Friday, January 15, 2021

Great Magazine Reads: 7 Things to Know About AC/DC's Back in Black

AC/DC continuously amazes me. Not because any of their most recent albums are very good. But because I will come across one of their old tunes - the catalog is very deep - from the 70s and even 80s and almost always be massively re-impressed.

AC/DC's rock 'n roll story is great too. Classic Rock Magazine, never one to skimp on salacious excess, featured a cover story on the making of 1980's Back in Black in the April 2020 issue. Here are 7 things every rock fan should carry in their useless-but-what-life's-all-about brain storage:

  1. It was recorded in Nassau, the Bahamas, a new locale for the Aussie band.
  2. Angus Young says the album was a dedication to Bon Scott, the singer who died supposedly of a heroin overdose in the early stages of making Back in Black. Put another way, by newly appointed singer Brian Johnson, Scott died "because he vomited when his neck was twisted."
  3. Rolling Stone writer David Fricke reviewed it: "the first LP since Led Zeppelin II that captures all the blood, sweat and arrogance" of "heavy metal art."
  4. Def Leppard shared a manager at the time with AC/DC, and Lepp singer Joe Elliot said Johnson looked like Andy Capp (that's still a hilarious comic strip, about a little guy with a Brian Johnson-like cap who drinks and fights and humiliates an entire British village) but sounded great.
  5. Speaking of Led Zeppelin, AC/DC was touring when word arrived that Zep drummer John Bonham had died in a similar way to Bon Scott (although it was 40 literal shots that did him in instead of heroin).
  6. Classic Rock calls the album perhaps the greatest comeback for a band in history. That seems like the wrong category for an album that could be tops in lots of other categories. After all, lead singer change or not, the equally classic Highway to Hell was released the year before.
  7. It's the second biggest selling album of all time, behind Michael Jackson's Thriller.

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