A couple of days ago marked the official release of AC/DC “Back In Black” album, their seventh studio album by the band. Technically, this is the first album of the band with Brian Johnson. For me, this is how I discovered and remember AC/DC. Purists will yell at me about ignoring about the Bon Scott-era, but I stand deep as team Johnson by his rough voice, and by his signature “beret” hat.
You see, AC/DC was my first exposure to hard rock and indirectly to metal (by opening the door to Metallica). I was 11, in middle school and looking to find my own musical niche, in departure of my brother which was fond of new-wave. There was something about the electric guitar, its roughness of it while able to have nice melodic riffs. This is when you get into music because of classmates sharing their in the school yard with their “walk-mans” and bootlegged tapes, sharing the foam headphones with a “listen to that, good stuff”. One of them was “Back in Black”. It marked me for the last 30 years.
And indeed it was. Yes, AC/DC is technically hard rock, with a strong influence of blues infused in it, but damn to have to give credit to the explosive mix of Malcolm and Angus Young at the guitars and the rough voice of Brian Johnson that makes this group the legend of rock.
The album is a 42 minutes album cut in 10 tracks. We got into “Hells Bells” which starts with a bell toll which later will be reused in some form by one of Metallica’s staple track “For whom the bells toll”. Oh yeah, staple signature track from AC/DC. Next come another classic track from the band “Shoot To Trill”. Some good AC/DC shit. Then interestingly follows a series of songs I have been listening less than usual: “What Do you Do for Money Honey”, “Givin the Dog A Bone” and “Let Me Put My Love Into You”. They are good, but did not make an imprint in my musical ear.
Track 6 “Back in Black” is the one everyone know even without knowing AC/DC. It is so popular that it became the trademark song of “Walmart” commercial. It has all the signature of AC/DC. The 7th song, is another song “You Shook Me All Night Long”, another classic playing in loop in radio. The last three tracks are again pretty low on my playlists in terms of count (“Have A Drink On Me”, “Shake A Leg” and “Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” which has the most bluesy tunes of the album). They are good but not good enough unfortunately to leave a mark on my cortex.