- Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (song)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
Single by AC/DC from the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap B-side "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)" (Australia)
"Big Balls", "The Jack" (UK)
"Highway To Hell" (U.S.)
Released 1976 Format 7-inch single Recorded 1976 Genre Hard rock, heavy metal Length 4:12 Label Albert Productions Producer Harry Vanda, George Young AC/DC singles chronology "Jailbreak"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
"Love at First Feel"
Alternate coverAustralia vinyl single Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap track listing "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
"Ain't No Fun (Waitin' Round to Be a Millionaire)"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (live)" Single by AC/DC from the album Live B-side "Shoot to Thrill" (live) Released 1992 Format CD, 12-inch single Recorded 1991 Genre Hard rock Length 5:02 Label ATCO Writer(s) Angus Young
Producer Bruce Fairbairn AC/DC singles chronology "Bonny – Highway to Hell" (live)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (live)
Live track listing "Hells Bells"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
"Whole Lotta Rosie"
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the title track and first track of their album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, released in September 1976, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott.
It was also released as a single – first in Australia in October 1976 with "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)" as its B-side, and then in the UK in January 1977 as a maxi-single with "Big Balls" and "The Jack" as its B-sides. Once the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album was finally released in the US in 1981 the "Dirty Deeds ..." single was released there (backed by "Highway To Hell"), where it reached number four on the then-new Top Tracks chart.
It features a backing vocal consisting of a heavy breathing sound, made on the downbeat during verses. It also features the title in a spoken-word style at the end of the chorus; plus a scream at the end of the song. The full length recording (approximately 4:11) has the title of the song chanted four times starting at 3:09, but on the more common edited version (approximately 3:51) the chant is heard only twice.
The song's narrator invites people experiencing problems to either call him on 36-24-36, an actual phone number in Australia at the time, or visit him at his home, at which point he will perform assorted unsavoury acts to resolve said problems. Situations in which he offers assistance include those involving lewd high school headmasters and significant others who are either adulterous or who persistently find fault with their partners. As detailed by the song, the "dirty deeds" performed at low cost include:
Two of the services offered share names with AC/DC's first two Australian albums, T.N.T. and High Voltage. They are also the names of songs that appeared on Australia's T.N.T. and the international version of High Voltage. Additionally, the six digits of the telephone number provided by the speaker are the idealized "perfect measurements" of a woman (36"–24"–36" (91 –61 –91 cm)).
The phrase "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" is a homage to the cartoon Beany and Cecil, which Angus Young watched when he was a child. One of the cartoon's characters was named Dishonest John, who carried a business card that read: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays, and Special Rates."
In 1981, Norman and Marilyn White of Libertyville, Illinois filed a $250,000 lawsuit in Lake County, Illinois Circuit Court against Atlantic Records and its distributors because, they alleged, their telephone number was included in the song, resulting in hundreds of prank phone calls. Their attorney told the Chicago Tribune that the song's 36-24-36 digits were followed by what to his clients sounded like an "8," thus creating the couple's phone number.
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" has only been included on one official AC/DC live album, 1992's Live, sung by Scott's replacement Brian Johnson. This live version was released as a single. A video clip for the single was released containing footage from the Live at Donington home video, as well as other old clips mixed in the video. This video clip was later released on the DVD Family Jewels Disc 3, as part of the 2009 box set Backtracks.
An earlier version with Bon Scott, recorded live in Sydney (Haymarket) at the Festival of Sydney on 30 January 1977, was released on an Australian only radio 2JJ compilation album titled Long Live The Evolution. This live version was later released on Backtracks.
Recorded cover versions
- A parody of this song was recorded by Bob Rivers called "Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep".
- Hayseed Dixie recorded a bluegrass-style cover for their albums A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC and Let There Be Rockgrass. This version replaces Bon Scott's scream with singer John Wheeler's loud belch at the end.
- Kerri-anne Kennerley covered the song on the album Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge released in 2001.
- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts achieved modest chart success with a single of this in 1990.
- A cover of this song was recorded by thrash metal band Exodus for the album Tempo of the Damned.
- The queercore band Pansy Division also recorded a parody, called "Dirty Queers Don't Come Cheap".
- Lesley Gore recorded a cover for the album When Pigs Fly.
- Graveyard BBQ also did a cover of this song for their Greatest Hits Volume Two album.
- A parody of this song was featured on The Simpsons, in the episode "Sex, Pies and Idiot Scrapes"; when Homer Simpson suggests to Ned Flanders that they pass the time by singing "Dirty Deeds", Flanders instead offers a supposed Christian rock version, "Kindly Deeds Done For Free", which Flanders credits to a fictional AC/DC tribute band called "AD/BC".
- The Atomic Bitchwax covered this song on their EP Spit Blood.
- In the first season of TV series How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson appears singing this song in a karaoke.
Live cover versions
- Local H covered this song live mixed in with their song "Bound for the Floor" during their 2008 tour for their album Twelve Angry Months.
- The Nightwatchman covered this song with revised lyrics concerning the Bush Administration during his 2008 tour.
Chart (1970) Peak position New Zealand Singles Chart 34 UK Singles Chart 47
- Bon Scott – lead vocals
- Angus Young – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Mark Evans – bass
- Phil Rudd – drums
- AC/DC Two Sides to Every Glory by Paul Stenning
- ^ "VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", 1–4 May 2006, VH1 Channel, reported by VH1.com; last accessed 10 September 2006.
- ^ "spreadit.org music". http://music.spreadit.org/vh1-top-100-hard-rock-songs/. Retrieved February 7, 2009.
- ^ Hirsley, Michael (October 10, 1981). "'Dirty Deeds' bring suit". Chicago Tribune: p. W3.
- ^ "AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". australian-charts.com. http://australian-charts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=AC%2FDC&titel=Dirty+Deeds+Done+Dirt+Cheap&cat=s. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- ^ "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/songinfo.php?id=8890. Retrieved 2010-02-27.
Joan Jett / Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Studio albums Compilation albums EPsI Love Rock 'n' Roll 92 Singles Related articlesDiscography · The Runaways
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