My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Back in Black was recorded a mere two months after original AC/DC singer Bon Scott died of asphyxiation caused by excessive alcohol consumption. Scott was replaced with Brian Johnson who wrote all of his own lyrics for the songs. The album was recorded over two months in the Spring of 1980 and would be released in July of the same year. It would go on to sell over 50 million copies word wide becoming the second best selling album ever.
What I think: I had some real mixed feelings about AC/DC’s previous album Highway to Hell. I really like the sound of it, but I didn’t so much like the content of the lyrics or really the Hard Rockness of it. This album has some of that, but I generally like it better. For one, I like Brian Johnson’s voice better than I did Scott’s. Secondly, you have almost a whole albums worth of songs that could go on a greatest hits album. I mean, I’m not much of an AC/DC fan, and I still knew half of the songs on the album. Not to mention the beginning of side two starts with “Back in Black”, “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Have a Drink on Me” which is among one of the top runs of three songs on any album. I also like that I can here the influences of Hard Rock that has come before, it seems like Led Zeppelin is everywhere and the break down in “Shoot to Thrill” is very reminiscent of The Who.
Where I do still have a problem is with “Given the Dog a Bone” and “Let Me Put My Love into You”. I mean do we really need two songs with such sophomoric sexual innuendo right next to each other or even on the same album? It’s AC/DC, that’s what you are going to get, but at least “You Shook Me All Night Long” is clever enough that its meaning escaped me until Junior High. I’m just disappointed, I think they could have come up with better.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I do agree that it should be here. 8/10 of it is solid and the story behind it is a 10/10.
Rating (Out of 5) 4.0
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (355/466)
Amount that are new to me: 76%