AC/DC – Jailbreak (1976)

AC/DC – Jailbreak (1976)

“Jailbreak” is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the ninth and final track of their third  Australian album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, released in September 1976. The song was not released in North America until 1984. It was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott.

It was first released as a single in Australia and the UK in mid-1976, with the non-album track “Fling Thing” as its B-side. The single was re-issued in the UK in 1980 with a picture sleeve.

The music video for “Jailbreak” was filmed in March 1976 for the Australian music program Countdown.  Filming was directed by Paul Drane in a quarry in the Melbourne suburb of Albion, near Sunshine. The video featured the band’s then-current lineup playing the song. Angus Young is dressed in what he later described as “little convict pajamas”, Bon Scott and Phil Rudd are dressed in blue prisoner uniform covered with typical Australian Broad Arrow, and Malcolm Young and Mark Evans are dressed as guards.

Additionally, the band acts out the section of the song that details the protagonist’s escape from prison. The film shows the prisoners (Scott, Angus and Rudd) doing hard labor under watch of the prison guards (Malcolm and Evans). Later, the prisoners manage to blow open the gates to the prison. Rudd and Angus are able to escape, but Scott is shot by Malcolm and Evans as he attempts to do the same. The video is dubbed with the studio track from the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album.

“Jailbreak” is one of the first videos to make use of explosives and fake blood. Drane is quoted as saying, “We didn’t really know how much explosives we were going to need to make the doors fly open, and I had a couple of guys from props with sticks, trying to push the doors apart, so the hinges are not really there…It was the first time we’d had access to anything like this, these exploding blood packs.”

Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.


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