Blast From The Past: AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ has sold about 49 million copies worldwide to date. It’s the second best selling album of all time.

Who hasn’t spoken out about the album yet? Me, so read on after the jump.

AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

This first AC/DC album featuring new singer Brian Johnson, who joined the band after the death of Bon Scott, starts off with 4 bell tolls before one of the most memorable riffs of the whole Hard Rock and Heavy Metal genres kicks in. ‘Hells Bells,” an archetypal AC/DC song, contains everything you could want from a Rock song. Sing a long chorus, a remarkable guitar solo and it’s damn ‘headbangable.’

‘Shoot to Thrill’ is up next and more uptempo than the first song but all in all, all songs on this album stay in mid-tempo. Remember this was 1980, they didn’t have runners like Slayer back then.

Except ‘Hells Bells’ and ‘Shoot to Thrill,’ side two of this LP (Ah, remember vinyl?) is much more memorable than the first one. Mainly because of songs like ‘Back in Black’ (one of the most famous and popular AC/DC songs), ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ (the first AC/DC song ever, I remember listening to) and ‘Rock and Roll ain’t Noise Pollution’ (my personal favorite AC/DC song).

The last song of the album, ‘Rock and Roll ain’t Noise Pollution,’ starts off with Brian Johnson lighting a cigarette, as if he’s sitting there, reflecting on the 9 prior songs and thinking what else they could pull off to end this album the way it deserves to end. With a bang. This song is the most bluesy of this album, with Brian Johnson’s best vocal performance up-to-date.

To quote the last song of the album “Rock and Roll ain’t gonna die […] it will survive. (Yes, it will ahahaha)” and AC/DC surely did their part in making sure it won’t die, with this masterpiece of an album. 30 years after it was released, it still sounds fresh and relevant. To me, this is the perfect album and helped shape Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.


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