There are big albums, there are monster albums and then there’s AC/DC’s Back In Black, which in terms of grandness is like Godzilla on HGH.
The landmark album turns 40 on July 25, but frankly, it feels weird attaching a number to a work like this. Why? Because it’s timeless. It’s never lost its sense of cool, nor has it really aged or become “dated.”
Tune in all weekend for MMR’s celebration of AC/DC and Saturday Night Concert Series with live music from the band.
In the decades since its release, it’s evolved from being an album to essentially being a rock and roll starter kit. Know a young kid just getting into rock music? Give them a copy of Back In Black. Need to set the vibe for a party? Put on Back In Black. Want to curate the soundtrack of a badass? No need to hem and haw over a playlist, because there’s Back In Black! AC/DC did the curating for you! (Well, perhaps producer Mutt Lange helped a little.)
No album collection is really complete without Back In Black, and truth be told, there are likely very few collections without it. When you move 25 million copies in the United States alone and 50 million copies worldwide, more often than not you’ll find this LP tucked away somewhere in a collection, preferably at the beginning of a record collection, if only for alphabetical reasons. (Unless you have some sort of wacky way you organize your albums besides alphabetically. If so, “at” me, because I’d love to know what it is.)
There’s also no better tribute album in rock history. When Bon Scott suddenly passed away in February 1980, few could’ve expected that five months later AC/DC would not just recruit another incredible vocalist in Brian Johnson but also become one of the biggest bands in the world. The show went on, but not before paying respect to Scott. It only seems fitting for a massive personality to receive a equally massive ode.
So, how does a mere mortal honor such a tribute? By painstakingly ranking all ten tracks on this album, which is not an easy task since each track is a winner without an ounce of filler. Enjoy!