In honor of AC/DC’s legendary album Back In Black, we’re dedicating Friday, July 24th’s show to the incredible songs which revolutionized rock ‘n roll 40 years ago.
Back in 1980, AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott passed away unexpectedly on February 19th, leaving the band to rethink the future. With the encouragement of friends and family, Angus and Malcolm Young started searching for a new vocalist, quickly choosing former Geordie frontman Brian Johnson (a singer whom Bon admired). Brian was working on an assembly line roofing cars when he got the call from the band. No foolin’: Brian Johnson was announced as AC/DC’s new vocalist on April 1, 1980.
I’m sure you can already hear the famous “bong, bong, bong” from the start of “Hell’s Bells”, but finding the perfect bell for opening track was not easy. They tried to record real church bells, but every time they rang, flocks of birds scattered and ruined the recording. A foundry in Leicestershire created an extra special 2000-pound bronze bell for the band, recorded by a mobile studio owned by Ronnie Lane of The Rolling Stones.
The album’s all-black cover was a tribute to Bon Scott, with the only color is the text bordered in grey. Back In Black became AC/DC’s first #1 album anywhere, reaching the top spot in their native Australia and United Kingdom. It became their first Top 10 album in America, reaching #4.
The song “Back In Black” was included on VH1’s list of the greatest hard rock songs of all time ranking at #2, #187 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and #29 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time. Back In Black is far and away AC/DC’s best-selling album, selling a reported total of 50 million copies around the world.
This week, we’re honored to celebrate one of the greatest rock albums of all time, AC/DC’s Back In Black!