As Brian Johnson would later say about the album itself, “It was a force of nature, that thing. At one point, a crab wandered into the studio’s drum booth from the beach, momentarily disrupting recording and busting up everyone involved. Those flawless rings were eventually captured at Ronnie Lane’s Mobile Studio in England. Lange’s notorious perfectionism landed with particular intensity on Brian Johnson’s vocals.
on July 25, 1980 and, to paraphrase one of the album’s most famous lines, on very first impact, “the walls started shaking, the earth was quaking.” Over the course of the next three-and-a-half decades, ’s 35th anniversary, with the Australian hellraisers out on a world tour in support of their fifteenth international blockbuster album Rock or Bust, here’s a round-up of 35 facts regarding rock’s mightiest-ever thunder from Down Under.
is the seventh studio album by AC/DC, and the group’s first with singer Brian Johnson. However explosively great the results of going with a new vocalist may have been artistically and financially, the reason was in no way a happen one: AC/DC’s prior singer—the one-of-a-kind rock-and-roll madman Bon Scott—died on February 19, 1980.
Following a night of otherwise typical alcohol-fueled carrying on, Scott succumbed to what is officially described as “death by misadventure.” 3. We had to lock the doors at night because she’d warned us about these Haitians who’d come down at night and rob the place.
Knowing that Scott would have demanded that the band carry on, the group did just that, turning producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange . Mutt Lange’s intricate, high-tech, meticulous approach to recording and production proved to be a perfect paradoxical blend with AC/DC’s down-and-dirty, loud-and-sloppy inherent style. Thus, AC/DC listened when Lange suggested they try out vocalist Brian Johnson, the gravel-throated frontman of a hard rock squad known as Geordie. Brian Johnson bowled over AC/DC with his voice that, while shockingly powerful and gritty in its own right, was not immediately reminiscent of Bon Scott. So she bought us all these six-foot fishing spears to keep at the f—ing door!
They also loved that, like Scott, Johnson learned to sing as a result of his passion for classic blues and soul. Bon Scott had written numerous songs for AC/DC’s follow-up to , but the band felt ghoulish about using and profiting from the late singer’s work. It was a bit of a stretch from Newcastle, I can tell you.” 16.
Instead, Brian Johnson penned the album’s lyrics, while the music came from lead guitarist Angus Young his rhythm guitarist brother, Malcolm Young 13. Regarding the opening riff on the title track—indisputably one of the most iconic guitar crunches in all of rock—Angus Young recalls, “Malcolm had that riff for about three weeks. I won’t be getting any sleep until I put it on cassette.’ He sat down and played it all.
AC/DC recorded at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas over seven weeks from April to May 1980. “It was hardly any kind of studio,” Malcolm Young once said. He came in one night and said, ‘You got your cassette here? The funniest thing is he said to me, ‘What do you think? For the opening moments of “Hells Bells” (and the album itself), attempts to record the Denison Bell at England’s Carillon Tower and War Museum proved fruitless due to natural bird sounds.
They hit the island just in time for tropical storm season. Could that have been the perpetual prankster spirit of Bon Scott? Instead, Mutt Lange had a custom 2.000-pound brass bell created by a foundry that would remain perfectly in tune.
Their first show with Brian Johnson took place on July 1, 1980 in Namur, Belgium. The group remembers some hostility initially directed toward Brian Johnson in the form of jeers and shots of “Where’s Bon? The record instead plays the song “Shake a Leg.” Copies of those singles are among the very most sought-after AC/DC collector’s items. Two music videos for “You Shook Me All Night Long” exist.