The album has been certified 6x Platinum in the U.S.A., which means that it has sold at least 6 million copies, becoming the third highest sold album by AC/DC in the U.S. after Highway to Hell (seven times platinum) and Back in Black (22+).
|Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap|
|Studio album by AC/DC|
|Released||September 20, 1976 (Australia)
December 17, 1976 (International)
March 1981 (United States)
|Recorded||December 1975 - March 1976|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues-rock, rock and roll|
|Producer||Harry Vanda, George Young|
|*Allmusic *Allmusic *Blender |
|The international cover artwork was designed by Hipgnosis|
Following up on the preceding Australian album, 1975's T.N.T., AC/DC delivered another recording with a number of fan-favourite songs, including the title track, "Squealer", "Problem Child", and others. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap also contains some controversial lyrics. For example "Big Balls" lyrics uses double entendres, referring the title phrase to costume dance balls and to testicles.
The single "Jailbreak" preceded the album's release in Australia and the UK. After the album's release, the single for "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was released in Australia in October 1976, in the UK in January 1977, and in the US in 1981 (when the album was finally released there).
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap also led to more AC/DC appearances on Australia's Countdown music program, following those in support of High Voltage and T.N.T. These appearances included a live performance of the album's title track, as well as a music video for "Jailbreak".
A song titled "I'm a Rebel" was recorded during this album's sessions in 1976, with music and lyrics written by Angus and Malcolm Young's older brother, Alex Young . This song was never released by AC/DC and remains in Albert Productions' vaults. German band Accept later released it as a single and named their second album after the song.
On the Live At Donington DVD, Angus and Malcolm Young explain that the concept of this album was to make it a Humphrey Bogart-esque mystery scenario.
Furthermore, the term "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, and carried a business card that read, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays and Special Rates."
The album was released in April 1981 in the US and reached #3 on the Billboard charts. Currently, the album is certified 6xPlatinum, selling 6 million copies
The international edition of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, released November 1976, is considerably different from the original Australian edition, and features a different cover and track order. It was not released in the United States until April 1981.
On this album, "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)" and "Jailbreak" (featured on the Australian version) were replaced by "Rocker" (from 1975's T.N.T.) and "Love at First Feel", the latter being one of only two tracks from international AC/DC albums not available on the band's Australian albums. (The other is "Cold Hearted Man", released on European pressings of Powerage.) Conversely, several songs available on Australian AC/DC albums did not see overseas release until more than thirty years later. However, "Love at First Feel" was released in Australia as a single in January 1977.
Though the international album was released by Atlantic Records in Europe in 1976, it was not picked up for U.S. release at the time. Following the American success of Highway To Hell in late 1979, copies of the album began to appear as imports in the U.S. Some of these imports were the original Australian edition on Albert Productions. However, Atlantic Records also pressed the international version in Australia, and many of these copies were also exported to the U.S. Strong demand for both import versions in the wake of the even greater success of Back In Black eventually led the U.S. division of Atlantic to finally authorize an official U.S. release in April 1981, which went straight to #3 on the Billboard album charts.
Two songs on the international album were edited from the full length versions on the original Australian album. The full length "Dirty Deeds..." has the title of the song chanted four times starting at 3:09, but on the edited version the chant is heard only twice. "Ain't No Fun..." lasted 7:29 on the Australian album but was faded out early to 6:57 on the international version. However, both these full length versions were restored on the 1994 Atco Records remastered CD of the international album. The most recent 2003 CD edition by Epic Records goes back to the edited versions, as originally on the 1976 and 1981 international vinyl editions. The uncut versions of both songs were released on the 2009 box set Backtracks.
On the original version of "Rocker", included on the Australian T.N.T. album, the song lasts 2:55 and cuts out abruptly as the guitar riff hits its peak. But all international editions of the "Dirty Deeds" album have a slightly shorter version where the song fades out at 2:50 before the cut.
"R.I.P. (Rock In Peace)" finally saw international release as part of the compilation Backtracks, which was released on November 10, 2009.
- "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" – 4:13
- "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)" – 7:31
- "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" – 3:17
- "Problem Child" – 5:46
- "Squealer" – 5:18
- "Big Balls" – 2:40
- "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)" – 3:36
- "Ride On" – 5:53
- "Jailbreak" – 4:41
- "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" – 3:52 (edited version)
- "Love at First Feel" – 3:12
- "Big Balls" – 2:38
- "Rocker" – 2:50 (edited version)
- "Problem Child" – 5:46
- "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" – 3:18
- "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)" – 6:57 (edited version)
- "Ride On" – 5:53
- "Squealer" – 5:15
- Most editions of this album contain the edited versions of the title track and "Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)." The 1994 remastered CD on Atco Records contains the full-length Australian versions of both songs.
- The track "Rocker" was originally released on T.N.T. in 1975 in a slightly longer version without the fade out.
- The track "Ride On" also appears on the soundtrack Who Made Who for the Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive.
- Bon Scott – lead vocals
- Angus Young – lead guitar
- Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Mark Evans – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Phil Rudd – drums
|1976||Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart||5|
|1981||US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart||3|
Singles - Billboard (North America)
|1981||"Big Balls"||Mainstream Rock||26|
|1981||"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"||Mainstream Rock||4|
|United States||6,000,000||6x Platinum|