"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.
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. 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).
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.
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.
"Rosie" on the 2008 Black Ice TourOne 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, Live from the Atlantic Studios, Let 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 Live, Live: 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 DVD Family 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.
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.
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.