"Thunderstruck" is the first song on the 1990 AC/DC album The Razors Edge.
The song peaked at No. 5 on U.S. the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. It was released as a single in Germany, Australia, and Japan. The song is said to be inspired by lead guitarist Angus Young's hair-raising experience when a plane he was on was struck by lightning. Another theory states that the song was conceived when the band watched a Combined Arms Livefire EXercise (CALFEX) at Ft. Hood. The band was so impressed by the M1A1 tank that they wrote a song about it. However, Angus Young stated in the liner notes of the 2003 re-release of The Razors Edge:
- "It started off from a little trick I had on guitar. I played it to Mal and he said 'Oh, I've got a good rhythm idea that will sit well in the back.' We built the song up from that. We fiddled about with it for a few months before everything fell into place. Lyrically, it was really just a case of finding a good title ... We came up with this thunder thing and it seemed to have a good ring to it. AC/DC=Power. That's the basic idea."
Contrary to popular belief, Young does not play "Thunderstruck"'s main riff with one hand. Instead, he picks every note. Additionally in all AC/DC live videos, Angus can clearly be viewed picking every note. The one-handed tapping technique can only be seen in the "Thunderstruck" music video. The opening riff oscillitates between B major and e minor.
The video which accompanied the single was filmed at London's Brixton Academy on 17 August 1990. The audience members were given free T-shirts with the words 'AC/DC – I was Thunderstruck' on the front and the date on the back, and these T-shirts were worn by the entire audience throughout the filming of the video.
In 2010, "Thunderstruck" topped Triple M's Ultimate 500 Rock Countdown in Melbourne, Australia. The top five were all AC/DC songs.
With the exception of new material from an album they are touring behind, this is one of only two songs released after Back in Black that the band still regularly performs live in concert, the other being "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)".
- The rock band Hinder have released a cover of the song as the final track, track 12 (Australian version) off their second album, Take It To The Limit.
- Psytrance supergroup 1200 Micrograms released a trance song sampling and inspired by "Thunderstruck" called "Numberstruck" on their 2007 album Magic Numbers.
- David Garrett covered the song in his 2009 album David Garrett.
- American band Ministry covered the song in the album Every Day Is Halloween: The Anthology, as a first single.
- Bagpiper Gordon Duncan arranged the tune for solo pipes, and recorded this on his album Thunderstruck. This arrangement has entered the bagpipe repertoire. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers play a version in the medley "Smoke on the Water/Thunderstruck/Upside Down at Eden Court" on their album Bagrock for the Masses and in concert.
- The song is played just before every Chicago White Sox home game at U.S. Cellular Field as the Sox take their positions. In addition, before every Washington Nationals home game at Nationals Park, the song is played over the speaker system while a montage of player pictures, highlights, and Washington, D.C. landmarks can be seen on the main scoreboard. Elsewhere in Major League Baseball, The Arizona Diamondbacks use the song in connection with reliever J.J. Putz. An elaborate video presentation featuring "Thunderstruck" as a music track plays when Putz is brought into a game, and a snippet of "Thunderstruck" is played whenever he gets a batter out.
- The introduction to the song is played immediately prior to tip-off of Marquette Golden Eagles Mens' Basketball home games at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The student section accompanies the song with a side-to-side clap in unison with the beat.
- The song is played just before every Los Angeles Kings home game at the Staples Center as the Kings and their opponents take their positions for the opening faceoff of the game.
- The song was used in the film, Varsity Blues, the sequence when the team is still drunk from the night at the strip club and have a Saturday football game.
- The song along with "If You Want Blood" is used in the 2005 movie The Longest Yard before the movie's climatic final game.
- The song appears in the video games Madden NFL 11 and the Rock Band expansion AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack. However, in Madden NFL 11, the lyrics were slightly edited.
- The song is used during the opening for the fifth season for Supernatural.
- The song was one of the theme songs for WrestleMania XXVI.
- The song is used by Sussex County Cricket Club when players take to the pitch during Twenty20 matches.
- The song was used for TV Spots for the 2010 film Iron Man 2 and it appears on the AC/DC compilation album released as the film's soundtrack.
- Thunderstruck is the unofficial theme song of the annual Thunder Over Louisville fireworks and air show in Louisville, Kentucky.
- In the film, Battleship, the sequence in which Lt. Hopper and Captain Nagata's crew and several World War II naval veterans reactivate the USS Missouri (BB-63) has this song playing on the soundtrack.
- The song is played at various times during Oklahoma City Thunder games.
- The song is played at various times during Marshall Thundering Herd games of Marshall University.
- The song is used by Manny Pacquiao during his ring walk.
- The song is used by the Melbourne Storm rugby league team when players take to the pitch during NRL matches.
- The song was part of the payload of a computer worm which attacked the Iranian nuclear programme.
- The song is played at Pittsburgh Steelers home football games, generally during the fourth quarter when the Steeler defense is on the field to pump up the team and crowd when the defense is in need of a big stop.
- The song has been the official entrance music for North Dakota State University Bison athletics for much of the last 3 decades.
- The song is used by Juventus F.C. at Juventus Stadium as intro when Juventus players taking the field for pre game warming up.
- The song is played by Swansea City A.F.C. at the Liberty Stadium as part of an pre match intro when the players enter the pitch.
- The song is currently being used as the background track for the N.C. State baseball team's introductory video for the 2013 season.
- The song will appear in the soundtrack of the upcoming Disney video game Disney INFINITY.
- ^ Young, Angus (2003). The Razors Edge (booklet). AC/DC. Epic Records.
- ^ http://www.triplem.com.au/melbourne/music/ultimate-rock-100-1
- ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
- ^ http://musicline.de/de/chartverfolgung_summary/artist/AC%A5DC/single
- ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Irish Recorded Music Association.
- ^ http://riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS
- ^ "Gordon Duncan Renowned musician and composer", The Herald (Glasgow), 22 December, retrieved 2010-03-06
- ^ PC malware hits Iranian nuclear facilities, Times of India Jul 26, 2012