Only one year after finally conquering America with Highway to Hell, AC/DC had a little bit of a problem. A little bit of problem of the dead singer variety. As charismatic and commanding a presence as Bon Scott was, AC/DC was lucky to be one of the few bands whose front man isn’t necessarily the most identifiable. Angus Young, with his school boy uniform, Gibson SG guitar and on stage antics had been a co-front man from day one. And with band fuhrer Malcolm Young still there to pull the stings and write the majority of the music, AC/DC were back, bigger than ever, and in a shockingly quick time, with Back in Black.
As far as resetting the agenda after such a huge band upheaval goes, you could do a lot worse than opening your album with a song like Hells Bells. It shows that all the non-Bon aspects of the band that fans loved about AC/DC are still there. There’s the driving guitar, the no frills but pinpoint accurate rhythm section, and there’s a clear added level of confidence after the success of Highway to Hell. It also gives new singer, Brian Johnson, a chance to immediately show what a great fit he is for the band. (more…)