Back in Black review by AC/DC

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  • Released: Jul 25, 1980
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (319 votes)
AC/DC: Back in Black

Sound — 10
Well, how do you describe the sound that epitomizes heavy metal and hard rock? AC/DC, that's how. I first got this album around the time I started playing guitar, and it's been a mainstay in my CD collection since it's just so addicting. Let's put it this way: When you pop in the CD and hit play, you start off with the tolling of church bells and right there, you know it's the start of a great ride. AC/DC really has a sound that's uncommon, but fairly easy to figure out. Chord based riffs, blues-styled soloing, and even some "chicken-pickin'" on "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution". Angus and Malcom really shows you how lead and rhythm guitarists should work together; fluidly. And the tube sound just about blew me away. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think anything can beat a tube amp and some good guitar parts. So, from "Hell's Bells" to "Back in Black", "You Shook Me All Night Long" to "Have A Drink On Me" and "Givin' The Dog A Bone" to "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," this album is a must have in your collection.

Lyrics — 9
Okay, I'll say it right now and get it all out of the way: Brian Johnson will never be the singer that Bon was. Now that that's out of the way, I can only say that Brian does a good job filling in for Bon on this album and this album only. His voice is a bit over-the-top in most songs, which is expected of a man who's not a natural falsetto, but damn can that boy scream. The slower, more laid-back songs are the ones that I believe showcase his talents as a singer, since he brings a gritty voice to the blues influenced rock of the band. The lyrics are wonderful, though, dealing with everything from the band, Hell, alcohol(ironically enough), and sex. I find it so amazing that over the course of say, thirty-some years, when you think of sex, drugs and rock and roll, AC/DC is the first band to come to mind. Overall, wonderful, but not grandeous.

Overall Impression — 10
How does this album compare to other albums? You must be kidding me. Without these guys, many modern rock bands would not even be playing what they're playing, let alone exist without this album. Some would call it a landmark event for AC/DC. This is their best known album, using their new vocalist for the first time, and really bringing their sound to a whole new level. This was the album that put them on the fast track to fame and fortune and helped spawn so many legions of fans and followers around the globe. Now, I'm personally a bigger fan of the Bon Scott era, but hey, times change and you do what you can to survive. Grab a new singer and keep cranking out the tunes. If this album was lost, of course I'd be angry and distraught, and I'd find whoever it was who took it and run them through an SG. Great album, and a wonderful first for a new AC/DC fan.

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