AC/DC was slowly getting there in terms of success. Highway To Hell was their biggest selling album to date. Unfortunately, they lost their amazing singer and creative genius Bon Scott when he died from alcohol-based issues shortly after the release of that album. They quickly looked around and found a suitable replacement in Brian Johnson.
They hit the big time here. This is ironically, given the circumstances, AC/DC’s best album. It just goes to show how good that they really were as a group. The songs and recordings are top-notch. So let’s have a listen to this album and see if it stands the test of time.
We kick off with Hells Bells and its eerie bell sound, before kicking into a great riff-heavy and hard rock groove. The sound is very amazing and has not dated at all whatsoever. The lyrics are brilliant too, “You’re only young, but you’re gonna die!” In fact, the whole piece is brilliant and is a nice start to this awesome album. The themes of satanic ideals are obviously there, but should not deter you from listening to this album. An excellent start to this recording.
Next is Shoot To Thrill which is another excellent listen. It is another rocking number, which discusses a party-hard lifestyle. Yet another flawless tune. It blows away everything else released in 1980 and demands listening. It equates using guns to having fun, a brilliant lyrical idea. Great stuff. The guitar solos are fantastic.
What Do You Do For Money Honey refers perhaps to prostitution? But all the same, it’s a great tune. It talks about a high profile lady who many men are lusting after. Very politically incorrect, but so good to listen to. The guitar parts are very Led Zeppelin inspired here. A very good tune indeed.
Giving The Dog A Bone is really very catchy. Obviously, it is about sexual actions and lust for a particular woman. One could possibly find this all humourous in listening to this album, but still, it is wonderfully consistent and fantastic, even today. This album demands repeat listens, it is simply that good. Nice stuff.
Up next is Let Me Put My Love Into You which is an extremely politically incorrect song, but a good one. A little more laidback than the previous songs in terms of tempo, it has some brilliant lyrics, for example, “Let me cut your cake with my knife!” that shows that AC/DC could have a laugh about their sexual escapades. Another quality listen.
The palm-muted intro leading into the awesome title track Back In Black have quality riffs for the listener and the song sounds really awesome. It’s less lyrical, more musical, but still great all the same. The guitar solos sound a lot like Black Sabbath, brilliant stuff. Another excellent tune. Very catchy.
You Shook Me All Night Long is obviously derived from the Led Zeppelin song You Shook Me, which is a good song itself. It is likely about a real-life sexual experience by one of the members of the group. These guys must have been nymphomaniacs, quite humourous to think about that idea. But nonetheless, a great song and one of the most popular numbers on the album.
Have A Drink On Me is an excellent piece about getting wasted. Once again, another consistent song from the album, even if it is not one of the biggest songs from the album. Still sounds fresh today. These songs here are top-notch and are never boring. Great music.
Next is Shake A Leg. An awesome song, which goes from slow to fast very quickly. It’s not so intense as Nirvana, but more intense than some of their contemporaries. Of course, it is another great party tune. The sound here is just fantastic, these songs sound fantastic. The guitar solos sound furious.
Lastly, Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution is a very strong statement about the future of the genre that is rock and roll. A great riff kickstarts this song, and we hear an honest revelation from AC/DC. Although rock is not the most popular genre today, rock and roll will never die. It is a great ode to the sort of music AC/DC make and enjoy. A nice way to finish the album.
This is one of the greatest hard rock albums out there. It kickstarted the 1980’s and put the Aussies who made this album firmly on the musical map during this time. A brilliant effort, and very much demanding of repeat listens. Definitely worth your time if you like a mixture of The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin into one band.