It was 25th July 1980 when AC/DC’s Back in Black album was released. This was a pivotal time in AC/DC’s career.
For a limited time AC/DC: The Making of ‘Back in Black’ — Full Documentary is available on YouTube thanks to Loudwire and Sony Music.
The documentary goes for 23 minutes and features interviews from Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd. The doco starts with the narrator saying “On the short list of best-selling albums of all time, none are paradoxically steeped in personal tragedy and good-time partying as AC/DC’s Back in Black,”
The doco also notes the tragic death of legendary frontman Bon Scott
“The album, recorded just months after the tragic death of original lead singer Bon Scott, has gone on to take over record stores, radio stations and college campuses everywhere, selling over 40 million copies [worldwide] to date,” the narration continues, prefacing what’s to come by stating, “Back in Black is the unbelievable story of a band of brothers overcoming loss through the power of rock ‘n’ roll.”
On 1st April 1980 Brian Johnson was officially named the new frontman of AC/DC and that was no April Fool’s joke. AC/DC quickly got to work and returned to producer Mutt Lange who also worked on their album ‘Highway to Hell’. The album ‘Back in Black’ was released as a tribute to the late Bon Scott with the album cover being black as a memorial.
I recalling naming of ‘Back in Black’ Malcolm told ‘Mojo’ that the idea for the tribute and title just popped into his brother’s head. “Angus said, ‘Why not call it ‘Back in Black’ and make a black album cover as a tribute to Bon?'” Their record company ‘Atlantic Records’ weren’t sold on the idea. Malcolm disagreed “All black, nothing on it. We want it embossed so you don’t need white lines on it.” Atlantic records and AC/DC met halfway and came up with the thin grey border around the band logo that is well known today.
There’s some great stories that come up in the doco one of them being
their song “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” was written in fifteen minutes to meet the requirements to have one more song on the record. Malcolm recalls “We were in London at the time and there was a big deal about noise pollution with the clubs around London and everything else. They wanted the decibel meters in there and wanted to ban rock bands really.”
Check out the doco below: