Well, recently, my son showed me a version of the AC/DC classic 'Thunderstruck' that was different and yet really good, and now I had the idea for this follow-up column. I had the original version and two versions in my music collection and remembered seeing one on TV on one of those talent shows (I don't normally watch them, but I was at a mate's house, and his wife had it on). Before I hit Youtube, I asked a few people on Twitter and they gave me a heap of other ideas. So it was that the column wrote himself.
Original single cover.
I should also point out there is an Australian film called Thunderstruck, which features heaps of covers of AC/DC songs… but not the title track. Odd.
There are also very few parodies of AC/DC songs. I could not find any based on 'Thunderstruck'. However, there are heaps of mashups. I have been collecting song mashups (or remediations, if you want to get technical) for years and, sure enough, I have about half a dozen featuring this track. I've included my favourite here as well, just because.
To start with, of course, let's go to the original. From the 1990 album The Razor's Edge (which included the other great tracks 'Are You Ready?' and 'Moneytalks'), it has a guitar riff that has become as iconic as any in the AC/DC canon. And live, hearing the entire crowd bellow, "Thun-der!" is something you never forget. Without further ado, here is AC/DC:
First up, let's go for a straight-forward cover, recommended to me by around 5 people on Twitter. The band is called ThundHerStruck, an all-female AC/DC cover band. They are awesome! Like I said, just a standard cover version, but with those female vocals it has a slightly more menacing feel to it. And apologies for the sound quality of the fan-cam video.
Let's go to one of the versions I already owned. I got into country covers through a band called the Fargone Beauties, the saw Sensitive New Age Cowpersons live, and I was hooked. Thanks to a band called Hayseed Dixie, I went through a brief period of collecting bluegrass versions of AC/DC and classic rock songs, and so I found this version of 'Thunderstruck' by Steve 'n' Seagulls. We all need a little banjo and spoon-playing in our lives…
This leads into symphonic heavy metal. It doesn't? Okay, it doesn't; you can't get something more diagrammatically opposed to country than a mash-up of hard rock and symphonic musical stylings, so here is an arrangement of 'Thunderstruck' by Orion's Reign. This is another one I somehow had in my own collection, and, well, there is an official video clip and everything! I got into Orion's Reign through liking Nightwish, for those playing at home.
And that leads nicely-ish into this act from the 2010 series of the strangely misnamed Australia's Got Talent. This act was probably one of the few pieces of "talent" on that show. Bagpipes. AC/DC. A marriage made in some bizarre corner of heaven where they also created the okapi and blob-fish. But, damn, if this isn't well done… despite the fact it appeared on a latter-day Gong Show rip-off. The artist is The BadPiper, and apparently, he can be found in Australia still performing a variety of songs with his pyrotechnic bagpipes. Warning: Bagpipes!
Sorry for the Kyle Sandilands appearance…
Now another one recommended to me by a number of Twitter users. I was also recommended a Vivaldi-based guitar version, a heap of violin versions, a huge number of versions involving amateurs playing the guitar riff, and even a few school concert versions. Most were meh, but very few were actively bad – I don't think this song would allow itself to be played horribly. Anyway, this is a version by a percussion ensemble from the Percufest International Percussion Event. And that probably gives away just what this version entails. Apart from one guitarist, a lot of people hitting things. And isn't that what AC/DC is all about?
All right, the version my son showed me. It's by a band (?) called 2 Cellos and it is the song played by two men with cellos. Easy, wasn't it? This is also one of the weirder video clips here (though their 'Eye Of The Tiger' 2 Cellos video is stranger), but the way these two play the whole song on just 2 cellos is awesome. Great musicians tackling a great song.
And let's finish with a mash-up. Like I said, I have a number, and it was between this one and the one combined with 'Thunder' by Imagine Dragons, but I like the fact 1980s pop met 1990s rock. So, with the AC/DC original being melded together with Ray Parker Jr's 'Ghostbusters', here is 'Thunderbusters', mixed by Wax Audio. I think that description should be warning enough as to what you're about to get…
And there you have it. 'Thunderstruck' covered. I hope you enjoyed this, and, of course, comments, suggestions, etc. are always welcome!