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Back in Black (Reviewed by VinceKM):

This is one of the penultimate 80s albums...

Released in 1980, it was the first album for the group after the death of singer Bon Scott. The new lead singer, Brian Johnson, had big shoes to fill and along with the band, needed to prove they still had it.

They proved they did. Back in Blackwas a smash hit that propelled AC/DC further than they'd ever been before.

When this album came out, I was only 12 years old... my days of listening to AC/DC were a few years away. I became aware of them through a friend's older brother, who was always listening to the group. Back then, to a 12 year old, AC/DC was kinda scary... we were told that the name stood for Anti-Christ/Devil's Children... they were picked on by the PMRC, they had some amount of mystique surrounding them. All of it was of course nonsense... AC/DC was simply a kick ass band and Back in Black was a masterpiece:

Hell's Bells - a song that reinforced negative rubbish about the group to nervous Tipper Gore types... with the lyric, "Satan's coming for you..." it's a mainstay in their concerts... with the first loud church bell gong and slow guitar beginnings, it's a good opener to an album that gets better as it goes along

Shoot to Thrill - one of my favorite AC/DC songs

What Do You Do For Money Honey - a quick and hard song about prostitution that certainly does nothing to glamorize the world's oldest profession.

Givin' The Dog a Bone - probably my least favorite song on the album for no specific reason that I can site. It is however, one of the riskier songs on the album, being fairly obvious that it's about oral sex.

Let Me Put My Love Into You - one of the things that's appealing to me about AC/DC's music is that along with the hard rocking overtones, there is an underlying bluesy sort of beat going on... and this song has it...

Back in Black - the title track and huge hit for the album/group. What rock fan can't identify the opening cords... the tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk of the cymbal, and then the drop down into the supremely recognizable guitar riff that follows.... awesome song that still holds up some 21 years later.

You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC's first crossover hit... I always found it a bit weird that this song used to be played in dance clubs.... first I'm dancing to Bobby Brown, then this song comes on.... and even then, it was still a great song....

Have a Drink on Me - guess what this one's about? The boys were known as drinkers as is evident by several of their songs... this was one of them.

Shake a Leg - this one starts out kinda slow but then kicks into high gear after the first set of lyrics... an early favorite of mine upon first hearing the album

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution - remember when I mentioned the band had a bluesy feel to some of their songs... this is another one... and another of my favorite AC/DC songs... fun to sing along to, especially surrounded by thousands of other AC/DC fans at one of their concerts.... it's a good, slowdown song to end an album full of high energy rock and roll.

There was some concern prior to this album's release as to whether or not AC/DC could survive the death of Bon Scott. This album more than answered... with a resounding "Hell Yes!" Brian Johnson stepped up to the plate and became the new voice for the band, one that along with Angus recognizable guitar, made AC/DC one of those all-time great rock bands.

Just as with Van Halen, AC/DC fans are split between lead singers. Some insist that the band was better with Bon Scott... some with Brian Johnson. I proudly stand next to Johnson. I may not've ever seen the band play live with Scott, but I have with Johnson. I do have all the albums, both Scott and Johnson, and while I appreciate and like what Scott did with the group, it's the vocals of Brian Johnson that I appreciate more. It's given the band an edge that I don't think they had with Bon. Sacrilege to some, I know... but Back in Black was the first shot in a long line of great work by a band that to this day, 21 years after the album's release, still has the ability to put out songs with great hooks and riffs, that continues to produce great rock and roll.

Response to this review by Iluvthe80s: I like this album also. It's my favorite AC/DC album.

Response to this review by Mad Dog: I agree, great review!

Response to this review by ValJ: This is definitely an album that any 80s hard rock/metal fan needs in their collection!

Response to this review by Jen*: I still have the album, but my 16 year old son is trying to take it away from me. I'll have to get him the CD. heheh.

Response to this review by Ironeagle1: Back in Black is probably one of the best albums ever made! AC/DC kicks ass!!!

Response to this review by Zel: This is where my love for AC/DC began. Who Made Who is probably the album I wore out the most but this is where my first love of metal began.
picture this *Christmas morning and lucky me gets to open this baby up! My parents were the John Denver/Charlie Pride type of folk. I cue this us and the look on their face as Hells Bells begins to blast over their great but sadly misused stereo is something I'll take to my grave with me.

Response to this review by caligula: Got this album for my 16th birthday, this was the anthem for every party I think i went to throughout the early 80's, one of the three best albums of the 80's just looking at the songs I started singing the words to myself. Favorite is Shoot to Thrill.

Response to this review by Gman: Just like Quiet Riot's "that one guitar", so goes AC/DC into Rock n' Roll immortality with just that one song You Shook Me All Night Long.

Response to this review by VioletFoxx: Hell Yeah!!!! This is AC/DC at their finest. I love everything that's come after, but this is THE ONE. I wore out two tapes of this one in my teen years. This was required playing at every party, for every cover band, and in the pre show music at every concert back in the day. Hell, that's still true now. I couldn't pick a fav tune on here if I tried. Great review.

Response to this review by Cartoon_Chris: 10 out of 10; one of the biggest-selling albums of all time and yet it's still not overrated! Over many years and various formats, everybody seems to have owned this at least three times!

Before this was released in July 1980 there were serious doubts the band would survive the loss of charismatic frontman Bon Scott, and this album's success just makes it a better story. Right down to the iconic blackened cover in tribute to Bon, the mere sight and mention of this can stir the heart of many a headbanger, young and old... what high school parking lot hasn't been blasted with this at one time or another, even today?

Brian never sounded better than this, and this is the best collection of meaty, nasty AC/DC riffs ever put on one record. And unlike most albums, the second half is even better! The dark atmosphere created by the cover and the leadoff track is gone by Side Two which includes the proudly swinging title track, a song about drinking (on an album right after Bon's alcohol-related death!), and the good-time groove closer which states, again with pride, that "rock n' roll will never die". YSMANL is so overplayed that I never need to hear it again, but every band has a song like that.

As for the singer debate thing I think there's not much to it... I mean how many AC/DC songs can you name that one could handle and the other couldn't?

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