Thunderstruck (song)

Last updated

Single by AC/DC
from the album The Razors Edge
B-side "Fire Your Guns"
Released10 September 1990
RecordedJanuary 1990
Label ATCO
Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn
AC/DC singles chronology
"That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll"
Music video
"Thunderstruck" on YouTube

"Thunderstruck" is the lead single on the 1990 album The Razors Edge by Australian hard rock band AC/DC.


The song was released as a single in Germany, Australia, and Japan, and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks. In 2010, "Thunderstruck" topped Triple M's Ultimate 500 Rock Countdown in Melbourne, Australia. The top five were all AC/DC songs. [2]


Angus Young stated in the liner notes of the 2003 re-release of The Razors Edge:

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. We fiddled about with it for a few months before everything fell into place. Lyrically, it was really just a case of finding a good title ... We came up with this thunder thing, based on our favourite childhood toy ThunderStreak, and it seemed to have a good ring to it. AC/DC = Power. That's the basic idea. [3]

The song has sold over a million digital copies since it became available for digital download. [4]

In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "Thunderstruck" was ranked number 8. [5]

Music video

The video directed by David Mallet, 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. [6]

Charts and certifications


RegionCertification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA) [36] 5× Platinum350,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Denmark (IFPI Denmark) [37] Gold45,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Italy (FIMI) [38] Platinum50,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Mexico (AMPROFON) [39] 3× Platinum+Gold210,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
United Kingdom (BPI) [40] Platinum600,000Double-dagger-14-plain.png
Canada (Music Canada) [41] Platinum40,000^
United States (RIAA) [42] Platinum1,798,000 [43]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
Double-dagger-14-plain.pngsales+streaming figures based on certification alone


Cyber attack of the Iranian nuclear program

The song was used as part of the payload of a computer virus which attacked the Iranian nuclear program between 2009 and 2010. Reportedly developed by the US and Israeli governments, Stuxnet took control of centrifuge controls in nuclear facilities across the country causing extensive damage to machinery. Additionally, various workstations were hijacked with the song playing randomly at high volume late at night. [44] In an email sent to Finnish computer security expert, Mikko Hypponen of F-Secure, one of the scientists involved in the program was quoted as saying:

...There was also some music playing randomly on several of the workstations during the middle of the night with the volume maxed out. I believe it was playing 'Thunderstruck' by AC/DC. [45]

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