Back in Black

Song Review by

AC/DC was hit hard by the sudden 1980 death of their singer, Bon Scott. Many wondered how the band could possibly soldier on, since Scott was such an integral part of the band's sound and image. But the band silenced all their doubters only a few months after Scott's untimely death, with the mega-hit Back in Black, which saw ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson taking Scott's place in the lineup. The album was an instant classic, featuring such rock radio standards as "Hell's Bells," "Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," "You Shook Me All Night Long," and, especially, the stomping anthem "Back in Black." The song confirmed that the band was far from over, and that they'd returned stronger than ever, while the album and song's title referred to the fact that the band was still in mourning over Bon Scott's passing. The song features one of AC/DC's most instantly recognizable guitar riffs, courtesy of brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. As with most of the other songs on the album, the music was written prior to the tragedy (it's been stated that Scott may have even penned some lyrics for the material) -- but it wasn't until Johnson came aboard that AC/DC finalized one of rock's most enduring albums and anthems.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Back in Black 1980 Sony Music 4:15
Classic Rock: 1966-1988 1991
Various Artists
Atlantic 4:13
Bonfire 1997 Elektra 4:15
The Family Jewels [Video] 2005 Epic / Sony Music
Box Set [17 CD] 2006 Albert Productions 4:28
Iron Man 2 [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2010 Columbia / Sony Music Entertainment 4:17
Back Home with Brian 2018 Sonic Boom 3:45