UPDATED: Career In Beats: Phil Rudd

(Image credit: Michael Hurcomb/Corbis)

With Phil Rudd all set to release his first-ever solo album, Rhythm thought it was the perfect time to take a doe-eyed look back at just some of the beats that have defined the AC/DC drummer's career.

And there are plenty of iconic beats littered across his 40-year stint in the musical spotlight. Here's our pick of the 4/4 master's top moments.

Let There Be Rock

Let there be drums, and there were drums! Rudd keeps things rocking along at break-neck speed as 'DC blast into this 1977 classic. Look out for Rudd's typical head down, blast it out approach and Bon Scott's unspeakably tight strides.

Highway To Hell

Ah, the perfectly timed introduction of Rudd's familiar backbeat atop that iconic riff never fails to send a shiver up the spine. Here we see Rudd at his rock steady best. This 2009 live version (of course featuring Brian Johnson) of the A-grade rock classic is pretty special as well.

Back In Black

New singer, same old Phil. Others may gush over the lead riff, which we must concede is awesome, but here at Rhythm we can't help but think that it's the hi-hat count in and pre-chorus fill that make this such a classic. Yet another Rudd example of how to get a massive sound by keeping things simple.


After a mid-career 'DC lull and a break from the drum stool, during which he dabbled in flying helicopters, the steadiest drummer in rock returned in time for 'DC's 1995 Ballbreaker album. This live version of the title track sums up everything there is to love about Rudd and the boys, as Phil puffs away nonchalantly on his cigarette while Brian Johnson swings across the stage on a giant wrecking ball. Unbelievable fun powered by an unshakable 4/4.

Anything Goes

After eight long years without an AC/DC album, the Aussie legends returned in 2008 with the monumentally successful Black Ice. While the typical AC/DC rocker 'Rock 'n Roll Train' earned the honour of being the album's lead single, it was follow-up 'Anything Goes' that really showed that the boys still had what it takes. Check out this clip, in which Phil has to contend with cannons, a giant inflatable lady friend and a middle-aged schoolboy.

Repo Man

With talk swirling all around the place that DC were back in the studio recording a new album, we must admit that news of a Phil Rudd solo album took us by surprise. That's where the surprises ended, Rudd has stuck to a tried and trusted template, this is no wild prog side project, thankfully. Repo Man is the unashamedly DC-esque lead single from said record, the cheekily-titled Head Job. The track finds Phil doing what Phil does best, putting down an almighty groove. With that much-rumoured DC album set to drop later this year, 2014 looks to be 60-year-old Rudd's most prolific year yet. Nice work, Phil.

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).