Back in Black is the seventh studio album by AC/DC, released in 1980. It is the first album the band recorded after the death of Bon Scott and their first with Brian Johnson.
The band had been riding a wave of popularity after the success of their most recent 1979 album, Highway to Hell. Unfortunately, lead vocalist Bon Scott's life of excess caught up to him after a night of drinking in London, when he was found dead in the back seat of his friend's car. At first, the band was unable to keep going, but since they had some material they'd already written, they decided to find a new singer. He was Brian Johnson, a Geordie who Scott had seen before and been impressed by.
Long story short, the album became the band's best-selling album, and the third-biggest selling album of all time, after Thriller by Michael Jackson and Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) by The Eagles. Time Magazine included the album in their 2006 list of 100 timeless and essential albums. The record was also listed at #77 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, #197 on NME's response list, the second greatest album in the 100 Best Australian Albums, and is currently the 110th-most-acclaimed album ever according to Acclaimed Music's compilation of numerous critics' top albums lists.
- "Hells Bells" (5:10)
- "Shoot to Thrill" (5:37)
- "What Do You Do for Money Honey" (3:33)
- "Givin' the Dog a Bone" (3:30)
- "Let Me Put My Love into You" (4:16)
- "Back in Black" (4:14)
- "You Shook Me All Night Long" (3:30)
- "Have a Drink on Me" (3:57)
- "Shake a Leg" (4:06)
- "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" (4:15)
- Brian Johnson lead vocals
- Angus Young lead guitar
- Malcolm Young rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Cliff Williams bass guitar, backing vocals
- Phil Rudd drums
You troped me all night long
- Alliterative Title: "Back in Black".
- Double Entendre: Its an AC/DC album. It should be expected. The most blatant example is "Givin' the Dog a Bone" ("She's using her head again!").Let me put my love into you, baby
Let me cut your cake with my knife
- Drunken Song: "Have A Drink On Me".I'm dizzy drunk and fightin'
- Epic Instrumental Opener: "Hells Bells" doesn't have any vocals until the 1:25 mark. It's also a double example due to being the album's first song. It feels especially long because it's the first song to introduce new vocalist Brian Johnson after the tragically unexpected death of previous, much-beloved frontman and lyricist Bon Scott. First-time listeners in 1980 would've been agonizing with anticipation just waiting to hear what this much-publicized new guy would sound like.
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: The first sound on the album and the subject of "Hells Bells".
- Four Is Death: At the start of "Hells Bells", the band fittingly doesn't start playing until the bell has rung this many times.
- Gold Digger: The subject of "What Do You Do for Money Honey".You're always grabbin', stabbin' trying get it back inBut girl you must be gettin' slowSo stop your life on the roadAll your diggin' for goldYou make me wonderYes I wonderYes I wonderHoney, what do you do for money?Honey, what do you do for money?
- Grief Song: Played with. The title track is more of a tribute, declaring that the band wasn't going anywhere, delivered in typical AC/DC style. "Hells Bells" is a straighter example, being set in a funeral and such.
- Heavy Meta: "Rock n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", where the band defends their musical genre.
- He's Back: The definitive comeback album.
- Intercourse with You: "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Let Me Put My Love into You". The last one got them on the PMRC's Filthy Fifteen list.
- It Always Rains at Funerals: "Hells Bells" opens with the description of a funeral among a thunderstorm.
- Minimalistic Cover Art: One of the best examples ever, and likely an inspiration behind Smell the Glove's cover. The band simply wanted a black cover, with their name and title embossed. They reached a compromise with their logo including a thin grey outline, to make it easier to read. Since most CD copies forewent embossing (due to impracticality), the outline served a later practical purpose.
- Ode to Intoxication: "Have a Drink on Me".I'm dizzy drunk and fightin'On tequila white lightningMy glass is getting shorterOn whiskey ice and waterSo c'mon have a good time(...) Forget about the cheque, we'll get hell to payHave a drink on meYeah, have a drink on meYeah, have a drink on meHave a drink on me, get stoned
- Product Placement: "Back in Black":Back in the back of a Cadillac
- Pun-Based Title: "Shoot to Thrill".
- Rated M for Manly: Just the title song alone makes one wanna walk down the street going "Let's be badass."
- Strictly Formula: Epic Riff after Epic Riff? Check. Intercourse with You lyrics? Check. Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll? Check. Simplicity? Check. Heavy Meta lyrics? Check. Yep, it's an AC/DC album, alright.
- Take That, Critics!: "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" was aimed at people who look down upon rock 'n' roll. "Back in Black" was also an intentional Badass Boast to show the critics that the band was still going strong despite the recent tragic events. This got even better when the album became one of the best selling albums of all time!
- Title Track: "Back in Black":Back in black, I hit the sackIt's been too long, I'm glad to be back