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4.8 out of 5 stars
Back In Black
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on February 18, 2004
In February 2003, the American distribution rights to AC/DC's back catalog transferred over to Epic, their new label. Epic then reissued the band's catalog as remastered digipacks containing lavish, expanded booklets with plenty of rare photographs, memorabilia and notes.
Although the digipacks may wear a little too easy, the sound is terrific, clean and muscular, enhancing the raw qualities of the original record. And "Back In Black" certainly deserves this kind of loving treatment; it is AC/DC's best and most popular album by far, having sold well over forty million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the ten best-selling albums ever, regardless of genre.
(AC/DC remains the single best-selling hard rock or heavy metal band in the world, nearing the 150.000.000 mark, and outselling bands like The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and even the mighty Led Zeppelin.)
"Back In Black" is one of rock's all-time classic records. Not a single weak track is included, even the lesser-known album tracks are strong, and it is filled with powerful riffs, huge hooks and tough, bluesy grooves.
The lyrics are a joke, of course, all booze and sex and rock n' roll, and Brian Johnson screams rather than sings, but AC/DC at the top of their game wrote the best, catchiest hard rock songs you can imagine, like the grand, anthemic "Hell's Bells" or the magnificent title track.
And AC/DC doesn't just thrash away or plod along like your average heavy metal band; they literally swing on "Have A Drink On Me", and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young churns out one sturdy riff after another. Just listen to the incredible groove he lays down on songs like "Given The Dog A Bone", "Back In Black", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the slow, bluesy (and superbly sleazy) "Let Me Put My Love Into You".
Hard rock doesn't get any better than this. In fact, it barely ever gets this good.
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Forget the friggin' back story. As soon as the blues chording of "Hells' Bells" start climbing over the tolling of that massive liberty bell intro to this classic album, things don't let up for a moment. Even the slightly off songs would sound incredible on someone else's hard rock album. This was AC/DC at their surliest, snarlingest and most threatening best. You can scan the radio dial of classic rock stations in any city and chances are there will be a song from "Back In Black" playing somewhere on the dial.
That the album really was AC/DC's triumph over adversity just makes the legend all the more satisfying, because songs that celebrate rock in the way "You Shook Me All Night Long" only come along once a decade. (Even this band couldn't make it strike twice, "For Those About to Rock" never measured up to this album for me.) The remaster job makes it all the more worthwhile. "Back In Black" is now louder, nastier and (be it possible) cleaner than ever. Turning it to 10 makes it sound, to qouthe Spinal Tap, like just one more.
I think this might be the fourth time I've laid out the cash for this album. Do I feel had? Not in the least. Melt your face off rock never came any better. Still doesn't. 'Nuff Said.
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on January 8, 2004
The Album starts off with a bell ringing, as a tribute to Bon Scott, the original singer who died before the recording of this album. The cover and start may be somber, but this is a loud, fun, heavy metal masterpiece. Not a weak track anywhere.
Hells Bells 10/10
Best song on the album, in my opinion. The Bells leading to the powerful opening riff, is a suberb start to the album. A concert staple.
Shoot to thrill 9/10
A good song, with a great chorus. The riff and versdes are good, not AC/DC's best, but the fast paced thrashy chorus makes this song a classic.
What do you do for Money Honey? 9/10
A more pop orientated song, but not in a bad way, with a melodic riff and shout along chorus, this is different sounding to AC/DC's other more rough songs.
Givin the Dog a Bone 8/10
A less strong song, still way above your average heavy metal song, proving that AC/DC can do no wrong. On this album at least.
Let me Put my Love into You 9/10
Starts off like hells bells, with a bass drum instead of a bell ringing. This is another excellent powerful rock song. The bridge on this song is my favorite part.
Back in Black 10/10
The title track. What can I say? While not as big a hit as You Shook me.., this song is up there with Master of Puppets and Paranoid for the best metal song of all time. Ever bit of this song rocks!
You Shook me all Night Long 9/10
The closest AC/DC have ever done to a love song. Softer than the rest of the album, this song is still heavy enough to stop it getting into the top 10. Which is a good thing in my opinion.
Have a Drink on Me 7/10
Another tribute to Bon Scott. This song sounds similar to Givin the Dog a Bone. Still a fine song, but probebly the weakest on the album.
Shake a Leg 8/10
Different to the rest of the album. A very good song. The riff and tempo are faster than the rest of the album. Wether this is a good thing is up to you. I think this is a great song.
Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution 8/10
A slower song to finish off the album. This Song, Both finishes the album, and shows the critics that AC/DC weren't going to be going away for a long time. And they still arent.
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on January 2, 2004
AC/DC, one of the only artists still out there today that still writes songs about getting some from a woman, drinking till you pass out and good old rock n roll. On BACK IN BLACK (considered the best record in rock history), they sing about what every rock band should be singing about. Album opener HELLS BELLS is a classic song with pure guitar rage and the bell they have in the beggining sets the stage for how powerful and heavy the album is going to be. BACK IN BLACK is one of the best songs in rock history. Describing what rock artists do when they're off the stage and with lead guitarist Angus Young supplying one heck of a solo, shows the greatness they're are known for in their music. Rock Ballad YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG is one of those songs that is considered a power ballad but you know in your rock-corrupted mind that it's pure rock. To anyone who wants to listen to good old fashion rock n roll and just think about what the rock bands of today should be singing about, go get this cd. OR YOUR NOT ROCK N ROLL!!
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on December 31, 2003
In February 2003, the American distribution rights to AC/DC's back catalog transferred over to Epic, their new label. Epic then reissued the band's catalog as remastered digipacks containing lavish, expanded booklets with plenty of rare photographs, memorabilia and notes.
The sound is terrific, clean and muscular, enhancing the raw quaities of the original record, and "Back In Black" certainly deserves this kind of treatment; it is AC/DC's best and most popular album by far, having sold well over forty million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the ten best-selling albums ever, regardless of genre.
(AC/DC remains the single best-selling hard rock or heavy metal band in the world, nearing the 150.000.000 mark, and outselling bands like The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and even the mighty Led Zeppelin.)
"Back In Black" is one of rock's all-time classic records. Not a single weak track is included, even the lesser-known album tracks are strong, and it is filled with powerful riffs, huge hooks and tough, bluesy grooves.
The lyrics are a joke, of course, all booze and sex and rock n' roll, and Brian Johnson screams rather than sings, but AC/DC at the top of their game wrote the best, catchiest hard rock songs you can imagine, like the grand, anthemic "Hell's Bells" or the magnificent title track.
And AC/DC don't just thrash away or plod along like your average heavy metal band; they literally swing on "Have A Drink On Me", and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young churns out one sturdy riff after another. Just listen to the incredible groove he lays down on songs like "Given The Dog A Bone", "Back In Black", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the slow, bluesy (and superbly sleazy) "Let Me Put My Love Into You".
Hard rock doesn't get any better than this. In fact, it barely ever gets this good.
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on November 22, 2003
I usually don't like rock like this; my rock includes bands that are loud, agressive and annoyingly heavy(Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, In Flames, Testament, etc...) to highly progressive and technical(Black Sabbath, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, etc.)But you know what?; I bought this CD 10 years ago, and it hasn't left my car since. It's full of chugging, blues inspired grimy riffs that have yet to be equaled by many. And speaking of riffs, with the exception of Aerosmith's Joe Perry, has there been a guitarist that has created catchier and more memorable riffs than Angus Young? And who better to replaced the deceased Bon Scott than the equally fiery Brian Johnson? The classics are all here; Black In Black, You Shook Me All Night Long, Hell's Bells and the ultimate rock opinion statement, Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution. This album is the transistion from the silky balladry and pomp rock of the 70's bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen to the 80's raunch rock that countless hair bands adopted as their style. May albums have sold millions or records that were not worthy; this is not one of them. Buy the album and join the club; as a matter of fact, buy everything that AC/DC's ever written, you dumbass!
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on November 16, 2003
One of rock's most harrowing (and often-told) tragedies is the alcohol-related death of AC/DC's whiskey-voiced lead singer Bon Scott, in February 1980. The band, which had gone from being stars in Australia, to international fame, was devastated. A further note in this harrowing story is that the late Scott's mother urged the remaining members to carry on and keep AC/DC alive. With her blessing, a search gave the band a lucky snag on Brian Johnson, who proved more than equal to the task. And in a matter of months after Bon Scott's death, AC/DC unleashed "Back In Black," decked in a black sleeve, a sign of respect to their lost comrade and his family.
The result: frantic fans packing record stores (to secure their copy) and arenas to pay homage to their rock and roll heroes.
The tunes found here showcase AC/DC whipping out an attack of the raunchiest, most unstoppable sound ever created. The disciplined guitar work of legends Angus and Malcolm Young is amazing, the former's lead guitar licks being at their most flawless. The musical prowess outshines the lyrical work; Brian Johnson's debuting voice can be best described as a snarling, sneering powerhouse of a vocal that is heard here at its most fresh and youthful. It's a shame however, that Johnson's vocals were spent on such predictable and uninspiring lyrics...perhaps Johnson felt he had to make his lyrics sound like those that came from Bon Scott, and he did so on songs like 'You Shook Me All Night Long' (which remained a hit for the rest of the decade), and 'What Do You Do For Money Honey?', a song about having a prostitute as a girlfriend, a scenario that's easily compared to something like Scott's 'The Jack.' Johnson's voice never fails however, and he sometimes succeeds in the lyric field, for instance in the rambunctious title track, one of the best hard rock songs ever spawned.
"Back in Black" remains one of the top 10 biggest selling hard rock albums in history. It broke AC/DC into America as giants. An ode to their lost comrade, a salute to their rock and roll excesses, and a sound that makes one wonder, how the recording studio kept from exploding amidst all this raw power.
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on October 28, 2003
That pretty much sums it up. Most people know the story behind this album, but here's a short version if you don't: AC/DC had just had their big U.S. breakthrough with Highway to Hell, behind the guitars and songwriting of the Young brothers and the powerhouse voice and charisma of Bon Scott. Bon got drunk one night and passed out in a friend's car and was left there for the night. He vomited in his sleep, choked and died. Everyone assumed AC/DC was dead, but the band knew Bon's passion for rock n roll would want them to continue. They auditioned singers and found a diamond in the rough in Brian Johnson, then went into the studio focused on giving Bon the perfect musical farewell.
Now, the album. The tolling of the bell for Bon ends it ominously but perfectly, leading into Hell's Bells. Right away I was blown away by the pure range and power Brian delivers. You know this is something special. Don't think they're playing mournfully either, this is still down n dirty AC/DC rock, just more intense. They get back to more typical subject matter with the fun Shoot to Thrill, and by the time you get to What You Do For Money Honey the middle of the album just grooves along like no collection of songs you've ever heard. The title track is an all-time great (just like everything here) metal march that is the most personally linked to Bon.Everyone knows You Shook Me All Night Long, and it still holds up. The album rolls along to the song that gives a great middle finger to the people that would come to call AC/DC too vulgar or juvenile: Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution. The perfect anthem for rock fans to pump their fists too, it closes the album with a thunderous bang. So enough of me talking, go get this album and see the greatness you're missing. Like the last song says it just "makes good, good sense."
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on October 27, 2003
That pretty much sums it up. Most people know the story behind this album, but here's a short version if you don't: AC/DC had just had their big U.S. breakthrough with Highway to Hell, behind the guitars and songwriting of the Young brothers and the powerhouse voice and charisma of Bon Scott. Bon got drunk one night and passed out in a friend's car and was left there for the night. He vomited in his sleep, choked and died. Everyone assumed AC/DC was dead, but the band knew Bon's passion for rock n roll would want them to continue. They auditioned singers and found a diamond in the rough in Brian Johnson, then went into the studio focused on giving Bon the perfect musical farewell.
Now, the album. The tolling of the bell for Bon opens it ominously but perfectly, leading into Hell's Bells. Right away I was blown away by the pure range and power Brian delivers. You know this is something special. Don't think they're playing mournfully either, this is still down n dirty AC/DC rock, just more intense. They get back to more typical subject matter with the fun Shoot to Thrill, and by the time you get to What You Do For Money Honey the middle of the album just grooves along like no collection of songs you've ever heard. The title track is an all-time great (just like everything here) metal march that is the most personally linked to Bon. Everyone knows You Shook Me All Night Long, and it still holds up. The album rolls along to the song that gives a great middle finger to the people that would come to call AC/DC too vulgar or juvenile: Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution. The perfect anthem for rock fans to pump their fists too, it closes the album with a thunderous bang. So enough of me talking, go get this album and see the greatness you're missing. Like the last song says it just "makes good, good sense."
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on October 24, 2003
AC/DC's Back In Black is their crowning acheivement as a band. Lead Singer Brian Johnson rose above and beyond the call of duty when it was time to write the words to the songs on this album. Some call Back In Black over-rated, I call it absolutely incredible. The album is packed full of emotion ranging from mourning, loss, and death to sex to booze to rock and roll. The album shows AC/DC's amazing ability to rise up from the ashes and return again and again. Hells Bells is the band's personal farewell to their fallen front man Bon Scott. It is an erie yet very emotional song. Shoot To Thrill is a grimey outlaw rumble that is just fun to rock out to, it's a really catchy tune. When you arrive to that point in the CD where Tracks 6 & 7 are, you can't help but be astonished at what you hear. Back In Black and You Shook Me All Night Long back to back, it doesn't get much better than that. Back In Black insured AC/DC's place as one of the leaders of their generation of music. This album is phenomenal. Their finest hour. Two Thumbs Way Up, a perfect ten score, and a five star rating from me on this one. I highly recommend it to anyone slightly at all that is a fan of rock music. My other personal AC/DC Recommendations are The Razors Edge Album-1990, Let There Be Rock-1977, Powerage-1978, High Voltage-1975, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap-1976, For Those About To Rock-1981, Highway To Hell-1979 and everything else they've ever recorded. Their great. Long live the Thunder from Down Under.
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