Australian band AC/DC launched by Malcolm and Angus Young in 1973 and went on to take over the world of rock and roll by 1980. They released one album a year on their way to international success, and became a genre-defining band.
Turbulence and Stabilization
Following the commercial breakthrough of Highway to Hell in 1979, lead singer Bon Scott died from alcohol poisoning during a drinking binge. Rather than disband, the group auditioned lead singers and settled on Brian Johnson as the new front man. Known for his distinctive singing voice and newsboy cap, Johnson more than delivered.
Back in Black
Johnson’s first gig with AC/DC was recording the album Back in Black. The album was a tribute to their lost friend, and went on to be the second best selling album of all time.
The song Back in Black was the most specific tribute to Scott, and I was surprised to find out the band asked Johnson, Scott’s replacement, to write a lyric. With minimal guidelines other than “make it a celebration”, Johnson wrote, “I’ve got nine lives, cats eyes, abusing every one of them and running wild.” The band loved it, and thought it captured the essence of Bon Scott perfectly.
Play this song like the celebration it is. Be bold and unapologetic. Strive to phrase through each 16th note riff to help the tune build momentum. As always, listen to the original to dial in the style!
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