When it comes to Australian rock bands who rose to fame with a lead vocalist who sounded like Donald Duck only to replace him after his death with another lead vocalist who also sounded like Donald Duck, you can’t beat AC/DC.
“If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” is the eighth track from Highway to Hell, the 1979 album that would become singer Bon Scott’s final album; the vocalist died of an alcohol overdose the next year. The album was the band’s usual collection of songs about sex, getting laid, sex, rocking hard, sex, naked women, sex, and sex. (The only person on the planet to ever not understand Scott’s junior high-level single-entendre lyrics was serial killer Richard Ramirez, who claimed the album’s closer, “Night Prowler,” as an influence, even though the song’s really just about – you guessed it – sex.)
Taking its name from the title of their previous record (the live album If You Want Blood), the song fits squarely in AC/DC’s “rocking hard” category – legend has it the phrase was inspired by an awful concert with an audience who wouldn’t stop booing. And so we get lyrics about “livin’ in a human zoo” and “feeling like a Christian… tossed to the lions.” The whole song is a middle finger to lazy audiences who don’t appreciate the musician’s life on the road.
Don’t read it too much as a complaint, though; Scott’s lyrics here boil down to little more than: “What? You want us to rock harder? Fine. WE WILL ROCK HARDER.” And rock harder they do. “If You Want Blood” is arguably the band’s most ass-kicking moment in a career filled with ass-kickery.
And because no discussion of “If You Want Blood” would be complete without it, here’s the song’s memorable appearance in the 1995 cult classic “Empire Records.” Damn the man!