You Shook Me All Night Long

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"You Shook Me All Night Long"
Single by AC/DC
from the album Back in Black
B-side"Have a Drink on Me"
Released19 August 1980
Format7-inch single
GenreHard rock
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
AC/DC singles chronology
"Touch Too Much"
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"Hells Bells"
Alternative cover
1986 re-release
1986 re-release
Music video
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"You Shook Me All Night Long" (Who Made Who)
on YouTube

"You Shook Me All Night Long" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, from the album Back in Black. The song also reappeared on their later album Who Made Who. It is AC/DC's first single with Brian Johnson as the lead singer, replacing Bon Scott who died of alcohol poisoning in February 1980. It reached number 35 on the USA's Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1980. The single was re-released internationally in 1986, following the release of the album Who Made Who. The re-released single in 1986 contains the B-side(s): B1. "She's Got Balls" (Live, Bondi Lifesaver '77); B2. "You Shook Me All Night Long" (Live '83 – 12-inch maxi-single only).

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "You Shook Me All Night Long" was ranked number 63.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

"You Shook Me All Night Long" placed at number 10 on VH1's list of "The 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s". It was also number 1 on VH1's "Top Ten AC/DC Songs". Guitar World placed "You Shook Me All Night Long" at number 80 on their "100 Greatest Guitar Solos" list.

Rock critic Robert Christgau regarded it as a "drum-hooked fucksong" and the band's "only great work of art".[2]

Live versions[edit]

The song has also become a staple of AC/DC concerts, and is rarely excluded from the setlist.[3]

Four live versions of the song were officially released. The first one appeared on the 1986 maxi-single "You Shook Me All Night Long"; the second one was included on the band's album Live; the third version is on the soundtrack to the Howard Stern movie Private Parts, and also appears on the AC/DC box set Backtracks; and the fourth one is on the band's live album, Live at River Plate.[citation needed]

"You Shook Me All Night Long" was also the second song to be played by AC/DC on Saturday Night Live in 2000, following their performance of "Stiff Upper Lip."[4] When AC/DC was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, they performed this song with Tyler.[5]

Johnson performed the song with Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in New York, US in March 2014. The Salon publication stated on the following morning in its introduction to the video footage of the performance: "This will either be your favorite video today, or a total musical nightmare!"[6]


The song is in the key of G major. The main verse and riff follows a GCD chord progression.[citation needed]


There have been several claims made over decades that (at least) some parts of the lyrics to the song were written by Bon Scott.

Silver Smith, late former girlfriend of Bon Scott, interviewed by Jesse Fink for his biography of Scott, Bon: The Last Highway, said: 'I know for sure that [the song] was written at [my flat in] Gloucester Road [in Kensington, London] back in ’76. "She told me to come but I was already there" – he wrote that in a letter to somebody, one of his grotty mates, just after we got together, actually. He always kept notebooks and added and subtracted to them and so on. He put in "American thighs" even way back then, because that was the market they were going to try and crack. So that was written a long time ago.’[7] In the same book, Scott's girlfriend in Miami, Florida, a woman under the pseudonym 'Holly X', says the original lyric 'chartreuse eyes' was changed to 'sightless eyes' and that she had a horse called Doubletime. The lyrics 'working double time on the seduction line' appear in the finished song.

Doug Thaler, Bon's friend and AC/DC's booking agent on their American tours, also says: 'I don’t care who tells me anything different: you can bet your life that Bon Scott wrote the lyrics to "You Shook Me All Night Long". It’s Bon Scott’s lyrics all over the place.'[7]

From AC/DC: Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be by Mick Wall: 'However Malcolm Dome claims that shortly before he died, Bon "shoved me his book of lyrics. He had sheets of lyrics that he kept in a file, carried them around. He’d been showing me some of the ideas he’d been working for Back in Black. Not the song 'Back in Black' but songs that were for the next album. There were a couple of lines, like, 'She told me to come but I was already there', which ended up in 'You Shook Me All Night Long' - that’s a Bon lyric. And I saw it. I saw it written down. There were lyrics, lines used, on Back in Black that Bon wrote. [But] he wasn’t credited and to this day no one’s really sure what happened. I don’t think he even got close to finishing the whole songs. But there are lines in there that I know.'

Malcolm Dome again in Classic Rock, August 2005, pg. 46: ‘Bon proudly showed me some of the scribbles he’d put down in preparation for an album he felt would define AC/DC - and open up new possibilities as well. It’s hard to be absolutely accurate from a distance of quarter of a century, and through the haze of alcohol which enveloped the night, but one line sticks in my mind as being on one of those sheets: “She told me to come, but I was already there.” A renowned lyric from the song You Shook Me All Night Long, it has Bon’s trademark all over it - a neatly worked double entendre that fits in with the track record of a man who wrote Big Balls, The Jack and other similarly styled songs.’[8]

Music video[edit]

Two versions of the music video exist. The first version, directed by Eric Dionysius and Eric Mistler,[9] is similar to the other Back in Black videos ("Back in Black", "Hells Bells", "What Do You Do For Money Honey", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" and "Let Me Put My Love Into You") and is available on the special Back in Black, The Videos. It is also included on the Backtracks box set.[citation needed]

In the second version, directed by David Mallet[10] and released six years after the song's original release (when the song was reissued in Who Made Who), Angus and Malcolm Young follow Johnson around the English town of Huddersfield, with Angus Young wearing his signature schoolboy outfit. The video clip casts the English glamour model Corinne Russell, a former Hill's Angel and Page 3 Girl—along with other leather clad women wearing suits with zips at the groin region—pedaling exercise bicycles in the background.[citation needed]

The VH1 series Pop-Up Video revealed that, during the scene with the mechanical bull, the woman playing Johnson's lover accidentally jabbed herself with her spur twice. The roadie who came to her aid married her a year later, and Angus Young gave them a mechanical bull as a wedding present as a joke. In the original 1980 video Phil Rudd played drums, while the 1986 video showed Simon Wright, who replaced Rudd in 1983. Rudd returned to AC/DC in 1994.[citation needed]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Year Chart Peak
1980 Australia (ARIA)[11] 8
France (SNEP)[12] 29
Germany (Official German Charts)[13] 29
Irish Singles Chart[14] 19
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[15] 38
US Billboard Hot 100[16] 35

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[17] 42


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[18] Platinum 70,000^
Italy (FIMI)[19] Gold 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[20] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[21]
3× Platinum 3,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). "AC/DC". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s. Pantheon Books. ISBN 067973015X. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. ^ "AC/DC Tour Statistics". Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ "AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long - Live [NBC 2000]" (Audio upload). The Unofficial AC/DC Channel on YouTube. Google, Inc. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Steven Tyler inducts AC DC Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003" (Video upload). Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum on YouTube. Google, Inc. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  6. ^ Angela450NYC (22 March 2014). "Must-see morning clip: Billy Joel and AC/DC's Brian Johnson perform "You Shook Me All Night Long" last night" (Video upload). Salon. Salon Media Group, Inc. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  7. ^ a b Fink, Jesse (2018). Bon: The Last Highway (Revised ed.). Penguin Books Australia. ISBN 9780857988935.
  8. ^ Dome, Malcolm (August 2005). "Back in Black: The Lyrical Debate" (PDF). Classic Rock.
  9. ^ "– AC/DC – "You shook me (all night long) [version 1: 1980]"". Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  10. ^ "– AC/DC – "You shook me (all night long) [version 2: 1986]"". Retrieved 2013-04-03.
  11. ^ " – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  12. ^ " – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  13. ^ " – AC/DC Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  14. ^ "Irish Charts". 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  15. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  16. ^ "AC/DC Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  17. ^ David Kent: Australian Chart Book
  18. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2015 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  19. ^ "Italian single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 31 December 2015. Select "2014" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "You Shook Me All Night Long" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  20. ^ "British single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 23 August 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type You Shook Me All Night Long in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  21. ^ "American single certifications – AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 23 January 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  22. ^ "Slingshot – You Shook Me All Night Long". Slingshot at Discogs. Discogs. 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  23. ^ Colin Jacobson (3 May 2006). "A Knight's Tale: Extended Edition (2001)". DVD Movie Guide. DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Céline Dion;Anastacia - You Shook Me All Night Long" (Video upload). CelineDionVEVO. Google, Inc. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  25. ^ "Big and Rich Shake Up AC/DC". Spinner. 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2013-06-29.