I’m not the world’s biggest AC/DC fan. I currently own a couple of their albums physically and digitally (including the Iron Man 2 soundtrack, which is the closest thing to an AC/DC hits package as we’ve gotten so far). I’m of the mind that quite a few of their songs are indistinguishable from one another. “Back In Black”, the song and the album, are both pretty well recognized as the band’s crowning achievement(s). I’m inclined to agree.
I’m going to attribute that to a new sense of purpose after losing Bon Scott unexpectedly plus the work it took to re-establish band chemistry with Brian Johnson on board. Back In Black crackles with an energy that dissolved into a signature and then a routine as time went on. But while it existed, that energy was fucking electric (a pun I didn’t see until I was halfway through typing the word “electric” out.)
Hats off to Brian Johnson for screaming his fucking lungs out at a ridiculously high pitch. Hats off to Angus Young for coming up with the most recognizable guitar riff of the past 40 years. Hats off to Mutt Lange for giving the production a sheen and crunch that won over this die-hard pop fan, and thanks to the bar jukeboxes all over New York City that pounded “Back In Black” through my head until I screamed “uncle”.