Classic Rock Wiki

"Whole Lotta Rosie" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the eighth and final track on the band's fourth Australian album, Let There Be Rock, released in Australia in March 1977, and was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott. It is also the eighth and final track on the international version of the album, released in June the same year.

It was also released as a single in 1978, with a live version of the Let There Be Rock album track "Dog Eat Dog" as the B-side, which had been recorded in concert inGlasgow on 30 April 1978.



  • 1 Composition
  • 2 Early version
  • 3 Live recordings and performances
  • 4 Covers
  • 5 In other media
  • 6 Track listing
  • 7 Personnel
  • 8 Chart positions
  • 9 External links
  • 10 References


The song is about an obese Tasmanian woman, Rosie, with whom the singer (Bon Scott) had a one night stand at the Freeway Gardens Motel in North Melbourne.[2] In addition to pointing out the woman's size, the singer finds her to be one of the most talented lovers he's ever experienced.

The song's first verse reveals Rosie's substantial physical measurements (42"-39"-56"), and that she weighs nineteen stone (266 pounds/approximately 120 kilograms). On the Live from the Atlantic Studios disc, however, Scott describes the titular woman as "... a Tasmanian devil ... weighs 305 pounds ...," a measurement that differs from the "19 stone" lyric (305 lb being 21 st 11 lb).

In 1998, speaking to Vox magazine, Angus Young remembered:

Early version[edit][]

The song's main riff was also featured on an earlier recording with different lyrics, titled "Dirty Eyes", which saw official release on Volts, part of the Bonfire box set. "Dirty Eyes" features a different chord progression in the chorus, as well as a slower tempo than "Rosie".

In late summer of 1976, "Dirty Eyes" was first recorded by AC/DC, along with "Carry Me Home" and "Love at First Feel" for a possible EP. This recording is possibly the version that was later issued on the Bonfire boxed set. The EP was scrapped, leaving "Love at First Feel" as a fill-in for the upcoming Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap album and "Carry Me Home" as a b-side. In the following months, Dirty Eyes was recrafted into "Whole Lotta Rosie," and recorded during the Let There Be Rock sessions of January–February 1977.[4]

When the song was released as a single in 1978 it was heavily edited, making the song considerably shorter. A big part of the guitar solo was left out as well as the characteristic guitar-band duel.

Live recordings and performances[edit][]

"Rosie" on the 2008 Black Ice Tour

One of AC/DC's most popular songs, "Whole Lotta Rosie" has been included on each of the band's official live albums: three with Scott If You Want Blood You've Got It (short version which misses the second guitar solo), Live from the Atlantic StudiosLet There Be Rock: The Movie – Live in Paris, the latter two released in 1997 as part of the Bonfire box set), and also four with Brian Johnson (released on LiveLive: 2 CD Collector's Edition, the tour edition of Stiff Upper Lip, and also on Live at River Plate). The only other song that appears on all these releases is "The Jack". A live video of "Whole Lotta Rosie" is also featured on the DVDFamily Jewels, from a 1978 performance on the BBC's TV concert series Rock Goes to College, on which Scott refers to Rosie as the "biggest, fattest woman who ever fornicated."

When the song is performed live, the crowd will usually shout 'Angus!' in between each of the opening riffs. This has its origins in the version heard on 'If You Want Blood', but a careful listen reveals that this was a regular chant patched into the song's intro (the fourth chant of 'Angus' is noticeably early)

Current live performances of "Whole Lotta Rosie" are accompanied by a giant, inflatable "Rosie" as seen on the Live at Donington video. In March 2005, Q magazine placed the live version from If You Want Blood ... at number 16 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.[citation needed]

Rosie was seen (at the same table as Brian Johnson) during the cartoon intro video that was played on the Black Ice World Tour. The song was also used in Brian Johnson's audition as Scott's successor.[5]


"Whole Lotta Rosie" was covered by Guns N' Roses, it was on the 1987 UK vinyl singles of "Welcome to the Jungle" and the 1988 "Live from the Jungle" album. It has also been played as part of Guns N' Roses' concerts.[6]

Australian psychedelic band Electric Hippies recorded a cover in 1995 for the "Fuse Box" alternative tribute album.

It was also covered by W.A.S.P. on the American version of the 1996 "Still Not Black Enough" album.

James "The King" Brown covered the song in his 2000 album Return to Splendor.

An other cover version Steel Panther released in 2010 on "The Metal Forge Volume Two (A Tribute To AC/DC)" by Metal Hammer.

Bullet for My Valentine also released a cover of the song as a bonus track on their 2013 album Temper Temper.

In other media[edit][]

A live version of this song is included on AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack.

Track listing[edit][]



Whole Lotta Rosie intro with power chords

1977 7-inch single (Netherlands: Atlantic ATL 109 92)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Dog Eat Dog" (Young, Young, Scott) – 3:35
1978 7-inch single (Belgium: Atlantic 109 92)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Dog Eat Dog" (Young, Young, Scott) – 3:35
1980 7-inch single (UK: Atlantic HM 4)
  1. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott) – 5:20
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Young, Young, Scott) – 4:21


  • Bon Scott – lead vocals
  • Angus Young – lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar
  • Mark Evans – bass[7]
  • Phil Rudd – drums
  • Producers: Harry Vanda, George Young

Chart positions[edit][]

Chart (1978) Position Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 12
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 5
Chart (1980) Position
UK (Official Charts Company)[11] 36
Chart (2012) Position
UK (Official Charts Company)[11] 68