Released in 1980, after the death of Bon Scott, “Back in Black” has been a timeless classic. This was Brian Johnson’s as his best. I have had this record on vinyl, cassette, CD and yes, 8-track. When I was learning how to play the guitar back in the 1980’s, this was one of the first AC/DC albums that I mastered on guitar.
The musicianship is very tight on this record. Brian Johnson’s whiskey drenched vocals are at the strongest of his career. His vocals are so clean when he hits those high notes. His screams and growls would influence a whole new generation of vocalists in the heavy metal world. The drumming of Phil Rudd is heavy. Cliff Williams’s bass work is suburb. Controlling the realm of the music is Malcolm Young and he is at his best on rhythm guitar. Angus Young’s leads are among the best he has ever done.
The songs are great and to me there is no filler music on this record. Each song has something different to offer from the “Hell’s Bells” to “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” There’s plenty of great riffs throughout the entire record. The sound is crystal clear. Lot’s of great blues and rock n’ roll influences on this record. Lyrically, the songs are based around topics like sex, alcohol and rock & roll. Many anthems came from this record that are still played on the radio today to heard in movies such as “Iron Man.”
From this point, I would never give an album with Brian Johnson a 100% rating.Not to many bands could pull off what AC/DC did here when there is a major change to the line up. Brian Johnson was the best man for the job and filled Bon’s shoes very well. Simply put, “Back in Black” is one hell of a good rock n’ roll record.
1. “Hells Bells” 5:10
2. “Shoot to Thrill” 5:17
3. “What Do You Do for Money Honey” 3:33
4. “Given the Dog a Bone” 3:30
5. “Let Me Put My Love into You” 4:16
1. “Back in Black” 4:14
2. “You Shook Me All Night Long” 3:30
3. “Have a Drink on Me” 3:57
4. “Shake a Leg” 4:06
5. “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” 4:15