Balls To The Wall

Album: Balls To The Wall (1983)
Play Video


  • This thundering anthem from the German metal band Accept is the title track to their fifth album. Like the Scorpions did with "Rock You Like A Hurricane," they took an American phrase and put their own spin on it, creating a song to throw your fist in the air. Accept filled the lyric with very aggressive phrases: "balls to the wall" means full throttle and is a great way to rally the base. It gets a little gnarly in some parts:

    One day the tortured stand up
    And revolt against evil
    They make you drink your blood
    And tear yourself to pieces
  • In an interview with Metaleater magazine, Accept guitarist Wolf Hoffmann talked about the meaning behind this song. "We've always been interested in politics and in human rights and things like that, so a lot of the lyrics that we had in those days, and to the end actually, were dealing with human rights, for instance, and that's really what 'Balls To The Wall' means: One day the tortured will stand up and kick some butt." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Garrett - Cookeville, TN
  • This song might deal with some heavy topics, but it originated from a night of drinking. Udo Dirkschneider was the group's lead singer at the time, and Stefan Kaufmann was their drummer. When Songfacts spoke with Dirkschneider in 2013, he said: "That was just a riff in the beginning. The hook line 'balls to the wall,' the melody 'balls to the wall,' that was it. And nobody has a clue about the verse, how we sing the verse.

    One night I was sitting there with Stefan Kauffman at his studio, and we said, 'Okay, what can we do?' We had a lot of drinks, and I was in a way really drunk, and then I start singing the verse in some way, and here we go. Then the words came out: 'Balls to the Wall.' Sometimes things happen."
  • The popular music video matched the song in bombast. Intercut between the band in full Rock Pose mode, we see a wrecking ball taking down a clock tower. This being 1983, the special effects aren't that special, and when we see lead singer Udo on the wrecking ball, he was really on the ball, and it was not comfortable.

    The clip was shot in January. "It was very cold in London, near the airport," Udo told us. "It was very cold, and especially when I had to step on this wrecking ball. That was something else. I said, 'Please, no, I don't want to do this!' But in the end, I was young, so I said, 'Okay, here we go.' But it was freezing like hell."
  • Dokken's song "Breaking The Chains" was inspired by this song, specifically the part where Udo sings, "They're gonna break their chains."

    Don Dokken heard Accept working on the song in 1981 when he was in Germany working on a Scorpions album. "Breaking The Chains" was issued that year in Europe, two years before the song that inspired it, "Balls To The Wall," first appeared.

Comments: 12

  • Austpig from Europe UkBalls to the Wall. No way out. Fight for your life .
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkWell two years ago me & my BF, Catfish, found this record in my Dad's record collection in the attic. We got Mom's old record player and played it over and over. What a bizarre song! Catfish loves it though. He claimed the phrase "balls to the wall" is about boys in the lockerroom showing off their tools. I asked Dad and he said that's ridiculous and wrong. Dad claims it's an old line from airline pilots shoving the hand-controls (with the round balls on top of the levers) all the way to the wall to elevate the airplane. But I prefer Catfish's explanation cause it's raunchier and funnier. Yeahhh! Let 'em all hang out!
  • Lionel Ulloa from Panama, PanamaWikipedia, now day has been explained the obscure reality and controversy on the title track for this album. I knew this from the beginning, the title track and other hitmakers from the same vinyl slab as "London Leatherboys" and the obvious "Lovechild" are renderers of gay themes in amidst of media expectations back in the day. check these following links:

    American homophobe ostracized media make a scandal of this, explained the guitarist and twin guitar ethos Wolf Hoffmann.
  • Dave from Salem, MeI agree with Michael in Santa Cruz, CA. That was their BEST Album. I figured it was foreign, just didn't know it was Germany they were from. After Russian Roulete. I figured them from Russia, or around abouts. and his voice was what was left. PPPPppppppeeeerrrreccccffftttt!
  • Seth from Ingleside, Txto Michael: Lemmy is the bassist and lead singer for the band Motorhead.
  • Michael from Santa Cruz, CaTo Budoshi:Who is Lemmy you refer to?
  • Michael from Santa Cruz, CaUdo Dirkenschneider may not be the prettiest lead singer of all,but he gave Accept their distinct sound.Almost sounds like Bon Scott of AC/DC.Best album to me is "Metal Heart".Krautmetal is awesome!!
  • Budoshi from Sandnessjøen, Norwayf--king Aye, Jason. That's f--king true.. Just listen to Lemmy.. He ain't pretty, but he kicks ass..:D
  • Jason from Denver, CoTo jeff in Boulder,CO. REAL metal singers are not supposed to be or sound pretty!
  • Jeff from Boulder, CoThis song may be a candidate for the Worst Song in Metal History, and the lead singer looked like a 5' down sydrome child.
  • Kodi from Sydney, CanadaI thought that it was like about the military or like going to jail... You know like when you go to jail and you get checked for weapons, your have to get your balls on the wall there don't you ?
  • Don from San Antonio, TxI like the two white flying V's in the video!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Christopher Cross

Christopher CrossSongwriter Interviews

The man who created Yacht Rock with "Sailing" wrote one of his biggest hits while on acid.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Second Wind Songs

Second Wind SongsSong Writing

Some songs get a second life when they find a new audience through a movie, commercial, TV show, or even the Internet.

Jon Foreman of Switchfoot

Jon Foreman of SwitchfootSongwriter Interviews

Switchfoot's frontman and main songwriter on what inspires the songs and how he got the freedom to say exactly what he means.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Rick Springfield

Rick SpringfieldSongwriter Interviews

Rick has a surprising dark side, a strong feminine side and, in a certain TV show, a naked backside. But he still hasn't found Jessie's Girl.