Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Feeds

A Look Back At AC/DC's Back in Black

08/29/2014
.
(Gibson) When the record landed in stores in August 1980, there was no picture of the band on the LP sleeve. In fact, there was no picture at all. Just an ominous black 12-inch square embossed with the name AC/DC and the words Back in Black. The somber-looking package contained one of the greatest rock albums of the '80s-an album that, 27 years later, still makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, even more so if you know the story of how Back in Black came to be.

A new decade had dawned and AC/DC were riding high on the success of 1979's Highway to Hell. Six months after its release, a gap in their hectic touring schedule found AC/DC back in London, the Australian band's adopted home base, where they began to write the follow-up album.

It was in London, during the writing sessions, on February 19, 1980, when lead guitarist Angus Young got a phone call from one of singer Bon Scott's many lady friends. "She was hysterical and trying to get some information," Young says. "She'd heard Bon was dead."

Bon dead? Young didn't believe it. Everyone knew Scott was indestructible. From their early days playing the tough bar circuit in Australia where Bon out-battled the clientele, to the recent incident when he'd dived out a four-story window and into a pool on a $10 dare, he always emerged with a grin on his face, a girl on his arm, and a drink in his hand. And then the guitarist's phone rang again. The band's manager was calling from a South London hospital-he'd just identified Bon's body. After a night on the town with friends, the hard partying, happy Scott had passed out and choked on his vomit. The coroner's report would later say that he had "drunk himself to death." Young was devastated.

Later, at the funeral, Bon's parents told the band that they had to find a new singer and carry on. But the band members weren't interested in carrying on. They weren't interested in anything. As Angus recalls, "Everyone was walking around in silence. Nobody knew what to do. It was hard to take in. We were so depressed." Angus' brother and AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young agrees. A pall of depression hung over them all.

For several weeks, the brothers couldn't bring themselves to even pick up their guitars. Then finally, just to take their minds off the loss, they decided to book a rehearsal studio and play some of the bits and pieces they'd been working on with Bon. Which led to them thinking about the wishes of Scott's parents and discussion of finding a singer.

AC/DC's manager had put together a list of potential new vocalists, which up until then they had refused to look at. But then they noticed that one of those names was of a singer that Bon had been raving about for months: Brian Johnson from the Northern England band Geordie.

When Angus and Malcolm invited Johnson to come hang out for a while and sing, there was no hesitation. Johnson was a huge AC/DC fan. His chemistry with the band was instant, and he left with a new job and a plane ticket to the Bahamas, where producer Mutt Lange was waiting for them at Compass Point Studio. Recalls Malcolm, "We got the title for the album before we'd even written a tune. Angus said, 'Why not call it Back in Black? Make a black album cover and then it's for Bon.'"

But Back in Black wasn't just a tribute album, a wake for their much-missed friend-it was a declaration of intent that they'd decided to go on. Not to replace him-Bon was irreplaceable-but to start a new phase with a singer whose powerful high wail worked just as well with AC/DC's trademark sound as Bon's sleazy, bluesy growl.

It's that multi-faceted mix of intension and tensions, anger and spirit that makes Back in Black so lethally good-all that turbulence, the barely suppressed anger and pain and the fierce will to continue.

When AC/DC first heard the playbacks, their reaction, says Malcolm, was, "This is a monster!" Sure enough, it was. Not just the tone of the album and its lean power but its songs, which include three of the best rock anthems ever: the rousing title track, the brooding "Hell's Bells," and the ultimate party song "You Shook Me All Night Long."

More here.

Gibson.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

AC/DC CDs, DVDs and MP3s

AC/DC T-shirts and Posters

AC/DC CDs, vinyl and rarities


Share this article



...end


advertisement
advertisement

.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
Ace Frehley Recruits Paul Stanley, Slash For New Album- Black Sabbath Announce Rescheduled Farewell Tour Dates- Bruce Springsteen Releasing Autobiography- AC/DC- more

Day In Pop: No Doubt Members Replace Gwen With AFI's Havok For New Group- Jason Derulo And K. Michelle Release 'Naked' Video- Taylor Swift and Miguel To Perform At Grammys- more

Guns N' Rose Add Another Reunion Concert- Eagles, Jackson Browne To Tribute Glen Frey At Grammy Awards- Santana Calls Out NFL Over Super Bowl Halftime Show- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

School of Rock: The Musical (Original Cast Recording)

Separations - Dream Eater

Roses Unread - The Silver Lining

Nuclear - Formula for Anarchy

Sites and Sounds: Spring Music Festival Preview

Made For Broadway - Life Lessons

Gloryhammer - Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards

Javier Escovedo - Kicked Out of Eden

MorleyView: Dioni

Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx

RAM - Svbversvm

Sunflower Dead - It's Time to Get Weird

Witchsorrow - No Light Only Fire

RockPile: Prog Edition

Rock Reads: The Bag I'm In: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990


. .
.
Today's Rock News
. Ace Frehley Recruits Paul Stanley, Slash For New Album

Black Sabbath Announce Rescheduled Farewell Tour Dates

Bruce Springsteen Releasing Autobiography

Classic Queen Concert Hitting Movie Theaters

Rolling Stones, Cream and Free Classics Remastered At Half-Speed

AC/DC Launch Their Own Bourbon And Cola For A Cause

Filter's Richard Patrick Talks Deeply Personal 'Take Me To Heaven'

Cult Of Luna Stream New Song 'A Greater Call'

Skeletonwitch Recruit Wolvhammer Frontman Adam Clemans

Jeff Beck Announces Special 50th Anniversary Show

Darkest Hour Crowdfunding New Album

Discharge Announce New Album 'End Of Days'

Lemmy Kilmister Action Figure Being Reissued

Walls Of Jericho Stream New Song 'Relentless'

Sidemen: Long Road To Glory Documentary To Premiere At SXSW

Behemoth Frontman 'Nergal' Finishing Eclectic Solo Album

Riverside Streaming 'Time Travellers' Remix

The Strawbs Reveal Rescheduled Tour Dates

Rammstein Leads Chicago Open Air Lineup

Dee Snider And Doug Aldrich Settle Their Feud

Skindred Frontman Benji Webbe Sees Positive In Glass Attack

Twice Bitten Pull Out Of Bad Elephant Showcase Due To Injury

Fatherson Release 'Lost Little Boys' Video

Singled Out: Radio Exile's No Pity On The Highway



Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
. No Doubt Members Replace Gwen With AFI's Havok For New Group

Jason Derulo And K. Michelle Release 'Naked' Video

Taylor Swift, Alabama Shakes and Miguel To Perform At Grammys

Katy Perry Taking Her Time On Next Album

OK Go Release Acrobatic Video For 'Upside Down & Inside Out'

Kanye West Teases 'Father Stretch My Hands' Lyrics

Burger King 'Leak' Snoop Dogg Training Video

Teresa Giudice Opens Up About Her Prison Experience

What Does Taylor Swift Have To Do With Lana Del Rey's New Video?

Ally Brooke Talks Next Fifth Harmony Album

Charles Kelley And His Wife Welcome Baby Boy

Panic! At The Disco's Brendon Urie Talks 'Victorious'

Justin Bieber's 'Sorry' Lyrics Dramatically Read By 29 Celebs

Puppy Monkey Baby Gets Remixed



More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
Rock On the Rise Radio The Screen Door A Journal of Musical Things Lloyd Zeffler blog Demolish Mag Nightwatcher's House of Rock CJ Chilvers Deja Voodoo The 1st Five Hard Rock Memorabilia thecopycat.biz Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.


 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2016 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.