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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC

Album: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt CheapReleased: 1976Charted:
47
  • AC/DC lead guitarist Angus Young got the song title from the 1962 animated cartoon series Beanie and Cecil. The Show first aired on ABC Television and only ran for one season until the 26 episodes shown were cast as repeats for the next 5 years until it was recreated in 1968. The specific inspiration for the song name was the cartoon's main villain, "Dishonest John," who would carry around a business card that said, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays, and Special Rates." Author Susan Masino notes this in the 5th chapter of her 2006 biography of AC/DC entitled, The Story Of AC/DC: Let There Be Rock." Also on the "AC/DC: Live At Donnington" DVD, Angus Young and Malcolm Young comment on the song title as well as the album in the discography feature of the DVD. (thanks, Nick - Cairns, Australia)
  • This song epitomizes AC/DC's dangerous and mean sound, with Angus Young's heavy guitar and Bon Scott's leering, vocals that would have scared the living daylights out of any unsuspecting teenage Pop fans when this song first hit the airwaves (they did it on a national TV show in Australia called Countdown, which was usually frequented by acts like ABBA and Bucks Fizz).
  • This was recorded at Alberts Studios in Sydney, Australia in 1976 soon after the sessions that produced the Australian version of their TNT album.
  • The ending is one of the most famous screams in Rock history. For those wondering, it's spelled: "Yaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggghhhhhh!" (thanks, Mark - Sydney, Australia, for all above)
  • This was used in the Norm MacDonald movie Dirty Work. It is played while Norm's character Mitch and his friend Sam are wrecking a building in an attempt to get it condemned. (thanks, DC - Kansas City, MO)
  • Lesley Gore, known for '60s hits like "It's My Party," recorded this for the 2002 compilation album When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You'd Hear. Her version was produced by Mauro DeSantis, who worked with Cevin Soling on the track. Soling, who was executive producer of the album, explains why he chose this song for Gore: "Her stuff was fairly empowering as far as female artists and things that she was doing. So it's not like it was the complete stretch, but you still think kind of the lighter girl-group kind of music from the '60s, and here's something that's pretty hard-core aggressive. But at the same time, I certainly concede that she was doing edgy stuff in her own way, at the time." (Check out our interview with Cevin Soling.)
  • On a 2008 episode of The Simpsons where they team up on a stakeout, we learn that Homer Simpson and the pious Ned Flanders have come common ground in their musical tastes. Homer likes AC/DC, and Ned likes their Christian tribute band: AD/BC, and their version of this song, "Kindly Deeds Done For Free."
  • Regarding the lyrics, "Just ring: 3-6-2-4-3-6," this was an actual phone number in Australia at the time, and it also could describe the measurements of a very shapely woman: 36-24-36. A year later, the Commodores used the same measurements to describe a woman in their song "Brick House."
  • The song about murder for hire enjoyed a sales spike following drummer Phil Rudd being charged with trying to procure a murder in November 2014. The charge was soon dropped.
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Comments: 61

My favorite mondegreen is "Dirty Deeds and the Dunder Chief". The first station I worked at, one of my co-workers said that was how it always sounded to him. So many people have heard it this way, that you can now buy a WANTED poster with these two dastardly characters on it. They portray the Dunder Chief as Kaiser Wilhelm -- I always pictured him as some Native American badass like Russ Means.Ekristheh - Halath, United States
What astounds me is that Angus was able to just tap the notes in the solo for so long with such little distortion and without even picking it! I tried to replicate it and I have a really hard time unless I turn the distortion up. I have a Fernandes with a compression sustainer built into it and I use that for some of my lead playing, but Angus had/has no such technology.Zero - Nowhere, Nj
Gotta say, this is one of my favorite songs of all time! The whole feel of the song is great. Theres something about it that makes me want to play it over and over again!Kathleen - Chatham, Nj
Pete, are you on meth? Charels Manson is not dead, and i'm not sure you could put that in a song anyway. Your uncle is full of it.Gabe - Huntsville, Al
This is my all-time favorite AC/DC song because it reminds me of a certain time in my life when I was trying to start a health club and a certain girlfriend was screwing around on me!Stormy - Kokomo, In
Considering that a) you don't scream when you're electrcuted - you're in shock, and b) Charles Manson's still alive. I don't believe Pete from Kansas one little bit.Luke - Manchester, England
well really it aint a crime unless your caught duh! but yeah i think the song is about someone or gang,etc... having people do there business for the gang,person,etc...Zachary - Niagara Falls, Ny
This song is about contract killing. Personally, if I was going to kill somebody I'd rather do it myself. I need to stress the fact that I would not ever kill anybody in real life, just in printBriar - Hazard, Ky
Love this song. There ain't no shame in crime.Austin - Bristow, Va
Pete: Charles Manson isn't deadSarah - Hell, Wi
ummm...yeah thats kinda twisted...ewieNady - Adelaide, Australia
The scream at the end of the song is not Angus, but the recording of Charles Manson being executed in the electric chair. The executioner (my uncle) recorded it on his cassette player and got $ 1,000.00 for it from the record producer.Pete - Kansas City, Ks
I can't help but flash an evil smile when the guitar hits the upper octave near the endVic - Knoxville, Tn
ummm as much as I love The Who and AC/DC, I'd still have to say that Jim Morrison has the BEST scream everrrrr, it puts Daltry to shame mwahahahaNady - Adelaide, Australia
This song is about getting rid of people who screw up your life. It's actually catchy despite the lyrics. On a side note some people say they don't listen to the lyrics just the beat. Well, I think that is a bunch of crap.Joel - Columbia, Md
(To Dee, Indianapolis) You do feel like a rebel while listening to AC/DC and being young. I'm pretty much a "good" girl, and listening to these guys is one of the few ways I can feel like I'm doing something that I probably shouldn't be doing -- you know? Especially since my mom and dad don't like them . . . Anyway, awesome song, awesome band. We miss you, Bon!Bess - San Diego, Ca
This song was also covered by Joan Jett.Ryan - Morrison, Il
DUDE!! I am now obsessed w/ this song. It's in my top 5 AC/DC songs. But does this sound a lot like T.N.T or WHAT?Melissa - Lorton, Va
Great song- has a great riff, and the hammer-ons and pull-offs at the end part of that solo and then the bend- amazing- oh man, even live he pulls it off so well- and the puffing in the background from Mal and Mark just gives it that edge as the guitar dies down after the chord and you can hear Bon dishin out his dirt- so simple and so effective- :) :DSelina - Perth, Australia
'Dirty Deeds (Done With Sheep' is by bob Rivers, he has a different voice to Albert YankovicLuke - Manchester, England
The scream in the end is performed by Angus!
Some fans you are!
Dejan - Koprivnica, Croatia
I was at what was called THE KISSMAS PARTY kiss was main atraction AC/DC warm up band,when they played it was a big suprise I asked my friend loudly(is this kiss) he said no,but we were all sta nding in the spectrum in Philly they rocked the house.
Butof course with kisses stage show of fire on we went but for new music at the time AC/DC ruled the music for sure wem were happy with whole show.
this was with bonney bon scott belting out the song what a show.
Billy - Phoenixville, Pa
I prefer Weird Al Yankowich version "Dirty Deeds done with sheep"Roger - Stockholm, Sweden
I own everything AC/DC has put out, I have alway loved the their music, and truly enjoyed the shows they have put on at the concerts that I have attended. - Susan Odessa, TXSusan - Odessa, Tx
The thing definetly says its ONE of the greatest in rock n roll history, not THE greatest. Stop arguing. AC/DC is amazing, the numbers prove it. People who say they suck should play in traffic.Ben - Baltimore, Md
This is CD#1 in my 200 CD player. Great tune, but 'Squealer' is my favorite AC/DC song.Lester - New York City, Ny
I couldn't agree more with Kiyoto. Roger Daltry's scream is by far the best and most famous. In my eyes I think AC/DC was just a bunch of noise.. Very simple guitar and very simple drums. With a very annoying voice.Nick - Pittsburgh, Pa
i really have to agree with Mike from Hillsborough NJ. And Aussie ffff man u really on drugs. The Who are way better than AC/DC, even though AC/DC is one of my favourites, the who still kick a**!Kiyoto - Vancouver, Canada
becca, hamilton, Canada What the hell are you on!!!you must have the worst musical ear in the universeAussie - Fffff, Australia
Ok, i don't think that the scream in this song is the most famous in Rock history. Personally I think its when roger Daltrey belts out a scream at the end of Won't get Fooled Again.Kiyoto - Vancouver, Canada
This song always make me dance when it's played on the radio.

Saludos a juarez, a las machorras de la 6 de abril, al nano y al pito
Joaquin - Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
One of my favorites: great riffing, superb lyrics, awesome rhythm and a great solo by Young, but any version sung by johnson dissapoints me, (just think no one could sing it like Bon Scott)Joaquin - Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Yep, DDDDC is about a hit man/woman. Just read the lyrics and you'll see what I frapping mean.
BTW/ in my opinion it does not sound like TNT,
sorry Becca but this is a totally different song.
Joel - Columbia, Sc
I love AC/DC i listen to them more than any other band but Roger Daltry's scream in Won't Get Fooled Again is better than Bon Scott's scream in Dirty Deeds.Mike - Hillsborough, Nj
i really like this song. even if it is about a hit man.Leah - Humboldt, Ia
Lesley Gore does a pretty good version of this song.Keith - San Anselmo, Ca
Good song! Kinda reminds me of cave man! But one of my favorte acdc songs next to highway to hell and shook me all night long!Lacie - Whitefish, Mt
Yeah, this is definitely a song about a hit wo/man.Voodoocat - Zimbabwe, United States
I love playing this song on my guitarD - Lake Forest, Il
this song is awesome!!!!!!! the one on the live cd is good, but the original is always betterThe Last True Rocker - Phoenix, Ar
This is to me the best AC/DC song I know. Oh yeah, no The Who's song can't be better, becasue there's almost nothing better. The scream at the end is great. I love the drums in this one. The words at the end..awesomoe.Dalton - Columbus, United States
Ok ok ok This is about a Hitman (1st person view from Bon Scott) who is telling a boy/girl in the 1st verse that if he/she is having trouble with their highschool head and they want to graduate, they don't have to become a 'teachers pet' and suck up to the principal(You wanna graduate but not in his bed).

Just pick up the phone and call him, he's always home, call him anytime (he's a hitman advertising basically)

Similarly in the second verse he is a Hitman only this time appealing to any man who is sick and tired of his Wife and wants her dead!

These are the 'dirty deeds'! and they are done dirt cheap (the price of hiring the hitman is cheaper than the value of a human life-obviously)
Chris - Perth, Australia
They got the title off a cartoon when Angus was young. The bad guy off the show used to go around showing a pop-up card that read "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." "Dirt Cheap" means extremly cheap.Ac/dc_misfit - Millmerran, Australia
I think that dirty deeds done dirt cheap, is about a guy or girl...who gives pleasure to someone for money..thats cheap. lol. but i feel that most of the lyrics are just flat out cheesy and fun. lyrics from a band who dont give jack about what people think about them. and look how they turned out...FAMOUSE!Chase - Sedona, Az
is this song about a contract killer? because when i was looking at the lyrics it had some connections of things that a contract killer would do like when he says
"Concrete shoes,
cyanide, TNT
Done Dirt Cheap
Necktighs,contracts, highvoltage
Done Dirt Cheap"
Dj - Oshawa, Canada
This Is a great AC/DC song. Evan, The Who are good too but Angus Young is far superior to Peter Townsend as a guitarist. If you've seen video footage, the things Angus does on stage are hilarious. First of all he's a short guy who goes around stage with no shirt doing the Chuck Barry duckwalk. His own signature trick, lyting on the fllor moving his legs in a clockwise motion while playing the guitar. In the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap video at Donington Feild in Sydney he sticks the neck of his guitar in between Brain Johnston's legs near his unmentionables. When i first saw it it was really funny looking. I will admit Evan, to your credit Rodger Daltrey has a better voice than Brian Johnston and Bon Scott. I still say AC/DC is still heavier and bettter than the Who.Billy - Boston, Ma
i love this song but i dont know what ac-dc is trying to send out to me please ansewer backBen - Red Deer
this song is freakin awesome. my second favorite ac/dc song after back in black.Melody - Jacksonville, Fl
Roger Daltrey's scream in Won't Get Fooled Again is way betterEvan - Schererville, In
Outstanding song, outstanding album--the first AC/DC vinyl I ever owned! Now onward......
Whoaaaa....AC/DC parodies blasphemous? Guess maybe y'all that griped haven't seen the video for "Baby Please Don't Go"! Talk about parodies--Bon Scott dressed as a woman of all things! AC/DC are the kings of making fun of themselves--get Family Jewels---watch The Boys NOT taking themselves too seriously--its great fun!
Now---if AC/DC cared--dontcha think there would be lawsuit after lawsuit...so on and so forth. Besides, in the end, whose laughing all the way to the bank? I'm pretty sure it ain't the guy that parodied the song...
Anyhoo-since we're entitled to our opionions (we all have one and they all stink) that's mine for the record.

Jules - USA
Jules - Kc, Mo
Just to let you know john, with an australian accent we dont tend to pronounce our r's, but rest assured, its thereJustin - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I remember skipping through a bunch of channels when I heard this song playing on Lizzie McGuire. It was the same thing in every way except for the singer. The cut out Bon and put in some crappy teenage voice! What the heck?! What's wrong with Bon Scott, Disney? His voice is better than the same squeaky teen you hear in every new band these days!John Dough - Toronto, Canada
I thought the ending was YYAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHHHHHHH. I didn't hear any Rs in there.John Dough - Toronto, Canada
If parodying them is blasphemous, then whoever remixed them deserves to be burnt on the stake!Haggai - Sydney, Australia
notice all the other bands that have copied the blocked eyes now...Josh - Las Vegas, Nv
You can't parody AC/DC that is Blasphemy. I can't believe people who would maniulate such an amazing song... what is this world coming to...Ben - Perth, Canada
This was originally released in Australia in 1976, a full 5 years before it surfaced in Europe and America. The Aussie LPs track listing and artwork is totally different to the US one and is now a collectors item as the US version is now the standard version on CD both here in Australia and overseas.David - Gosford, Australia
Very funny parody made called "Dirty Deeds Done With Sheep"Russ - Christchurch, New Zealand
this is a relly giid song it has as good riff and a good solo and everything i cant believe it was rated on guitar players 100 worst riffs off all time!!Nathan - Ohsweken, Canada
I remember listening to this song as a kid. We were not suppose to listen to such music,so when I did, I felt like a real rebel. The eyes blocked on on the album cover always stood out as an interesting thing when I was younger as well.Dee - Indianapolis, In
One of my favourite AC/DC songs ever. It just flat out rocks!Lunaticsonthegrass - Montreal, Canada