Whole Lotta Rosie

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"Whole Lotta Rosie"
Single by AC/DC
from the album Let There Be Rock
B-side "Dog Eat Dog"
Released 1977
Format 7"
Recorded 1977
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 5:20
Label ATCO
Writer(s) Angus Young, Bon Scott, Malcolm Young
Producer(s) Harry Vanda, George Young
AC/DC singles chronology
"Let There Be Rock"
(1977)
"Whole Lotta Rosie"
(1978)
"Rock 'n' Roll Damnation"
(1978)
Alternative cover
Cover of AC/DC's 1978 single
"Whole Lotta Rosie"
Song by AC/DC from the album Let There Be Rock
Released March 1977 (Australia)
23 June 1977 (worldwide)
Recorded January–February 1977
Genre Hard rock
Length 5:33
Label ATCO
Producer Harry Vanda, George Young
Let There Be Rock track listing
"Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be"
(7)
"Whole Lotta Rosie"
(8)
N/A

"Whole Lotta Rosie" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the eighth and final track on the band's fourth Australian album, Let There Be Rock, released in Australia in March 1977, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott. It is also the eighth and final track on the international version of the album, released in June the same year.

It was also released as a single in 1978, with a live version of the Let There Be Rock album track "Dog Eat Dog" as the B-side, which had been recorded in concert in Glasgow on 30 April 1978.

Composition[edit]

The song is about an obese Tasmanian woman, Rosie, with whom the singer (Bon Scott) had a one night stand at the Freeway Gardens Motel in North Melbourne.[2] In addition to pointing out the woman's size, the singer finds her to be one of the most talented lovers he's ever experienced.

The song's first verse reveals Rosie's substantial physical measurements (42"-39"-56"), and that she weighs nineteen stone (266 pounds/approximately 120 kilograms). On the Live from the Atlantic Studios disc, however, Scott describes the titular woman as "... a Tasmanian devil ... weighs 305 pounds ...," a measurement that differs from the "19 stone" lyric (305 lb being 21 st 11 lb).

In 1998, speaking to Vox magazine, Angus Young remembered:

We'd been in Tasmania and after the show [Bon Scott] said he was going to check out a few clubs. He said he'd got about 100 yards down the street when he heard this yell: 'Hey! Bon!' He looked around and saw this leg and thought: 'Oh well!' From what he said, there was this Rosie woman and a friend of hers. They were plying him with drinks an Rosie said to him: 'This month I've slept with 28 famous people,' and Bon went: 'Oh yeah?!' Anyway, in the morning he said he woke up pinned against the wall, he said he opened one eye and saw her lean over to her friend and whisper: '29!' There's very few people who'll go out and write a song about a big fat lady, but Bon said it was worthy.[3]

Early version[edit]

The song's main riff was also featured on an earlier recording with different lyrics, titled "Dirty Eyes", which saw official release on Volts, part of the Bonfire box set. "Dirty Eyes" features a different chord progression in the chorus, as well as a slower tempo than "Rosie".

In late summer of 1976, "Dirty Eyes" was first recorded by AC/DC, along with "Carry Me Home" and "Love at First Feel" for a possible EP. This recording is possibly the version that was later issued on the Bonfire boxed set. The EP was scrapped, leaving "Love at First Feel" as a fill-in for the upcoming Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album and "Carry Me Home" as a b-side. In the following months, Dirty Eyes was recrafted into "Whole Lotta Rosie," and recorded during the Let There Be Rock sessions of January–February 1977.[4]

When the song was released as a single in 1978 it was heavily edited, making the song considerably shorter. A big part of the guitar solo was left out as well as the characteristic guitar-band duel.

Live recordings and performances[edit]

"Rosie" on the 2008 Black Ice Tour

One of AC/DC's most popular songs, "Whole Lotta Rosie" has been included on each of the band's official live albums: three with Scott (If You Want Blood You've Got It, Live from the Atlantic Studios, Let There Be Rock: The Movie – Live in Paris, the latter two released in 1997 as part of the Bonfire box set), and also four with Brian Johnson (released on Live, Live: 2 CD Collector's Edition, the tour edition of Stiff Upper Lip, and also on Live at River Plate). The only other song that appears on all these releases is "The Jack". A live video of "Whole Lotta Rosie" is also featured on the DVD Family Jewels, from a 1978 performance on the BBC's TV concert series Rock Goes to College, on which Scott refers to Rosie as the "biggest, fattest woman who ever fornicated." When the song is performed live, the crowd will usually shout 'Angus!' in between each of the opening riffs.

Current live performances of "Whole Lotta Rosie" are accompanied by a giant, inflatable "Rosie" as seen on the Live at Donington video. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the live version from If You Want Blood ... at number 16 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.[citation needed]

Rosie was seen (at the same table as Brian Johnson) during the cartoon intro video that was played on the Black Ice World Tour. The song was also used in Brian Johnson's audition as Scott's successor.[5]

Covers[edit]

"Whole Lotta Rosie" was covered by Guns N' Roses, it was on the 1987 UK vinyl singles of "Welcome to the Jungle" and the 1988 "Live from the Jungle" album. It has also been played as part of Guns N' Roses' concerts.[6]

Australian psychedelic band Electric Hippies recorded a cover in 1995 for the "Fuse Box" alternative tribute album.

It was also covered by W.A.S.P. on the American version of the 1996 "Still Not Black Enough" album.

Bullet for My Valentine also released a cover of the song as a bonus track on their 2013 album Temper Temper.

In other media[edit]

A live version of this song is included on AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack.

Track listing[edit]

Whole Lotta Rosie intro with power chords
1977 7-inch single (Netherlands: Atlantic ATL 109 92)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Dog Eat Dog" (Young, Young, Scott) – 3:35
1978 7-inch single (Belgium: Atlantic 109 92)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Dog Eat Dog" (Young, Young, Scott) – 3:35
1980 7-inch single (UK: Atlantic HM 4)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Young, Young, Scott) – 4:21

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1978) Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 3
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[10] 5
Chart (1980) Position
UK (Official Charts Company)[11] 36
Chart (2012) Position
UK (Official Charts Company)[11] 68

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ed Rivadavia. "Whole Lotta Rosie review on Allmusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 1 July 2013.  "One of hard rock's all-time greatest moments"
  2. ^ Bon Scott Interview, Bonfire Box Set, Disc 4
  3. ^ Ewing, Jerry. VOX, February 1998. Albums. Re-issues. Blazer of Glory. AC/DC - Bonfire (EMI). P. 78
  4. ^ Englehart, Murray (AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, p. 162).
  5. ^ "AC/DC History". AC/DC – Bedlam in Belgium. Retrieved 23 September 2006. 
  6. ^ "Guns N' Roses singles". Here Today... Gone to Hell. Retrieved 17 January 2007. 
  7. ^ Saulnier, Jason (30 September 2011). "Mark Evans Interview". Music Legends. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – AC/DC search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  11. ^ a b "AC/DC". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 July 2013.