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4.29 | 129 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1980

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Hells Bells (5:11)
2. Shoot To Thrill (5:17)
3. What Do You Do For Money Honey (3:34)
4. Given The Dog A Bone (3:31)
5. Let Me Put My Love Into You (4:14)
6. Back In Black (4:14)
7. You Shook Me All Night Long (3:29)
8. Have A Drink On Me (3:58)
9. Shake A Leg (4:05)
10. Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution (4:12)

Total Time 41:50


- Brian Johnson / vocals
- Angus Young / guitar
- Malcolm Young / guitar, vocals
- Cliff Williams / bass, vocals
- Phil Rudd / drums

About this release

Atlantic/Albert, 25 July 1980.

A remastered version was released in 2003 by Epic Records.

Thanks to Time Signature, Pekka, UMUR, Lynx33, Unitron for the updates


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Opening with the funeral tolling of a bell and a slow riff, for the first few seconds of this album you might be fooled into thinking that AC/DC were taking a left turn into doom metal. Nope! Despite the all-black cover adopted as a tribute to the late, great Bon Scott, and occasional detours into bluesiness the first AC/DC album of the Brian Johnson era is just as much of a hard-partying wild child as any of the Bon Scott albums were.

Although the album does get a little bit samey by the second side in a way which Highway to Hell didn't, and I can do without the blues pastiche that Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution leads off with, on the whole this is another fun album from the band. I still think Highway to Hell knocks this one out of the park, but few hard rock albums could stand their ground in a scrap with Highway, and certainly few bands have rebounded after a disaster on the level of Scott's death quite as well as AC/DC do here.
It was like it was mean't to be. I had heard AC/DC for the first time around June of 1980 through this girl i knew. It was "Highway To Hell" and i was blown away. So i picked that one up and later that summer picked up "Back In Black" that had just been released. Man i played those back to back relentlessly. In fact i know without any doubts that "Back In Black" is the album i've listened to more than any other record. I had just turned 19 years of age and i had never heard music that was so energetic and powerful. I always liked "Back In Black" a little more than "Highway To Hell" because it was more serious and darker. I remember well going to parties back then and they'd just keep turning this album over each time it ended. People never got sick of it. Well it took years before i finally put it away, bringing it out on the rare occasion. Songs like "You Shook Me All Night Long" and the title track are tracks i'm still tired of hearing. The first two songs are my favourites although "Given The Dog A Bone" and "Have A Drink On Me" still sound amazing after all of these years. These guys had sex on the brain when they wrote these tunes didn't they ? Haha. In my opinion "Back In Black" and "Highway To Hell" stand head and shoulders above every other studio album that they've made. I would add "If You Want Blood" the live release if you want the best three albums they've released.
"Back in Black" is the 7th full-length studio album by Australian hard rock act AC/DC. The album was released through Albert/Atlantic in July 1980. It´s the first AC/DC album to feature new vocalist Brian Johnson after Bon Scott´s tragic death in February 1980. The band shortly considered disbanding after Bon Scott´s death, but only few days after the funeral, they decided that it would be in Bon Scott´s spirit that they would carry on. Soon after they hired former Geordie frontman Brian Johnson (who Bon Scott had been very impressed by) and started working on songs. By April they were ready to record and went to Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who had also been responsible for producing the highly successful "Highway to Hell (1979)". They finished up the recordings at Electric Lady Studios in New York in May 1980.

While AC/DC had enjoyed a lot of success with their previous releases, nothing could have prepared them for the success of "Back in Black". The album sold extremely well and gave them their final breakthrough in the US. "Back in Black" has today sold around 50 million copies, which makes it one of the best selling albums in the history of recorded music. what is it that makes "Back in Black" such a special album, that so many people love it and worship it? First of all it´s one of the few AC/DC albums where each track are killer material and there are no fillers. Secondly "Back in Black" is an extremely well produced hard rock album, that is raw enough for the heavy rock audience to love it, but also "polished" enough to reach a mainstream audience. Last but not least, it´s an album that shows AC/DC in fine form despite the very recent tragic event. They are positively on fire and new frontman Brian Johnson more than passes the test. While some of us may prefer the more filthy vocal style of Bon Scott, it´s hard to argue that Brian Johnson isn´t the perfect replacement now that we can´t have Bon Scott singing.

Tracks like "Hells Bells", "Back in Black" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" are AC/DC "classics", but as mentioned above there are no fillers on the album and tracks like "Shoot to Thrill" and "Given the Dog a Bone" also score high in my book. As such there´s nothing new about the music style besides Brian Johnson´s more raw sandpaper delivery and we´re still treated to hard rocking bluesy rock´n´roll of the highest caliber. The rythm section is tight, the rythm guitar riffs by Malcolm Young are heavy, sharp and organic while little brother Angus Young plays those catchy solos and licks.

"Back in Black" is still and probably always will be the most commercially successful album by AC/DC. However the greatest thing about "Back in Black" is that it´s also one of the band´s greatest artistic achivements and a 4.5 - 5 star (95%) rating is fully deserved. They don´t come much more "classic" than this.
Time Signature
No noise pollution...

Genre: Hard rock / heavy metal

"Back in Black" is the second highest selling album of all time, and no wonder. It's a great album. It's full of extremely catchy hard rock and metal tunes. In fact, there is no weak song on "Back in Black", which is the album that really showcases the Young brothers' flair for writing incredibly catchy guitar riffs as in the mega hits "Back in Black" and "You Shook Me All Night Long". While AC/DC was primarily a boogie hard rock band in the 70s, there is virtually no trace of the boogie on "Back in Black", which is more of a metal / hard rock album. "Hell's Bells", for instance, is a straight heavy metal song.

This album belongs in any metalhead's collection!

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