Ah yes, Back in Black. The first AC/DC album to include (then new) singer Brian Johnson. Lineup of band members didn't change too much, as Malcolm Young (R.I.P), Angus Young, Phil Rudd, and Cliff Williams were all there. Before this album was made, Bon Scott passed away due to choking on his own vomit after a long night of drinking.
But before Bon Scott died, in a way, he indirectly recommended Brian as the next singer. Weird right? This is the story: Anytime Bon went to a concert, he never went too crazy talking about it after. He was pretty picky. But at the time, Brian was in the band Geordie.
Bon goes to one of Geordie's shows, to find Brian screaming at the top of his lungs and rolling around on the floor, and going into convulsions. Bon thought it was the coolest thing ever!
He left before the show ended, came to Malcolm and angus, freaking out with excitement, explaining what he saw, telling them to check this guy out, and how he was the greatest frontman of all time. But one thing no one knew, was that right after bon left the concert, an ambulance arrived for brian. Why? Brian was screaming and going nuts on stage because his appendix burst. Bon had no idea that was why! But it made for a very strange coincidence, since brian joined AC/DC later on after Bon's death.
Back In Black was made in honor of Bon Scott. The boys of AC/DC wanted the album to be totally black, kind of like how people wear black in a funeral. Though the first track in the list, "Hells Bells", is a particularly evil sounding type song (at least with lyrics as some believe), they included church bells ringing in the intro, signifying Bon's death.
"Back In Black," the song itself, is a celebration of Bon's life. Really the entire album is, but this song is the main part of it all. Its a song about how Brian Johnson is really Bon Scott in another body. Now I know some of you can be one sided with singers, and think that Brian was a terrible singer. For me personally, I love both singers equally.
The other songs on the album, such as "shoot to thrill", "you shook me all night long", "have a drink on me", etc. speak lyrical content of Bon Scott era AC/DC, the whole thing of sex, drugs, and rock n roll.
I can never recall the first time I ever listened to this album, because I was too young to remember. My parents had it on what was originally a blank disc (still have it, but its scratched up all to hell). It played in the car nearly every time we were in it. When I was as little as age 4, for some reason I felt I had to sing whenever the music came on. Don't know why. And being that little, I already loved that album. I asked for it a lot, especially the song "Hells Bells". However I would get tongue twisted when I would try to sing "Back In Black" (I still do!) If it wasn't Back in Black playing, there would usually be some other AC/DC stuff going, such as the live concert from the movie "Let There Be Rock" (highly suggest movie to watch).
The first music video I ever saw of AC/DC was "you shook me all night long". I have no clue how a 6 year old like me got to see that on what was left of true MTV, but I remember laughing my ass off when I saw the part of the video where Brian was in a wash tub. Malcolm really stood out to me then, and so did Angus, though later on, Angus scared little me because of his horns when I saw the "Highway To Hell" album art on the side of cardboard shelving inside Walmart when "Black Ice" was released.
For a few years I stopped hearing the Back in Black album due to the disc being lost. But when I was 15, I started buying their albums, and later on found our old disc. It was beat up, but still tried to play. Memories came flooding back to me, of all the good carefree times of being a youngster. By age 15 I was already working with music, so it made me realize how much more appreciative I am of the album these days. I really paid more attention to the techniques and style used to create the iconic sounds.
Personally I can let the entire record play (I literally have a vinyl record version, original) without skipping a song, all of them I love. AC/DC did change some when Brian Johnson came along, but at the same time, they still sounded like AC/DC. Whenever I refer the band to being "early heavy metal" I tend to think about this album being an example, especially the song "Hells Bells". Though I know some may not agree with me on that. To me they are both that and rock n roll. For me, the Back In Black album is one of my biggest favorites in AC/DC, especially the Brian Johnson era.
Look out for my next album take, of Metallica's debut album "Kill 'em All".
Keep the horns high guys and gals! \\m//