10 Late Career Bangers From Huge Rock Bands

Not all bands have a sell by date.

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, performs with Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, left, and drummer Charlie Watts during a concert in Hayrkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Ariel Schalit/AP

In the eyes of many, popular music has a use-by-date. An artist will enter the public consciousness, fire on all cylinders for a decade (or two, if they’re lucky), and then disappear back into thin air until their era is granted a revival, after which they’ll play the hits in decreasingly sized venues until they have the good grace to die.

This is, of course, not true. The artists do not vanish into nothingness, they continue making their art, often becoming better at their craft with each passing year. It is we, the listeners, that disappear, distracted by the next new shiny thing so that we forget our favourites until we are unexpectedly reminded of them when our children’s favourite artist (who we, naturally, despise) claims them as an influence and we, in the hope that it helps forge a new connection with our uncultured, no-nothing offspring, go on a quest to the far corners of the shed or loft in search of our outdated media and prospective street cred.

None of this is necessarily true either, but the point remains, an artist needn’t be defined by the decade in which they sold the most records. Sometimes, years later, they can release an absolute banger.

Here are ten such examples.

10. AC/DC - Rock 'N' Roll Train (2008)

AC/DC remain one of the biggest bands in the world. Not bad when you consider that, sometime around 1974, they decided to put some distortion on some Chuck Berry riffs and haven’t done anything much different since then. And yet, they were, are and will forever be awesome, even if it’s not entirely clear why what they do works as well as it does (a bit like Ric Flair or Bill Murray).

Certainly, by 2008 nobody expected them to release their best song since 1990 (Thunderstruck, in case you were wondering), but they did. And like a Stones song discussed later in the list, there’s just a swagger to this track that makes it stand out from the pack, even though it does nothing much different from the forty or fifty other songs they’ve recorded since 1990.

It has been said that the best songs sound like you’ve heard them before, and if you’ve heard one AC/DC song you’ve heard them all but when the muse says dance, the artist must obey and even a band as, with the utmost respect, uninspired as AC/DC can often be, Rock ‘N’ Roll Train slaps so hard it made Angus and the boys sound new for the first time since they were.


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