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For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) by AC/DC

Album: For Those About To RockReleased: 1981Charted:
  • The phrase that this song's title is based on is "For those about to Die..." It came from Rome, where gladiators would fight to the death in the arena. Before each match, a person would always say to the high rulers: "Those who are about to die salute you." AC/DC just changed some words to get "For Those About to Rock - We Salute You." (thanks, Shane - Boston, MA)
  • Angus Young got the idea for the title when Bon Scott gave him a book about ancient Rome by Robert Graves called For Those About To Die, We Salute You.
  • The band got the idea to use cannons in this song when they were rehearsing in Paris and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was on a nearby TV and cannons could be heard to celebrate the wedding. At AC/DC's concerts, two cannons set up behind the band were used to perform this song. It wasn't the first time they augmented their show with nontraditional instruments. In 1980, they used an enormous bell on stage to ring in "Hell's Bells."

    AC/DC also wasn't the first band to use artillery on stage. When Emerson, Lake & Palmer played the Isle of Wight festival in 1970, the fired two cannons at the end of their performance of "Pictures At An Exhibition." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)
  • This wasn't the first time AC/DC substituted the word "Rock" into a well known phrase; the title of their 1977 album Let there be Rock is based on the biblical phrase "Let there be Light." (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
  • This was the title track to their only album that went to #1 in America. The cannons in the stage show took a while to perfect. They originally had 21 smaller ones, which created an enormous amount of sparks.
  • Jack Black quotes this in the film School Of Rock as words of inspiration to his band before they perform at The Battle of the Bands. (thanks, Tom - Trowbridge, England)
  • In 2012, AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson revealed that the stage cannons often burned him during performances of this song, with "horrible sparks" falling on his shoulders.
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Comments: 36

I thought the title "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)" was inspired by the book (Angus read) "For About To Die" by Daniel Mannix. I read that book. If you want to know the depths of depravity in Rome, read it.Michael - Wisconsin
Parts of this song are very similar in composition to "Who Are You" by The Who, which came out years earlier.Eric - Camas, Wa
The original cannons used were smaller and had no wheels, they were just the barrel.Andrew - Kilcoy, Australia
Rock and Roll's anthem, Rock on.Austin - Bristow, Va
i love this song! ACDC and pink floyd are my two favorite bands.Joe - Norristown, Pa
Comparing the Darkness to AC/DC isn't even fair. You might as well compare a tabby cat to a puma.Luke - Manchester, England
i like the cannons it makes the song rock harder!Andrew - Bartlett, Tn
Man this song has such good lyrics...legendary, historical stuff- the canons- like Malcolm said- they are instruments, makin good use of em...
Aussie band but not Aussie-borns- only Phil is from Australia. Ang n Mal are from Glasgow,Scotland, Brian is from Newcastle, Bon is from Kirriemur,Scotland, by the way :) .
Selina - Perth, Australia
This was my very first concert. After tons since then it still remains one of the very best. The cannons were LOUD! This one was of the few shows that afterwards when I was walking to the car. my ears were ringing realy loud for about an hour.Tom - Seattle, Wa
No, I meant the song the kids in School of Rock wrote, before they preformed "It's a long way?". The song the actually competed with sounds like "For those about to Rock".Tom - East Lyme, Ct
to tom two comments below me, the song the kids from school of rock play is It's a Long Way to the Top, by, well...AC/DCMe - There, Nj
This songs KICKS SO MUCH A$$! I am A pitcher and this is my intro song and it gets me PUMPED!!!Zach - Carlsbad, Ca
This song that the kids of school of rock preform in their battle of the bands concert has some striking similarities to this songTom - East Lyme, Ct
for those about to rock we salute you has an excellent guitar in it i think ang and mal did good with this one as well as many othersZack - Glendale, Az
this is a good song and i love the guitar in itIan - Greenfield, Ma
This goes out to "The Darkness Rock" in Austrailia. Whatta ya mean this songs not that good. This is an anthem to people who love rock and roll all over the world. I think your just bored with them. THIS SONG ROCKS
Magnus in pennsylvania
Magnus - Mountville, Pa
This song sounds nothing like the rest of the album. The rest of the album excluding "For Those About To Rock" and "Evil Walks" is really pop based. "For Those About To Rock" and "Evil Walks" are sorta hard. The album though is really awesome. It was there first US number one It was only a hit because of the success of Back In Black. if Back In Black wasn't successful this wouldn't have been.Ac/dc_misfit - Millmerran, Australia
For Those About To Rock (We Salute you) is by far one of the most meaningful songs in rock history, beside Back in black and Hell's bells and whatever else. AC/DC is coming out with another Album and there is no offcial date yet.Chase - Sedona, Az
I LOVE THIS SONG!! it's sooo awesome, and yea it's true AC/DC is Austrailian not American, i'm doing this band as a music project at my school, it's pretty awesome.Bobina - Beverly Hills, Ca
This song is cool, and ACDC is Australian not American. In fact, most of the guys were Scottish immigrants who moved to Australia as kids if I'm not mistaken. I know Malcolm and Angus did, and so did Bon Scot. I'm not sure about Bryan Johnson.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
It's not that good of a song. I'm ahuge AC/DC fan but I'm hooked on the Darkness now. But I still listen to AC/DC heaps. Stage wise this song is good thoughThe Darkness Rock - Millmerran, Australia
i had to register just to say that this "all american group" is from australia. hence the nickname "the thunder from down under". i hate to be picky, but it's the other side of the planet.Judge - Baltimore, Md
AC/DC is one of the best all-American groups ever. I love the movie "Maxamum Overdrive" where the whole soundtrack is AC/DC.Beckie - Atwater, Ca
EPIC. That's all there is to it. Funny that that's also they're record labelJosh - Las Vegas, Nv
this is the song that inspired me and got me into acdc.Ryan - Bentonville, Ar
One of the all time great anthem songs ever written. Of course AC/DC has a few, but this one crosses all barriers when you talk about rockin'. No one can do rock like these guys do. I can think of alot of great tunes by many a band, but when you think pure power rock without compromise, this is it. This is one for the ages that will never lose it's place in music history.Dee - Indianapolis, In
dan it was used in the super bowl XXXVIII commercislsKevin - Fallston, Md
What's so great about this song is that you can use it as a theme before almost any big event (of course mainly for those about to rock). It represents the sheer power and glory that defines AC/DC. It's just too bad that the other songs on the whole album aren't as well-recognized.Alec - Sewell, Nj
Actually, Andrew, the legend goes that gladiators saluted Caesar before fighting to the death, saying "Those of us about to die, we salute you." Of course, because gladiators were so expensive to train, the phrase should really have gone something like "Those of us about to fight until we're both too tired to raise our arms, we salute you."Brendan - Colts Neck, Nj
they used to say" for those abou to die we salute you" to the Roman soldiers during the time of CaesarAndrew - Springfield, Mo
Andrew, isnt it 2005 it's coming out?Mike - Oliver, Canada
The name was taken from a book Brian Johnson or Angus read that said "For those about to die, we salute you." For those about to rock sounded better though.Joe D - Hamden, Ct
Hasn't it been used in NFL commercials?Dan - Olathe, Ks
Awesome song! A true classic! AC/DC is releasing
a new album this year(2004) and doing a world tour.
Andrew - Bowmanville, Canada
This is also currently the last song they play at concerts. If you see AC/DC in concert and they haven't brought the cannons out yet, don't leave - no matter how long it's been since they've left the stage. There's at least one more encore.Panther - Houston, Tx
was used to commemorate 9-11-01 attack on U.S. soil and as a staple to join up with United States military campain agianst terrorismJames - Atlanta , Ga