"Thunderstruck" is the first song on the 1990 AC/DC album The Razors Edge which peaked at number #5 on U.S. Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks. It was released as a single in Germany, Australia and Japan. The song is said to be inspired by lead guitarist Angus Young's hair-raising experience when a plane he was on was struck by lightning. However, Angus Young was later to say that it "started off from a little trick I had on guitar. I played it to Mal and he said 'Oh, I've got a good rhythm idea that will sit well in the back.' We built the song up from that... It was really just a case of finding a good title. We came up with this thunder thing and it seemed to have a good ring to it. AC/DC=Power. That's the basic idea."
Contrary to popular belief, Young does not play Thunderstruck's main riff with one hand. Instead, he picks every fretted note and pulls off the open notes. Additionally in all AC/DC live videos, Angus can clearly be viewed picking every fretted note. The one-handed tapping technique can only be seen in the "Thunderstruck" music video.
The video which accompanied the single was filmed at London's Brixton Academy on 17 August, 1990. The audience members were given free T-Shirts with the words 'AC/DC - I was Thunderstruck' on the front and the date on the back, and these T-shirts were worn by the entire audience throughout the filming of the video.
The music video of Thunderstruck on YouTube, as of December 2009, has over 28 million views.
With the exception of new material from an album they are touring behind, this is the only song released after 1981 that the band still regularly performs live in concert.
- "Thunderstruck" at AllMusic.com
- Songfacts for Thunderstuck
- The Ultimate AC/DC Discography
- "Thunderstruck" music video at YouTube
- Thunderstruck (Live at Donnington) at YouTube