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Baker's Dozen

The Demon Advocates: Gene Simmons' Favourite Albums
Valerie Siebert , March 3rd, 2015 12:53

The Kiss man picks a giants-of-rock top 13 albums for Val Siebert (and finally gives drum machines the talking to they deserve)


AC/DC - For Those About To Rock We Salute You
Bands have their anthems, you know, 'You Shook Me All Night Long', all that for AC/DC sure. For Those About To Rock is the call to arms, it's the definitive anthemic album. Back In Black probably had better songs, but the band started to have a sense of itself because a band stands or should stand for something, like when you have a country you have a flag for that country. But when a flag stands for something, it takes on a meaning of its own, and then people realise that the flag doesn't just represent the country, but it represents what the country stands for. The platform - in our case, platform boots. So, For Those About To Rock We Salute You is what AC/DC is all about. The graphics and that cannon and the title - and it's why they always end their set with it - it's anthemic. 'You Shook Me All Night Long' is probably the best song they've written in my estimation, but it's not an anthem. It's because the lyrics aren't on that same level. They aren't big and bold. 'For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)' means something, it's a connection. It's like nationhood. Put your fist up in the air and say, 'Yeah! This is what I believe in!' 'You Shook Me' doesn't have that, it's just a rockin' great song.

When the band realises its own meaning, when a band can see itself clearly, that's when it connects. It happened to us on Destroyer. That album cover had no guitars on it, no drums, no guitars, no stage, nothing. That's when we understood that we were bigger than the music we played. But you don't see that until someone points that out to you. When you start to see your face in parades and on walls and on tattoos and all that. And when you see that there just aren't any guitars or drums in there. People are attracted to the personas. The personas are bigger than the guitars. Whereas, it's hard to have an image of AC/DC without a guitar. Without a guitar, you would say, 'Who's that?' The same goes for Metallica or almost anybody. They're musicians. We are iconic images. That's fine for me. That's bigger. That's part of pop culture.