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:
Dave Grohl Slams New Bands For Short-Changing Fans- Metallica and Avenge Sevenfold Singers Do Zombie Auditions- Motorhead Frontman Fears The Death Of Rock- more

B-Sides: Taylor Swift Joined On Stage By Beck, St. Vincent and John Legend- Imagine Dragons Premiere 'Roots'- Hollywood Vampires Supergroup Stream Cover Of Classic Who Song- more

Original Guns N' Roses Reunion Rumored For Music Festival- Black Sabbath Making Final Album Plans Says Gus G- Paul McCartney Announces North American Tour Dates- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

advertisement
.
 
Reviews
.

Flashback: Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run

First Decree - This is Our Rise

Sulphur Aeon - Gateway to the Antisphere

The Blues: Lazer Lloyd- Billy Hector- John Cocuzzi

The Unravelling - Master Drone (single)

RockPile: Acidic- Godsticks- Vidunder

Bedemon - Child of Darkness

Get To Know... Bridge to Grace

Devil City Angels (L.A. Guns, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne) - Devil City Angels

Dystopia - Human = Garbage

Motley Crue: The Final Ride

Jethro Tull - Minstrel in the Gallery: 40th Anniversary La Grande Edition

Cradle of Filth - Hammer of the Witches

Six Feet Under - Crypt of the Devil

Lollapalooza 2015 Day Three: Florence and the Machine and more

Martin Turner and Friends - The Garden Party: A Celebration of Wishbone Ash Music

Lollapalooza 2015: Day Two - Metallica, Brand New And More

Lollapalooza 2015: Day One - Paul McCartney- Gary Clarke Jr.- More

Musique Magnifique! The Quebec City Summer Festival, Part 2


. .
.
Today's Rock News
.
Dave Grohl Slams New Bands For Short-Changing Fans

Metallica and Avenge Sevenfold Singers Do Zombie Auditions

Motorhead Frontman Fears The Death Of Rock 'N' Roll

The Who's Hyde Park Concert Film Coming To Theaters

The Scorpions To Live Stream Concert Next Month

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament Helps Poor Kids By Building Skate Parks

Lenny Kravitz Releasing Concert Film 'Just Let Go' This Fall

Toadies Announce North American Tour Dates

Abigail Williams Announce New Album 'The Accuser'

Velvet Underground's Loaded Getting Re-Loaded For Deluxe Reissue

Clapton, Joe Bonamassa Tribute Stevie Ray Vaughan In The Studio

Pink Floyd's Inflatable Pig Going Up For Auction

Defeater's New Album 'Abandoned' Streaming In Full Online

Rammstein Release Live 'Ich Tu Dir Weh' Video From In Amerika

The Devil Wears Prada Frontman Explains Space EP Songs

Volbeat Members Added To Silent Rock Movie Cast

Fear Factory Streaming New Song 'Regenerate'

Whitesnake's Joel Hoekstra Streams Preview Of New Solo Album

Joe Bonamassa Announces 'Live At Radio City Music Hall' Releases

Glenn Hughes, Vinnie Moore Guest On The Lizards' New Album

Swallow The Sun Releasing Triple Album This Fall





Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's B-Sides News
.
Taylor Swift Joined On Stage By Beck, St. Vincent and John Legend

Imagine Dragons Premiere New Song 'Roots'

Hollywood Vampires Supergroup Stream Cover Of Classic Who Song

Metallica Going All Out For Festival Performances

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard Launching US Tour This Fall

Bruce Springsteen, Bill Murray Among Stars In Darlene Love's New Video

Justin Bieber To Perform New Song At The MTV VMAs

Demi Lovato Recruits Celebrities To Reveal New Album's Tracklist

Hurtsmile Release 'Hello I Must Be Going' Video

5 Seconds Of Summer Reveal Advice From Good Charlotte Brothers

Public Service Broadcasting Release 'The Other Side' Live Video

Lil B Invited To Try Out For The 76ers D-League Team

Tyler, the Creator Banned From The UK

Mark Ronson, Miguel and Rod Stewart In ASAP Rocky's Everyday Video

Calvin Harris Leads Forbes' Highest Paid DJs List

Selena Gomez Not Ashamed Of Her Purity Ring Past

Singled Out: Audiotopsy's The Calling



More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
AudioNationRadio.com Rock Show Radio (4 streaming stations) 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 thecopycat.biz Hard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter

.
  .
.



 

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

Copyright© 1998 - 2015 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.