Let There Be Rock

Album: Southern Rock Opera (2001)

Songfacts®:

  • Southern Rock Opera is a double concept album tracing the rise and fall of a mythical guitar hero. It is loosely based on the exploits of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the wider mythology of the American South. This song is a guitar charged account of a teenhood spent drinking, drugging and getting arrested plus going to see rock and roll bands.
  • Vocalist and co-writer Patterson Hood said: "Let There Be Rock" was about "how partying and going to arena rock shows kept me from going off the deep end in High School."
  • This was one of three songs that Patterson Hood wrote for Southern Rock Opera on the same day. (He also penned "Wallace" and "Angels and Fuselage.")
  • Guitarist and co-songwriter Mike Cooley told Uncut:

    "I think that Let There Be Rock is a mostly fictional story, but it captures a certain time in your life. And that was something that was really important to us. Everything about it - feeling freedom for the first time and how rock and roll concerts played into that, hearing the crowd swell, flirting with disaster, being the biggest threat to yourself that you'll ever be in your life. And maybe living through it, or maybe not."
  • The song features the sound of a crowd at a gig. Patterson Hood told Uncut: "I decided that 'Let There Be Rock' needed to be the breakthrough '70s hit from this fake band, Betamax Guillotine, so it had to sound like one. I've always loved the applause on 'Bennie And The Jets' and wanted something like that on this song. So when we were mixing the record, I bought in my vinyl copy of Cheap Trick at Budokan and lifted two different crowd swells. The really big one kicks in when the guitars get going."

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