artist AC/DC
producer Robert "Mutt" Lange
label Atlantic/Epic
release date 1980
available on LP, MC, CD
USA sales 21 million units
Back In Black
... rock and roll is just rock and roll ...

There's little point in repeating that this was a cornerstone in AC/DC's history. Just for the record : their singer Bon Scott died in february 1980, they found Brian Johnson in March 1980 and they delivered Back In Black in the summer of 1980. You can't blame AC/DC of using too much expensive studiotime.

Back In Black was the first AC/DC-album I bought earlier this year. I always saw them as "just another metal band". Q-Magazine called it "the best metal album ever" in their "Greatest Albums Of All Time"-list, so I thought I should give it a try.

In short, it's a fantastic album! Many gems : haunting opening track Hells Bells, straight-on rockfest Shoot To Thrill, what-a-riff Back In Black, ballad-with-a-twist You Shook Me All Night Long and introspective Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.
With just ten tracks, the album never has a dull moment. Granted, not all songs are fantastic, but as an overall experience it's a blast. Producer Mutt Lange knew what he was doing. And Brian Johnson is simply fantastic. What a cackling voice!

AC/DC's strength was their clever use of double entendres. Examples aplenty in You Shook Me All Night Long ('She told me to come/But I was already there' ; 'She was working doubletime/on the seduction line' ; etc).

Legendary producer Rick Rubin (of Beastie Boys and Nine Inch Nails-fame) later recorded Ballbreaker (1995) with the band and stated in Rolling Stone that "they didn't write emotional lyrics. They didn't play emotional songs. The emotion is all in that groove. And that groove is timeless." Let me add : it's Rock and Roll with two capital R's!

Get your copy NOW!

Julian, 1 December 2005