If we talk about the most legendary bands in rock history, without a doubt, AC DC It would have to be at least in the first places. Ever since they rose to fame in the ’70s, became an emblem of this genre and everything it representswith emblematic songs armed with pure distorted guitars and unbridled attitude. In short, they have created true hymns that transcended borders and even generations. and have given memorable concerts.

However, within the huge catalog of legendary rolas they have, there is one in particular that we are sure everyone has heard at least once in their life: “Back in Black”. If you are a fan of this group or of rock, this is probably the song that opened the doors to this world for you, but believe it or not, it has a rather curious story that we will tell you next.

You can also read: Science says it: Listen to AC DC makes surgeons more precise and faster

The arrival of Brian Johnson to AC / DC

In 1980, AC/DC was going through one of the most difficult stages of its entire career.. Unfortunately in February of that year, The great Bon Scott died at the age of 33. Without a doubt, the loss of their vocalist was a very hard blow and for many, this would mean ending the band. But the group decided to go ahead and after many tests, they found the ideal replacement for the frontman position, Brian Johnson himself.

Johnson had been in a group called Geordie, which Scott saw in 1973. After that concert, Scott talked about the band’s vocalist to his peers and in 1980, when they were looking for a replacement, producer Mutt Lange suggested it. At the time, Johnson was working as a windshield installer and had just put Geordie together. However, he left everything he was doing to join the Young brothers and company, one of the best decisions of his life.

Cliff Williams, Malcolm Young, Angus Young and Simon Wright with Brian Johnson in 1980/Photo: Getty Images

The origin of “Back in Black”

Once AC/DC added Brian Johnson to their ranks, they immediately went to work on a new studio album., which they recorded between April and May 1980 at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas. Finally, on July 25 of that year and only five months after the death of Bon Scottreleased one of their most legendary albums and perhaps the most successful of their entire career: Back in Blackwhich gave us some of the band’s best songs.

However, among so many hits like “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Shoot to Thrill”, “Hells Bells” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” –just to name a few–, there was a song that caught everyone’s attention, the one that gives title to this record material. And believe it or not, they had the riff of this great song for many years, well Malcolm Young used to play it almost always during sound checks, as he used those chords as a melody to warm up before shows..

After Bon Scott’s death, Angus Young decided that his first album without him should be called Back In Black as a tribute, and they created this song around that phrase. Although yes, they were not looking to compose a ballad nor did they want it to be a gloomy song. The truth is that they they wanted to create a song that captured the essence of their fallen partner and the one in charge of writing the lyrics was Brian Johnsonwho managed to string together a series of phrases that together sound extremely rock and of course, celebrates the life and work of Scott.

Did Bon Scott write this song?

Johnson stated that at the time he wrote “whatever came into my head” and of course he thought it was nonsense. On the contrary, the lines about abusing his nine lives and such summed up Bon Scott perfectly, and his new bandmates loved it. Nevertheless, The lyrics of this AC/DC classic have not been spared from controversy, as there is a rather peculiar rumour.

It turns out that after Scott’s death, the band’s former manager, Ian Jeffrey, claimed that he had a folder containing the lyrics to 15 songs written by Bon for Back In Black –among them the homonymous song–, but Angus Young insisted that all of his former partner’s notebooks be given to his family. Although yes, they accepted that before his death, the frontman had various lyrical ideas for the albumbut the group abandoned them in favor of new lyrics by Brian, Malcolm and Angus.

Bon Scott in 1979/Photo: Getty Images

Brian Johnson himself has given his position on the subject and in an interview for rolling stone talked about his new autobiography The Lives of Brian and of how the rumor that Bon Scott wrote “Back in Black” came about. To begin with, he claimed that the origin of all this was an australian journalist who started the gossip and from there, many people began to question him about the real composer of the songs on the album. Although yes, at that time, Malcolm and Angus Young told him not to pay attention to what others said, but there was no lack of someone to throw it in his face and in the end, it all ended as a simple rumor.

“It became more and more obvious by the day that Bon hadn’t done it (talking about lyrical composition), because the riffs weren’t written then. The boys were still making them. So we didn’t say anything because if he hadn’t, it would have given him more fame. It wasn’t something that hit me very hard, but once in a while a fan would come and say, ‘This guy says this.’ And, actually, it wasn’t true. There was no Internet then; It did not reach beyond Australia. But I found it horrible to have to give explanations.”

AC/DC vs. the Beastie Boys

And it is that the controversy to see who is the composer of “Back in Black” is not the only one in which this roll of AC / DC has been. In 1984, the Beastie Boys sampled the song without permission for their song “Rock Hard.”. By 1999, when they wanted to include it on a compilation CD called Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science, the New York trio asked the band for permission but Angus Young and company did not allow it. Mike D cited Malcolm Young’s reason for refusing: “I have nothing against you, but we do not support sampling.”

Beyond the rumours, “Back in Black” is a rock classic and perhaps AC/DC’s most famous song. So much so that it became almost a song in the public domain that is now part of popular culture, since we have heard it in a lot of media. You have to remember that this great song sounds in the opening scene of Hombre de Hierro, giving him a powerful introduction to the Marvel Comic Universe. However, they have also used it in other films and series such as School of Rock, Megamind, The Sopranos, Family Guy, The Muppets, Grudge Match, Karate Kid (with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan), Bruno among many others

Curiously, it is said that this was the first song kurt cobain learned to play when they gave him his first guitar at the age of 14… how do you see it? Last but not least, American astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley hit the tune on May 30, 2020 as they prepared to board the Dragon spacecraft, which arrived at the International Space Station. To them it symbolized a new era for the US space program, which had not launched a manned mission since 2011, when the space shuttle program was cancelled.

Source: Ofeminin

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more

J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

Leave a Reply