13 Things You Might Not Know About 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap'
By Dave Basner
September 20, 2022
On September 20th, 1976, AC/DC released their third album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. To mark the album’s 46th anniversary, here are 13 things you might not know about the record:
1. The band began recording the album in early 1976 and put it out in their native Australia on September 20th. However, Atlantic Records didn’t like the vocals and production on the effort so they originally rejected it, but wound up putting it out in America five years later.
2.George Young, the older brother of guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young, co-produced the album.
3. The term “dirty deeds done dirt cheap” is a reference to a cartoon called Beany and Cecil, which Angus watched as a kid. One of the characters in it, Dishonest John, carried a business card that read “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. Holidays, Sundays and Special Rates.”
4. The title track invites listeners to call 36-24-36 if they’re having problems. In the 1960s, that was an actual phone number in Australia.
5. In “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” the number 36-24-36 is followed by the word “Hey,” which sounds a little like the number 8. This led to a lawsuit. An Illinois couple, whose phone number was 362-4368, sued Atlantic Records for $250,000 because they were getting hundreds of prank calls.
6. There is a backing vocal on the song “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” that is just heavy breathing.
7. Among the dirty deeds done dirt cheap mentioned in the song are high voltage and TNT, the names of two tracks on AC/DC’s first album. They’re also the names of the first two albums the band put out in Australia.
8. Singer Bon Scott explained that the song “Squealer” is about a sexual encounter with a virgin.
9. The track “Ride On” is about a guy who has made mistakes in a relationship because he drank too much.
10. Bon has said that “Problem Child” is about Angus.
11. The album features one of just a few AC/DC songs that includes cursing. In the track “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to be a Millionaire),” Bon says, “Hey Howard, how ya doing my next door neighbor? Get your f***ing jumbo jet off my airport!”
12. During the sessions for Dirty Deeds, the band wrote a song called “I’m A Rebel.” It was never released by AC/DC and is in their vaults. German band Accept wound up releasing a version of the song.
13. The album has been certified six-times platinum in America for sales over six-million copies. It is the third-highest selling AC/DC record behind the 22-times platinum Back in Black and the seven-times platinum Highway to Hell.