Few bands have reached a caliber of fame such as that of AC/DC. The Australian rockers have been in the game for over four decades now, and they're still going strong. 2016 was an interesting year for the band, with the departure of Brian Johnson and the introduction of Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose. While it's easy to hope for and ponder on their future, their past is something remarkable.
Their seventh album Back In Black put rock on its knees when it first hit the scene in 1980. Full of bustling riffs and giant rock vibes, it's easy to see why. This album is as close as you can get to the definition of the hard rock era of the 70s and 80s. Right from the start with cult-classic 'Hells Bells,' it's clear to see how this record could define an era. Vocals ride high and aggressively from Brian Johnson while dark, driven riffs roll forward to introduce the record on a big and dark note.
There are plenty of classics on this record that still remain huge today. No one can forget the title track 'Back In Black,' its punchy riffs leading into aggressive, rock n' roll verses with many little guitar moments in between - no one can forget how the bridge riff hits you hard once you first get a taste of it. Following it is the anthemic 'You Shook Me All Night Long,' with a chorus so big that you can't help but sing along. It's more or less one of the biggest rock songs of the time, with its driven verses and big choruses. At the end of the record comes another anthem: 'Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.'
The album is full of some deeper cuts that still ring strongly. 'Shoot To Thrill' is a live favorite, and on the record it still delivers a blistering listen with its punchy, rocky riffs. This album has a distinct groove to it, as well, helping it stand out among others: that becomes apparent in 'What Do You Do For Money Honey' with its almost bluesy vibes. That idea is explored later on in the record again in 'Have A Drink On Me.'
Back In Black isn't just an important record in terms of rock but also for the band. This record brought about many firsts for the band, including it being the first to feature Brian Johnson on vocals following the passing of previous vocalist Bon Scott who died a year prior to the release of this record. The album's starkly black cover is a homage to him. It was also the album to follow up the international success Highway To Hell, which brought the band attention from all ends of the globe - that's a lot of pressure. The band clearly pulled through, however, as Back In Black rings with a lot of power.
AC/DC is a legendary band for a reason. Their music is huge and has been ruling rock for decades. Back In Black put rock on its knees and made one of the last statements on rock following the 70s before a new age of rock was ushered in. This record inspired countless of rock musicians to come, and it's clear to see why: who wouldn't want to be as awesome as this record sounds?
Favorite Tracks: You Shook Me All Night Long, Back In Black, Let Me Put My Love In You
Least Favorite Track: Shake A Leg
Rating: 78 / 100
Buy or listen to Back In Black here: