Get a load of this. A discussion paper by an economist at the University of Calgary on how the different vocal stylings of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson effect economic decision making.
The author of the study, one Robert Oxoby, admits that the long standing argument on which AC/DC vocalist is better may be too subjective to answer conclusively. So instead, while testing Canadian college students in traditional economic game theory on negotiating, he had a song from each vocalist playing in the background. The goal is to determine if players in the game made more economically advisable decisions while listening to one or the other of the vocalists.
The songs chosen were “It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock and Roll” featuring the late Mr. Scott and “Shoot To Thrill” by the current vocalist Mr. Johnson. The study used deeper cuts to avoid listener identification with monster smashes like “Highway to Hell” and “Back In Black.” Skimming the conclusions, apparently Mr. Johnson’s vocals resulted in more economically efficient decision making by the students.
1) Everyone knows that Bon Scott freakin’ rules so the study is flawed from the outset.
2) AC/DC music doesn’t make me want to maximize the utility of my economic decisions, it make me want to act as stupidly as I am able (hopefully within legal boundaries, but certainly while vigorously head-banging, an act that will cause severe cognitive dysfunction over prolonged periods.)
3) Listen to “Let There Be Rock” by the Drive-By Truckers and try to imagine any rational brain activity going on while listening to Bon Scott-era AC/DC.
4) “It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock And Roll” kicks ass and is without a doubt the greatest song in the AC/DC catalog (dig the dueling solos between the electric guitar and the bagpipes!) I mean, that has to compromise the integrity of the study, right?
5) Steven Levitt, one of the authors of Freakonomics (and the source of this link), had it exactly right: “I hope this guy has tenure.”