The Best AC/DC Songs Ranked From 20 Years Of Rock 2000 Countdowns

The Best AC/DC Songs Ranked From 20 Years Of Rock 2000 Countdowns

If those bloody Aussies are good for one thing, it's AC/DC.

We like to give Aussies a lot of crap, but if there’s one thing Rock listeners will give ‘em credit for, it’s bringing AC/DC into the world. 

In 1973, brothers Malcolm and Angus Young formed a band that is guaranteed to appear in the Rock 2000 (I'm sure that's why they made the band). They’ve won the whole thing twice, appeared in the top ten plenty of times and always have a myriad of songs in the final stretch of the countdown. 

Fittingly named after the 'AC DC' label on a power chord (AC/DC = alternate current/direct current), the band’s raw energy and powerful music have made Acca Dacca one of the most iconic bands of all time. 

The following list delves into data from across every single Rock 2000 countdown (including Rock 500, Rock 1000, and Rock 1500 countdowns), to explore AC/DC’s 15 most successful songs, as voted by Rock listeners. 

The Best AC/DC Songs Ranked From 20 Years Of Rock 2000 Countdowns

15. Who Made Who (1986)

Specifically made for Stephen King’s 1986 horror movie ‘Maximum Overdrive’, AC/DC’s ‘Who Made Who’ was an instant hit. 

Rock listeners love it, as it's appeared in every single Rock 2000 Countdown bar the first one. It has hovered around #468 in that time, peaking at #149 in 2014. 

14. Moneytalks (1990)

The opening track from AC/DC’s 1990 album ‘The Razors Edge’, ‘Moneytalks’ is all about… money. It particularly addresses how pervasive and powerful good ol' fashioned moolah is in our society. 

Peaking in 2007 at #176, the tune has always featured in the countdown, never dropping below #866. 

13. Shoot to Thrill (1980)

AC/DC’s 1980 track ‘Shoot To Thrill’ was never in the Rock 2000 Countdown until 2011, a year after it featured prominently in the epic film ‘Iron Man 2’.

Since then, it stays at around #374, peaking at #94 in its debut year and proving to be a stayer, sticking in the countdown from then on out. 

12. Whole Lotta Rosie (1977)

‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ is famously inspired by a larger-than-life Tasmanian woman named Rosie, who was well-known to the band members. Rosie's physical attributes and energetic personality became the basis for the song's lyrics.

It’s another song that’s featured every year. Proving most popular in 2013 when it peaked at #78, the track has never ranked below #750 and tends to place around #413. 

11. Let There Be Rock (1977)

With a median ranking of #308 (and, again, never leaving the countdown), the title track of Acca Dacca’s 1977 is a favourite among Rock listeners. 

Often labelled a rallying cry for the power of rock and roll and music as a whole, the track builds on a line from famous guitarist Chuck Berry’s 1956 song ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ which called for rock to be as respected as classical music. 

10.  It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll) (1975)

Bagpipes baby! The pipes, played by lead vocalist Bon Scott, in ‘It’s a Long Way To The Top’ make it one of the most distinct songs in AC/DC’s discography. 

Rock listeners love a cheeky bagpipe intro, evidenced by the track always featuring in the countdown, holding an average ranking of #302, peaking at #139 in 2012 and never falling below #240 in the last five years. 

9. Are You Ready (1990)

From AC/DC’s 1990 album ‘The Razors Edge’, ‘Are You Ready’ is a mainstay of the Countdown. It peaked at #46 in 2003 and levels out with an average of #269. 

The lyrics of "Are You Ready" focus on the excitement and anticipation of a live rock 'n' roll performance. The song's title intends to get the crowd pumping, inviting the audience to join in and embrace the mayhem of the music.

8. T.N.T (1975)

All about being rebellious, ‘T.N.T’ is another one of AC/DC’s most recognisable songs. I’d argue it’s impossible not to get pumped up to the song - its use in loads of motivational montages is evidence enough, 

Its Rock 2000 peak came in 2009 when it reached #52 on the ranking. In every year of the countdown, the tune has been in the top 500 songs. 

7. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)

Just like nearly every other song in this list, ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ from AC/DC’s 1976 album of the same name has been listed in every countdown we’ve ever done. It peaked at a solid #42 (2002) and normally lands around the #204. s 

There are actually two different versions of the song, both with distinct lyrics. The original Australian version (released in 1976) is about a hitman's services, while the international version (1981) has lyrics that reference a woman's infidelity.

6. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) (1981)

Another track that serves as a love letter to rock and roll, ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’ has been all over the rankings, peaking at #11 last year while never dropping below #760 and achieving a median ranking of #119. 

The use of cannons in the song makes it one of the more distinct songs out there, with the band often incorporating actual cannon blasts during live performances. 

5. You Shook Me All Night Long (1980)

‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ is the first song Brian Johnson wrote as the new lead singer of the band, taking over after the tragic death of former frontman Bon Scott. 

It hasn’t peaked as high as 'For Those About To Rock', but it hasn’t dipped as low, achieving a higher median ranking of #102, hence it placing above the track. Its peak was #45 (2009), and it has never dropped below #262. 

4. Highway To Hell (1979)

Appearing in the top 100 every year from 2007 - 2021 (and never dropping lower than #423), ‘Highway to Hell’ is undoubtedly one of AC/DC’s most successful tracks when it comes to the Rock 2000.

The song's title and lyrical theme stirred some controversy, particularly from conservative and religious groups who interpreted it as promoting a sinful lifestyle. However, the controversy only added to the song's reputation as an all-timer, evidenced by its peaking at #24 (2013) and its average ranking of #98. 

3. Hell’s Bells (1980)

‘Hell's Bells’ serves as the opening track of AC/DC's 1980 album ‘Back in Black’ and is widely seen as a tribute to Bon Scott, with the song's sombre and ominous tone reflecting the band's mourning for their friend and bandmate.

It has, of course, been a stayer in the Rock 2000. Over the history of the countdown, it’s held a median ranking of #79, including a peak of #12 in 2013.

2. Thunderstruck (1990)

Never dipping below #90 throughout Rock 2000’s history, appearing in the top ten twice and winning the damn thing in 2015, ‘Thunderstruck’ is a foundational track in the countdown. 

Angus Young came up with the iconic opening guitar riff while warming up during a soundcheck. He played the riff for the band, and they recognized its potential to become a powerful song.

It’s unclear when the song became a popular drinking game for university students around the world, but it sure has stuck. 

1. Back in Black (1980)

‘Back in Black’ is the first song the band recorded with Brian Johnson after Scott’s death. Although it’s not explicitly about the late frontman, the song is all about coming back stronger than ever and being resilient. 

The track is undoubtedly AC/DC’s most successful Rock 2000 track. It boasts an impressive resume of eight top-ten placings (2005 - 2011, 2014) and one #1 spot (2007). With its lowest ranking being #62 (2022), it hasn’t even come close to falling out of the top 100. 

AC/DC, Acca Dacca, whatever you wanna call them - these bloody Aussies know how to make a cracking tune that Rock listeners can get behind.