Music Monday: AC/DC “Back In Black” Turns 40

acdc-backinblack
AC/DC’s 7th studio album “Back In Black” released on July 25, 1980

One of the top selling albums of all time with more than 50 million worldwide (sitting at the number 2 position, just under the top spot with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”), “Back In Black” is a legacy. A milestone. A timeless brunt of 10 songs that take the 4 chord trademark sound and cement it to one of the most well known albums in any music genre.

I bought this album on cassette during the summer between my Junior and Senior years of high school. It came out a year later than their previous release “Highway To Hell” – almost to the day – but missing their lead singer Bon Scott, who died 6 months previous to the release of this album. Replacing Bon is Brian Johnson, a voice to reckon with, even if most of us had never heard of him.

Track Listing

  1. “Hells Bells”
  2. “Shoot To Thrill”
  3. “What Do You Do For Money Honey”
  4. “Givin’ The Dog A Bone”
  5. “Let Me Put My Love Into You”
  6. “Back In Black”
  7. “You Shook Me All Night Long”
  8. “Have A Drink On Me”
  9. “Shake A Leg”
  10. “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”

New Voice, Same Sound

I played this album to death, as I’m sure millions of others did as well. The 10 tracks play very well from the first song “Hells Bells” to the final song “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”. In between there are all sorts of themes like “Have A Drink on Me” a odd but slight dig at Bon Scott drinking himself to death. Sexual topics like “Givin’ The Dog A Bone” and “Let Me Put My Love Into You” flow like the rock sound that accompanies the lyrics.

My favorite track is the closing song (as was the case with their previous album) “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”. The opening background sound of someone lighting a cigarette and blowing out the first puff before going into “alright… hey all you middlemen…” The chorus of the song spoke to me as my mom hated my music. She used to call it the devil’s music. So with a statement proclaiming this is NOT noise pollution, it was to me, a giant FUCK YOU to anyone that hated this music.

And while I rarely play this album much, it’s still a part of my life and one that got me through some difficult times as I finished high school.

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