Monday, February 15, 2010

Shania Twain: You Shook Me All Night Long

Every Monday I feature one artist’s cover of another artist’s song. As Monty Python might say, “and now for something completely different,” here's Shania Twain doing her cover of the AC/DC classic, “You Shook Me All Night Long.”  Before you ask, yes that is Alison Krauss singing harmony.

While it might seem to be unusual for a county artist like Twain doing an AC/DC number, it isn’t that much of a stretch. Twain’s ex-husband, “Mutt” Lange, who produced and co-wrote many of her critically acclaimed recordings, also produced the original version by the boys from down under.

Released on their largest selling album, “Back in Black,” “You Shook Me All Night” became a heavy metal staple in the 1980s. The album achieved record sales in a number of countries including 22 times platinum in the US, 10 times platinum in Canada, and 8 times platinum in the UK.

The AC/DC Original

While a country version might seem unusual, in the mid 1980s I played with a band based out of Mullens, WV called the Second Story Band. Typically, we did a variety that mixed Southern Rock and Country . . . and a few AC/DC tunes along with some other straightforward rock numbers. I was always amazed how the country audiences reacted to the AC/DC songs – very enthusiastically. The success of AC/DC meant the band was reaching those cross-over listeners to sell as well as they did in the US.

February 1984 - Summersville, WV with the Second Story Band.
Left to Right: the author, Moe Beavers & Rick Moorefield.

I did get to see AC/DC live in 1978 at the Huntington, WV Civic Center. I won two tickets from WVAF-FM in Charleston, WV to see Cheap Trick. AC/DC was the opening act. I was not a fan; however, a majority of the audience reveled in the antics of Angus Young in his schoolboy attire and wireless Gibson SG guitar as he came off the stage into the audience. They put on quite the show.

By the way, Shania Twain doesn't have the only country version of this song out there. Hayseed Dixie is an acoustic AC/DC tribute band that does a hillbilly version of this and other AC/DC numbers. The instrumentation on their rendition is great; however, I don’t care for the vocal treatment. I think Shania’s version is superior, but I guess I should include Hayseed Dixie’s rendition here for comparison purposes.

Hayseed Dixie - Hillbilly AC/DC Tribute Band

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