Daily Song Study

AC/DC – Money Talks

In songs on December 7, 2011 at 9:38 am

Yesterday’s trip into hard rock circa 1990 made me think of another tune from that year with rather less deliberate historical time-stamping, but with just as much lyrical relevance.

It may seem strange that a blog concerned with the finer points of songwriting would spend time covering a band known primarily for crotch-grabbing stadium anthems, but the fact is that if you want to talk about hooks, Angus & Co. are a pretty good source.

Everyone knows the early AC/DC fare; however this later tune sticks out not only for its singability, but for the devilish way it captures human nature in the age of Big Capitalism. The unapologetic grab for dollars and all the trappings that signify high rolling can be most perfectly represented by fist-pumping rock theatrics, and few deliver those goods like this group. It’s as if Wall Street‘s Gordon Gekko suddenly developed a Brian Johnson scream.

There is a lot going on here musically as well. The chorus melody is carried on the guitar, and the emphasis on the 4th beat helps to pound in the rhythm, which then gets shifted to the 1 during the verses. The syncopated backup vocals are a nice touch.

As I’ve mentioned before, all the clever subtleties of the songwriter’s art can ultimately be for naught if the thing isn’t catchy. Which this is. Don’t be hatin’.


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