Thunderstruck (song)

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"Thunderstruck"
ACDC-Thunderstruck.png
Single by AC/DC
from the album The Razors Edge
B-side"Fire Your Guns"
Released10 September 1990
RecordedJanuary 1990
GenreHard rock[1][2]
Length4:52
LabelATCO
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Bruce Fairbairn
AC/DC singles chronology
"That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll"
(1988)
"Thunderstruck"
(1990)
"Moneytalks"
(1990)
Music video
"Thunderstruck" on YouTube

"Thunderstruck" is the lead single from the 1990 album The Razors Edge by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It peaked at No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. In 2010, "Thunderstruck" topped Triple M Melbourne's Ultimate 500 Rock Countdown in Australia. The top five were all AC/DC songs.[3]

Background[edit]

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, based on our favourite childhood toy ThunderStreak, and it seemed to have a good ring to it. AC/DC = Power. That's the basic idea.[4]

The song has sold over a million digital copies since it became available for digital download.[5]

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "Thunderstruck" was ranked No. 8.[6]

The song is one of the most recognisable in the bands' entire catalog and it is a setlist staple having been performed at nearly all shows since its release.[7] With the exception of new material from albums they are touring behind, it is one of only three songs released after Back in Black that are still performed live by the band, the others being 1981's "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" and 2008's "Rock and Roll Train".[8]

Music video[edit]

The video directed by David Mallet, 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.[9]

On 29 October 2021, the video hit one billion views on YouTube, the first AC/DC music video to do so.

Critical reception[edit]

"Thunderstruck" is widely considered one of the band's best songs. The Guardian ranked the song number eight on its list of the 40 greatest AC/DC songs,[10] and the British rock magazine Kerrang! ranked the song number six on its list of the 20 greatest AC/DC songs.[11]

Use in media[edit]

The song has been featured in the following movies:

It has also been played in episodes of My Name Is Earl, Hawaii Five-0, Top Gear, New Girl, Training Day, Supernatural, Titans and SAS: Rogue Heroes.The song is also used at many sporting events including every Marshall Thundering Herd football game, and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders dance to this song at the preshow before the Dallas Cowboys games.[12]

In 2021, the song was played during the pre-race show when Texas Motor Speedway hosted the NASCAR All-Star Race for the first time.

Sampled in Name Drop by Excision and Wooli.

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[47] 10× Platinum 700,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[48] Platinum 90,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[49] 2× Platinum 100,000double-dagger
Mexico (AMPROFON)[50] 3× Platinum+Gold 210,000double-dagger
Portugal (AFP)[51] Platinum 40,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] 2× Platinum 1,200,000double-dagger
Ringtones
Canada (Music Canada)[53] Platinum 40,000*
United States (RIAA)[55] Platinum 1,798,000[54]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Personnel[edit]

Cyber attack of the Iranian nuclear program[edit]

The song was used as part of the payload of a computer virus which attacked the Iranian nuclear program between 2009 and 2010. Reportedly developed by the US and Israeli governments, Stuxnet took control of centrifuge controls in nuclear facilities across the country causing extensive damage to machinery. Additionally, various workstations were hijacked with the song playing randomly at high volume late at night.[56] In an email sent to Finnish computer security expert, Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure, one of the scientists involved in the program was quoted as saying:

...There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Jake (16 July 2013). AC/DC in the Studio - The Stories Behind Every Album. John Blake Publishing, Limited. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-78219-677-8.
  2. ^ Smith, Benjamin (2 February 2014). "Celebrate The Super Bowl With Hard Rock's Top 10 Jock Jams!". VH1. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Triple M's Ultimate Rock 500". Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.. Triple M. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  4. ^ Young, Angus (2003). The Razors Edge (booklet). AC/DC. Epic Records.
  5. ^ Grein, Paul (14 January 2015). "Nick Jonas's 'Jealous' Hits a New Peak". Chart Watch. Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Thunderstruck by AC/DC Song Statistics". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  8. ^ "AC/DC Album Statistics". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Music video". YouTube. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  10. ^ Hann, Michael (30 July 2020). "AC/DC – their 40 greatest songs, ranked!". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  11. ^ Law, Sam (3 February 2021). "The 20 greatest AC/DC songs – ranked". Kerrang. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Show". YouTube. Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021.
  13. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  14. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  15. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 53, No. 3 Dec 01, 1990". RPM. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  17. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Tracklisten. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 6 October 1990. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  19. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  20. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Thunderstruck". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  22. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  23. ^ "AC DC Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  24. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  25. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – AC/DC" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  26. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  27. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  28. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  29. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  30. ^ "AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  31. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  32. ^ "AC DC Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  33. ^ "AC DC Chart History (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  34. ^ "AC/DC – Chart history". Billboard Rock Digital Songs for AC/DC. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  35. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1990". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  36. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1990". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten - Single 1990". Single Top 100. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  38. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1991". Ultratop. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  39. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  40. ^ "Single Top 100 - eladási darabszám alapján - 2017". Mahasz. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  41. ^ "Single Top 100 - eladási darabszám alapján - 2018". Mahasz. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Single Top 100 - eladási darabszám alapján - 2019". Mahasz. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  43. ^ "Single Top 100 - eladási darabszám alapján - 2020". Mahasz. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  44. ^ "Billboard Global 200 – Year-End 2021". Billboard. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  45. ^ "Single Top 100 – eladási darabszám alapján – 2021" (in Hungarian). Mahasz. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  46. ^ "Billboard Global 200 – Year-End 2022". Billboard. Retrieved 2 December 2022.
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2022 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  48. ^ "Danish single certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  49. ^ "Italian single certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 10 October 2022. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Thunderstruck" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
  50. ^ "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 10 December 2020. Type AC/DC in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Thunderstruck in the box under the TÍTULO column heading.
  51. ^ "Portuguese single certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  52. ^ "British single certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  53. ^ "Canadian ringtone certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Music Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
  54. ^ "Nielsen SoundScan charts – Digital Songs – Week Ending: 09/28/2017" (PDF). Nielsen SoundScan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  55. ^ "American ringtone certifications – AC/DC – Thunderstruck". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  56. ^ McCormick, Rich (7 August 2014). "Hackers made Iran's nuclear computers blast AC/DC". The Verge.
  57. ^ "Emails from Iran". F-Secure Labs. 23 July 2012.

External links[edit]