AC/DC - Back In Black
One of the most important bands with one of their finest moments. I remember how huge an impact AC/DC had on me when I was a child, it was as if these guys cast the magic spell of heavy sounding music on me with their trademark of hard rocking, easily comprehendible and highly melodic tunes. The band has always been able to strike a balance between party rocking tracks and songs with a darker and harder approach, resulting in great varied records that nevertheless has the classic AC/DC style written all over them.

Bon Scott was and forever will be remembered as an incredible positive personality with a very strong voice, the band nevertheless found an outstanding replacement with Brian Johnson (as the future should unveil) and what an album to debut with!
Hells Bells opens the festivities with a nerve-filled guitar melody that sets the eerie mood just perfect. The double Young brothers guitar riff attack is simply brilliant and Brian's raw vocals match the dark lyric in amazing style.

Shoot To Thrill is another classic and a most excellent live cut; the tight rhythm guitar work by Malcolm is extremely powerful. A hard and pounding drive is broken with a jamming mid-section that slowly gains tempo and explodes with Angus's wildly lead approach.
What Do You Do For Money Honey contains some cool grooving bass lines from Cliff Williams and the chorus is simply huge and highly catchy, making way for a great intense track.

Given The Dog A Bone is based on a more unexciting and rather tiresome riff and I have never really found the chorus that well working, a bit too ordinary and repeated to the limit. This is clearly not among my favourites even though Brian's vocals are very strong as goes for the melodic guitar solo.
Let Me Put My Love Into You is a whole other story, I have always thought of this track as one of the bands best and unfortunately also forgotten songs seen in a live show context.
A more sensitive side of the band but delivered with a fantastic groove and with amazing vocal passages.

Back In Black is in one word a perfect song; everything just melts together in one magic unity. The monster riff is filled with raw power and I simply love the solid drums by Phil Rudd, I have always been a big fan of his down to earth and ultra tight approach.

When talking about party songs or ear-hangers no one get around this next jewel, clearly one of their best ever in this category. You Shook Me All Night Long has a chorus that just sticks to your head like honey on bread. A brilliant positive vibe in the rhythm and the harmonious solo is firmly executed.
When dealing with this genius band one should not neglect an extremely important aspect: attitude, and Have A Drink On Me glows with it. Packed with a cool "easy going enjoying life" vibe where a soothingly laid back tempo is perused, still rocking hard though. The way the two guitars supplement each other works splendid and gives more depth to the overall impression.

Shake A Leg contains a refreshing up-tempo style and the high energy level really shines through.
On the other hand the flow of the song lacks a high melodic touch and the chorus seems bit simple in comparison when the rest of the album.
At the end we find a true classic tune in Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution. A nerve-filled rocker with a cool provocative profile that fits the band so well. I get into a pleasant relaxing mood when it blast through my stereo, featuring a brilliant huge chorus and a rock solid groove.

As always the band's direct and rather simple style is delivered with great solidity and especially the heavy tightness is a real treat on this release. Looking at the lyrical side it's all good old classical AC/DC stuff, well fitted into the songs; especially the chorus' seems to flow in a very dynamic fashion.
Back In Black is also one of the bands best-produced albums; the sound is crispy, tight and with a finely weighed balanced between each instrument.

Some might disagree with me but I see AC/DC's real strength in their extensive back catalogue with plenty of great records more than a band that has made a few stunning masterpieces. This one nevertheless is without doubt one of their best even though it has a couple of songs that doesn't quite get up there with the rest.

Back In Black contains some of the most impressive and ear-hanging tunes ever written and the drive and energy level found is extremely contagious.

Written by Tommy
Thursday, December 4, 2003
Show all reviews by Tommy


Tommy: 8.5/10

Members: 9/10 - Average of 2 ratings.

Member ratings

Profile pictureSteen (Staff)

Rating: 8/10
The first AC/DC album with Brian Johnson on vocals and quite different from Highway to Hel... · Read more ·
Profile picturenotrap

Rating: 10/10
Back in Black it's an absolute Hard Rock classic. To be honest I never was a die hard fan... · Read more ·

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Ulrick (Anonymous) - Wednesday, December 10, 2003
I just read that this is in fact the 2nd most selling album of all time. (42 mill) Only topped by Michael Jacksons "Thriller" which has sold 56 mill.

Comment by VIRGIL TSO (Anonymous) - Thursday, January 22, 2004

Comment by Rock*Ninja (Anonymous) - Thursday, May 13, 2004
definetly one of the best...
a mother fucking rockin' CLASSIC

Comment by Jonathan (Anonymous) - Monday, May 31, 2004

Comment by BonScott (Anonymous) - Friday, October 15, 2004
I think that bon scott was the greatest singer of the world.
Brian is a good singer but bon give to an energy, an electric shok
However forever ac dc
comunque sempre ac dc

Comment by BonScott (Anonymous) - Friday, October 15, 2004
Rock will never die
Il Rock Non morirà mai

Comment by Giannis (Anonymous) - Monday, February 20, 2006
Sorry to say but the rating 8.5 is ridiculous for this album. A hundred albums in this goddamn site had better review from hard rock's better album "back in black". What can I say? If Iced Earth deserve 10 AC/DC deserve 100000000

Comment by Rob (Anonymous) - Tuesday, April 18, 2006
What's not to like here?
An ultimate album that I partied my ass off to.Alot of good memories there. One of my favs of the early '80's right along side Ozzy's "Blizzard" and "Diary" LP's.

Review by notrap (Member) - Tuesday, September 15, 2009
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Comments: 55
Ratings: 66
Back in Black it's an absolute Hard Rock classic.
To be honest I never was a die hard fan of this band, however we must always try be pragmatic on the ratings.

Hells Bells
Shoot To Thrill
Back in Black
You Shook Me All Night Long

Rating: 10/10

Posted by notrap
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review by Steen (Staff) - Monday, March 28, 2011
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Comments: 518
The first AC/DC album with Brian Johnson on vocals and quite different from Highway to Hell. Hearing the two albums back to back a comparison is inevitable. There's less infectious energy in the vocals and a certain loss of charm. This is compensated for by intensity and sheer power.

The songs are well thought out, include a handful of classics and are all played with great enthusiasm and skill. I currently prefer the high energy and infectious charm of "the highway" but it is a close race and Back in Black ends up as being just as exceptional, only in a different and slightly darker way.

Rating: 8/10

Posted by Steen (Staff)
Monday, March 28, 2011

Review by Tommy

Released by
Atlantic - 1980

1. Hells Bells
2. Shoot To Thrill
3. What Do You Do For Money Honey
4. Given 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

Hard Rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Other articles
Stiff Upper Lip - (Tommy)

Book review - AC/DC - A Definitive History - (Jonah)

High Voltage - (Tommy)

Live In Horsens. June 5th, 2010 - (Tommy)

Highway To Hell (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

Back in Black (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

The Razor's Edge (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

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