AC/DC - Back In Black review


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Band: AC/DC
Album: Back In Black
Release date: July 1980

01. Hells Bells
02. Shoot To Thrill
03. What Do You Do For Money Honey
04. Given The Dog A Bone
05. Let Me Put My Love Into You
06. Back In Black
07. You Shook Me All Night Long
08. Have A Drink On Me
09. Shake A Leg
10. Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution

" He is unique, we don't want someone that would just be a Bon wannabe". These were the words -with the present tense- Angus Young used for his friend Bon Scott during a press conference in 1980.The whole world was learning the death of the legendary and brilliant singer Ronald Belford Scott, 33 years old, by suffocation. Dismay was ib the place, and yet Angus, Malcolm, Cliff and Phil decided to continue the trip ACDC, encouraged by the parents of the defucnt singer.But how can one go on when he's just lost a friend, a brother? The answer was brought up by a kid from Newcastle. Brian Johnson, who was until then the lead singer in Geordie, quickly integrated the bandthat came back to work and released the same year Back In Black, their balck album.

Yet some questions remained: would they revive? What could this new singer really bring out? Once you play the disc, the answer comes by itself; the "Hell's bells" toll, like a mourning complaint, a painful exclamation overcoming the past and announcing more life than death. After the first notes, no more doubt: this album is gonna be great. An unstoppable melody mixed with the rocky vocals of Brian Johnson hits the aim and then there i no more contest on the fact that the new ACDC perfectly suits to this powerful high-pitched voice.

The first track does not sound like former ACDC, but the alchemy between the newcomer and the Young bros is a success, giving life to an explosive cocktail with a strong hard rock/blues tendency. And the playing is close to perfection. The mythical tracks never stop, with the savage and electrical "Shoot to thrill" or the staggering hit "You shook me all night long", guarantor of the ancient spirit that was so important to Bon Scott. No, the band is not dead with its great singer, Angus and Malcolm still manage to create stunning rhythm sections and inventive solos quite as good as on Highway To Hell.

This album is a jewel of homogeneity, alternating tornado songs with imposing riffs like "What do you do for money honey" and "Shake a leg", with very class tracks such as "Rock'n' roll ain't noise pollution". The album also has tracks that could have been on previous albums, like for example "Let me put my love into you" and "You shook me all night long". And "Back in black", the title track, still remains one of the highlights of the band, thanks to this bluesy touch that perfectly accentuates the catchy riff... No doubt that this is one of the three greatest tracks of ACDC.
To sum up, Back In Black is a monument, a pearl that must be owned at any price. Fully dedicated to Bon Scott, this album manages to equal the quality of Let There Be Rock and Highway To Hell. It also celebrates a renewal that has been lasting until nowadays.

Written by Gorey | 07.06.2004


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Now before I start this review I have to admit, on hearing this album for the first time I thought Brian Johnson's vocals were way to shrieky and high pitched in places and this almost immediately turned me off the album. However on second listen I realsied just how good a vocalist this guy was, how EFFECTIVE a vocalist he is and actually focused on the songs; boy was I blown away. I had listened to "perfect" (or as close to "perfect" as any album can really get) albums before, but even so, the quality and sheer power of this album stunned me, as I am sure it will continue to do for many more people out there.

published 12.01.2007 | Comments (11)


Comments: 9   Visited by: 94 users
06.01.2007 - 15:27
The Aryaputra
good review,
this is my favourite acdc album.
that which shines without names and forms...
04.03.2007 - 17:06
Account deleted
A very well-written review. Back in black is the best album of the Brian Johnson era, as good as the classic Highway to hell, if not better.
this album should not miss from any rocker's music collection.
17.08.2008 - 20:54
Red Nightmare
a classic.
IntoPlighT said: "Slipknot is 15 years old how the fuck is that Nu metal?"

19.08.2008 - 10:13
It's a great album. I love it, rock and roll at it's best.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
13.05.2009 - 14:08
To be honest, I do not understand, why just this album is so famous and popular.
Yes, it this very good album, but even with Brian Johnson I like some AC/DC albums more (e. g. For those...) and albums like "Let there be rock", "Highway to hell" and "Powerage" are much better, aren't they?
My favourite song is probably "What do you do for money honey".

But I am glad, that AC/DC went after Bon Scott's death on, and I think, It was good decision of bros. Young, that they didn't search for a singer, which would be only a copy of Bon Scott.
Brian's voice is absolutely different, and that is fine. Because no singer, which has voice similar to Bon, would be better than Bon.
20.06.2009 - 21:31
Hahaha Back In Black is more Metal title:)Great album:)
Will the ones who live after our end
Worship the goddamn cross again?
27.10.2011 - 23:25
Night Sight
The only full album i have form ac/dc
hells bells is the best song on the album
Alone in birth
Alone in the darkness
Alone in death
Alone in the daylight
28.10.2011 - 02:15
Angelic Storm
"Hells Bells" has to be in the top 10 opening tracks of all time... after coming through such a hard time with losing Bon, unleashing that monster of a track right off the bat is the stuff of legend. Brian Johnson stepped up to the challenge and his voice was just right for AC/DC. The band definitely struck gold landing him as their new singer.
18.02.2016 - 21:34
Bad English
Hells Bells shacked the worked and philistine society were shocked, great song, I like boat hell songs
It still sounds like Ac/Dc
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

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