Baseball Related Songs: “Hells Bells” by AC/DC

In this episode of Baseball Related Songs, we pay attention to Hells Bells performed by AC/DC. It is the second song in this series that was used by a closer when he stepped out of the bullpen.

Hells Bells is the creation of Australian Hard Rock formation AC/DC. The group was founded in 1973 in Sydney by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, but the band itself simply calls it “rock and roll”.

Before releasing their first album in 1975, the band underwent several lineup changes but singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bassist Mark Evens appeared to be the backbone of the band. Since their addition, the band stabilized.

But the band was hit by hardship in early 1980 when singer Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking, seven months after the release of their breakthrough album “Highway to Hell.” After the band considered splitting up, the members decided to stay together and add singer Brian Johnson as Scott’s replacement. Later in 1980, the band released the first album with Johnson as their singer: Back in Black.

And with this album, we come to the song featured in this blog post: “Hells Bells.” The song was the opening track and the second song released off the album.

“Hells Bells” begins with the slow, funereal tolling of a 2000-pound bronze bell.  Manufactured by John Taylor & Co Bellfounders in Loughborough, a market town in the Charnwood borough of Leicestershire.

The relation to baseball is the following: Hall of Fame closer, Trever Hoffman used the song as he took the field. Hoffman was kind of pushed a bit by the head of the entertainment department of the San Diego Padres to take this song as his walk up song. It took him a while to get pumped up by the song as he blew the save when they Padres first played this song when he took the field in a game against the Atlanta Braves in 1998.

Anyhow, the fans loved it and started to cheer as soon as the tape was played. Also when Hoffman was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. And be honest, it is one of those classic songs that you recognize as soon as the record starts. 

Here are the lyrics of the song

I’m a rolling thunder, a pouring rain
I’m comin’ on like a hurricane
My lightning’s flashing across the sky
You’re only young but you’re gonna die

I won’t take no prisoners, won’t spare no lives
Nobody’s putting up a fight
I got my bell, I’m gonna take you to hell
I’m gonna get you, Satan get you

Hell’s bells
Yeah, hell’s bells
You got me ringing hell’s bells
My temperature’s high, hell’s bells

I’ll give you black sensations up and down your spine
If you’re into evil you’re a friend of mine
See the white light flashing as I split the night
‘Cause if good’s on the left,
Then I’m stickin’ to the right

I won’t take no prisoners, won’t spare no lives
Nobody’s puttin’ up a fight
I got my bell, I’m gonna take you to hell
I’m gonna get you, Satan get you