September 1976: AC/DC Releases "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"

AC/DC back in the day
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It was December 1975 when AC/DC hit the studio to record the band's third LP, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Originally released in the group's native Australia on September 20, 1976, AC/DC would issue an international version (with a different track list) on December 17 of the same year.

RELATED: AC/DC and Bon Scott Honored at "Highway to Hell" Parade in Australia

The band's American label, Atlantic, however, wasn't interested, and was actually on the verge of dropping the group. Atlantic label exec Phil Carson, who was responsible for signing AC/DC, had to show his bosses the sales figures for the group's previous full-length, High Voltage, to prove that there was still an American market for Bon Scott and company. Granted, AC/DC had yet to tour in America, so it's no wonder their Stateside audience was relatively small.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap would become a hot seller as an import in the US, really picking up steam after 1979 release, Highway to Hell, became a breakout success. Singer Bon Scott's death in February 1980 would slam the brakes on the group's rising success.

Of course, AC/DC would recruit vocalist Brian Johnson en route to the band's biggest-selling album, Back in Black, released in July 1980. With the blockbuster returns on Back in Black still raking in big bucks, Atlantic decided to cash in by finally issuing Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in America in April 1981. It shot up to #3 on the Billboard 200. The record did so well that it sucked sales away from the then-new For Those About to Rock We Salute You, released at the end of November 1981.

Still, For Those About to Rock... would go on to be AC/DC's first and only #1 album in America until Black Ice would top the charts in 2008. That's right--somehow, Back in Black never hit #1.


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