92418-2 Back In Black
Produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Released on July 21, 1980
UK CHART POSITION #1 . . . US CHART POSITION #4 (Re-charted #126 in 1988) . . . PLATINUM (10/13/81), 21x PLATINUM (5/11/05)
Find it at GEMM
92418-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

T he title says it all: they were back and blacker (more evil) than ever. Saw it off, stitch it up, and back into battle. No apologies, no eulogies, the new guy’s name is Brian Johnson. Anyone expecting a reflection on man’s mortality was in for a shock (“Hells Bells”). Some versions (in the UK and abroad) led off with the title track, perhaps the best song never written about the death of a member. AC/DC actually seemed to draw energy from adversity, and it fueled the mythology that they were in league with the devil. (I was in a slow-pitch softball league with the devil once. I’ve never seen anyone take so many pitches. Drove us crazy.) Producer Mutt Lange deserves credit for cleaning up the band’s sound, turning them into a kind of Aerosmith for anarchists. (What is “Back In Black” if not a more menacing version of “Walk This Way?”) Lange sexed the whole thing up, and Brian Johnson’s battery-acid voice served as the perfect foil. Black delivers more classic AC/DC songs than any other album, including “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” The rest of the record is average material given a good spit and polish. The lyrics are sometimes lame (“Shoot to Thrill”), the spelling sometimes atrocious (“Given the Dog a Bone”), but Brian snarls them out anyway while the guitar chords crack behind him like a whip. The band built an audience with their tongue-in-cheek humor and over-the-top rockin’, but they built a mythology with Highway and Black. If there’s hell to pay for it, you can put it on their tab.

92418-2 inner sleeve
92418-2 inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

    US/CAN/COL track listing
  1. HELLS BELLS    5:09
  2. SHOOT TO THRILL    5:14
  3. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MONEY HONEY    3:33
  4. GIVEN THE DOG A BONE    3:30
  5. LET ME PUT MY LOVE INTO YOU    4:12
  6. BACK IN BLACK    4:13
  7. YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG    3:28
  8. HAVE A DRINK ON ME    3:57
  9. SHAKE A LEG    4:03
  10. ROCK AND ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION    4:12

    UK/AUSL/BRA, etc. track listing
  11. BACK IN BLACK
  12. HELLS BELLS
  13. SHOOT TO THRILL
  14. GIVEN THE DOG A BONE
  15. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR MONEY HONEY
  16. ROCK AND ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION
  17. LET ME PUT MY LOVE INTO YOU
  18. YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG
  19. SHAKE A LEG
  20. HAVE A DRINK ON ME

    All songs written by Angus Young/Malcolm Young/Brian Johnson

CREDITS

BRIAN JOHNSON -- vocals
PHIL RUDD -- drums
ANGUS YOUNG -- guitar
MALCOLM YOUNG -- guitar
CLIFF WILLIAMS -- bass
Tony Platt -- engineer
Brad Samuelsohn -- mixing engineer
Bob Defrin -- art direction
Robert Ellis -- photos

return to AC/DC discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
AUSL 1980 Albert LP APLP-046  
UK July 1980 Atlantic LP/CS K/K4-50735  
US July 21, 1980 Atlantic LP/CS SD/CD-16018  
ARG 1980 Atlantic LP 208982  
BRA 1980 Atlantic LP 30145  
CAN July 1980 Atlantic LP XSD-16018  
COL 1980 Atlantic/Sonolux LP 23(7031)00160  
GER 1980 Atlantic LP ATL50.735  
JPN 1980 Atlantic LP P-10906A lyric insert
US   Atco CD 92418 digital remaster
UK 2003 Sony CD 510765 digital remaster
US 2003 Epic LP/CD 80207 digital remaster
KOR 2003 Epic CD EPK-2887  

 

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