Our weekly column "White Whale Vinyl" spotlights the most sought-after rare vinyl in the heavy-music universe. Shop for vinyl, including a selection of limited-edition Revolver-exclusive variants, via our store.
AC/DC's first single is an anomaly in almost every way. Released only on the Australian continent in 1974, it features the A-side "Can I Sit Next to You, Girl," which has more in common with the power glam of U.K. stompers the Sweet or Slade than the world-beating hard-rock band that AC/DC would eventually become. Meanwhile, B-side "Rockin' in the Parlour" almost sounds like swamp rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival. Indeed, the Sweet and Slade were huge in '74, and Creedence were only two years gone. Clearly, AC/DC guitarists Malcolm and Angus Young already had the skills that would make them famous, but they were still finding their sound.
Upping the curiosity factor, "Can I Sit Next to You, Girl" is the only AC/DC release on which original singer Dave Evans appears. Before 1974 was out, Evans would be replaced by Bon Scott, the much-mythologized bare-chested party animal who fronted the band until his accidental death in 1980. As if to erase Evans' presence, AC/DC re-recorded "Can I Sit Next to You, Girl" with Scott in 1975 as the B-side to "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N' Roll"). The Scott version also appears on their 1975 Australian full-length, T.N.T., and would later surface on their '76 international debut, High Voltage.
Throw in the fact that that only three official versions of the original Evans-fronted single exist — the Australian pressing, the New Zealand pressing and the Australian promo version — and it all adds up to prime white whale status. A quick consultation over at Discogs reveals the numbers: Expect to pay between $500 and $900 for a decent copy of the Australian pressing. The Aussie promo, if you can find one, will set you back quite a bit more: In May 2020, a copy sold for $3,237.41, making it the eighth most expensive record sold on Discogs that month.
And the New Zealand pressing? It's never been sold on Discogs. A July 2014 article on Blabbermouth claims that one sold on eBay for nearly $4,500, but we can find no record of that sale on eBay itself. We did, however, find record of an New Zealand pressing selling on eBay in October 2015 for $1,350. Either way, you'll pay plenty for this rare and curious piece of rock & roll history.