Vocal Coach Reacts to AC/DC’s ‘Big Balls’ + Reminds Us of Why We Love Bon Scott So Much
Elizabeth Zharoff, the vocal coach behind the YouTube channel The Charismatic Voice, has just reacted to AC/DC's humorous hit "Big Balls," with some laughs, confusion and, perhaps, a bit of fear and concern.
Aside from the expert analysis of vocal performances, one of Zharoff's strengths is her commentary on the music on the whole too.
"I like the way it feels like it kind of winds down and then winds back up and we get that nice kick in there that is saying that this is going to be some sort of pretty epic fun song that maybe has some degenerate content," she says after hearing just a few seconds of the opening moments to AC/DC's masterclass in cheeky double entendres.
Once Bon Scott's snotty vocals come in, Zharoff can't contain her laughter and looks a bit puzzled by the late singer's delivery.
Playing the first verse again, she notes that Scott "definitely sounds drunk-ish" while wracking her brain to figure out why it sounds "sloppy."
Clearly, she's starting to pick up on some of the charm in the singer's delivery and overall performance, which may come into greater focus once she hears the rest of the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap classic.
Praise of Bon Scott
Listening back to the end of the verse, Zharoff offers her first real critique of Scott's technique:
"I just realized how brilliantly he said "biggest balls of all" with the pitch center [makes vocalizations to reference Scott's undulating pitch up to that point] and then it has this slyness to it because he drops it down in pitch and drops a little whine out of the voice as well. It's such a great, sly way to set that line apart."
The lyrics keep Zharoff continuously amused, as much as she looks to be in disbelief with each new line. And there's this classic bit below that impresses her on the performance end.
Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
"It's actually a sort of brilliant [expressive] pattern that he's using. [He] gets out the big moments with a very high pitch and the most volume as well. But the moments that are actually going to catch us, he reels us in before quietly-ish delivering them at a lower pitch. It feels like we're being brought into the joke," she enthuses, "I really like it. It's good humor — good delivery of it."
Right there, Zharoff accurately captures what so many of us have always loved about Bon Scott!
"Big Balls" — Perfect Karaoke Option
The Charismatic Voice host also seems to think this is "such an incredible karaoke song for those of you who are deathly afraid of karaoke."
Encouraging any self-doubting music fan with aspirations of singing karaoke, Zharoff continues, "You just go up and basically elongate the words. You don't have to be in pitch to make this song sound good, you just have to go up and do it with a bunch of confidence."
If you do decide to sing "Big Balls" at karaoke, please take video of it and send it to us.
Criticism of Bon Scott
Rock 'n' roll is often about imperfection and finding beauty in the flawed. In other words, you don't need to be a technically perfect singer in order to be good or even great.
And that means there is some criticism of Bon Scott, not that it discredits him in any way.
Zharoff, a professional vocalist, keep in mind, questions if Scott is truly "singing" on "Big Balls" or not and lays it out in a pretty simple, concrete manner that quickly makes a lot of sense.
Singing is "sustained sound that's made by the vocal tract," she offers. "I guess this is singing if I wanted to apply that same definition," Zharoff notes of Scott, "but it's not sustaining at the same pitch level because it feels like it's more like extended spoken word."
She then questions if her definition of singing is accurate or needs to be amended, which is not something she anticipated with such a "seemingly innocuous song."
Suddenly, a very serious internal dilemma has developed thanks to "Big Balls."
"May you all have as much fun listening to that song as I just did," Zharoff says with a big laugh while signing off.
That laughter says all we need to know!
Watch the full reaction video below and follow The Charismatic Voice on YouTube.
The Most Played Song Off Every AC/DC Album
Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita