released recordings of "Geordie", Brian Johnson's mother band, under the name "Brian Johnson and Geordie", in an attempt to "milk" the yielding cow to the end, and even "the Rolling Stones" invited "AC/DC" to open one of their stadium performances in North America in exchange for a fantastic sum of one million dollars. "AC/DC" politely declined and leaped forward to focus on the next album.
In July 1981, the band entered the EMI studios in Paris to begin work on the album. They continued their fruitful collaboration with super producer, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, the magician, who began working with the band on "Highway To Hell" and was one of the main causes of their meteoric breakthrough, which only intensified on their next comeback album "Back In Black". If you have not yet read the review on the process of creating the "Highway To Hell" you must stop here, click on the link, read it and get back to us, we promise to wait ...
So if you read the review you should know that Lang was a perfectionist, a very meticulous producer. He had an absolute hearing. An unstretched snare drum, an untuned guitar string or even a wrong breath were repaired immediately. This time, too, the recordings were influenced by Lang's perfectionism, only this time the band was already tired of this way of working after three consecutive albums. Lang took it a little too far this time too. For long days he tried to reach the ultimate drum sound. He thought this was the basis for the album's sound and refused to go ahead with the recordings until he reached the drum sound he wanted to achieve. The recording technician said that for the first three days of the recording, Lang focused solely on the sound of the snare drum, which reached a point where the Young brothers had already lost patience. They were smeared for long days on the couch in the studio, bored to death and waiting for Lang to have already finished his preoccupation with the sound of the drums, so that they could start playing. After ten days Lang concluded that he was not going to get the desired sound in the studio and he made the band wander to some warehouse outside Paris with a recording van, to record the basic channels there.
"As you probably already understand, the above story illustrates and explains why the end result was an over-production album and it probably also explains why the band eventually decided to break up with Matt Lang, return to the roots, to the immature and rough sound they had at the beginning and produce their next album "Flick Of The Switch" by themselves.
But the Young Brothers' dissatisfaction with Lang's production did not affect the success of this album which jumped straight to number one in the US, an achievement that the band failed to replicate until 2008 with the release of the album "Black Ice".
The theme song "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" was and still is considered one of the great songs of "AC/DC", with which the band used to end their performances, to the sounds of the roaring cannons. The idea for the song was given by Angus Young who read a book on the Roman Gladiators that was called "For Those About to Die, We Salute You".
We must note that Angus Young was not the first to use the above title as part of an album. The progressive rock band "Colosseum" released in 1969 their excellent debut album called "Those Who Are About to Die Salute You". It's interesting to note that Gary Moore was in 1975 part of the second incarnation of the same band, which was called "Colosseum II".
The imperfection of this album does not just fall on Matt Lang's shoulders. Apparently, after two perfect albums, the band ran out of fuel and failed to produce enough high-level and uniform songs to hold throughout the album. It turns out that alongside songs like "C.O.D." And "Snowballed" which shares the same DNA of the classic "AC/DC", or "Let's Get It Up", "Put The Finger On You" and the excellent "Evil Walks", we get slightly less good songs like, "Breaking The Rules" which sounds to us like a filler or "Night Of The Long Knives" in which the riff sounds to us like what "Aerosmith" is capable to produce (and we certainly do not make a comparison here or intend to insult).
Despite the lack of uniformity as described above, and although the album has always been in the shadow of its two predecessors, it is still a very good album by the band, which has also become one of its best sellers (of course only relatively and not compared to its two meteoric predecessors).