MusicMight





In Association with Amazon.com
Musicians | Biography | Discography | Links
AUSTRALIA

Date Formed Nov/1973

Categories: Blues Rock, Classic Rock, Hard Rock

AC/DC

Current Members

Past Members

Biography

1973 to 1974

Without a shadow of doubt one of the biggest Rock bands in the world. AC/DC have invented a whole unique genre of Hard driving Rock n' Roll, centred around the distinctive riff of Angus Young, that has made such an impression on the music scene that their records are instantly recognisable. AC/DC are unique in having headlined the Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' festival a record three times. To date the band has been certified with over 60 million album sales in America alone with 'Back In Black' at 19 million and counting topping the pile.

The band started out in November 1973 being fronted by vocalist DAVE EVANS backed by ex-VELVET UNDERGROUND (not the New York 60's legend) rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, his brother Angus Young, previously with KENTUCKEE and TANTRUM, on lead guitar, bassist Larry Van Kriedt and erstwhile MASTER'S APPRENTICE drummer Colin Burgess.

The Young brothers had been born in Glasgow and with the encouragement of former EASYBEATS member and older brother George Young created AC/DC in Sydney during 1973. Immediately prior to AC/DC the brothers had been involved in the MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND with George Young and Harry Vanda. Legend has it the boys elder sister Margaret titled the band after seeing it printed on an electrical implement (reports vary as to whether this was a vacuum cleaner or sewing machine!)

The band's first gig came in December of that year at the local Sydney Chequers night-club and from the off Angus was out to make an impression. Convinced AC/DC needed a visual show stopper Angus reportedly tried out various costumes before settling on his now trademark schoolboy uniform complete with shorts and cap. The band's early management had Angus bursting out of a phone box dressed as superman, in front of a huge spider web in a Spiderman outfit and even in a gorilla suit.

AC/DC underwent a line-up fluctuation as Burgess made way for Rob Carpenter. However, his tenure was brief and in came Peter Clack as Van Kriedt made way for former NATURAL GAS bassist Rob Bailey. With this combination AC/DC cut their first recordings for the single 'Can I Sit Next To You Girl' / 'Rockin' In The Parlour'. Further exposure came with the acts first support tour guesting for LOU REED in August 1974.

Despite their rapid progress the year proved to be a period of great flux for AC/DC. The band lost their rhythm section of Clack and Baily. Fortunately AC/DC's Scottish bus driver, Ronald Scott, had quite a reputation in the business and stepped into the vacant drummer position bringing along his previous act's bassist Bruce Houwe with him.

AC/DC's new tattooed drummer's track record included stints with the SPECTORS, VALENTINES and FRATERNITY. With the latter act Scott had shared lead vocals with Vince Lovegrove He had also guested on a 1971 album by BLACK FEATHER and appears Lovegrove's 1972 solo album. Scott had already made a considerable name for himself in Australia with the Poppier VALENTINES and the harder edged FRATERNITY, both acts having issued singles. Winning a 'Battle Of The Sounds' competition FRATERNITY had put in a promotional visit to England in 1973. Gigs included support shows to an act later to figure large in AC/DC's history- GEORDIE. Scott had in fact lost his position in FRATERNITY due to a motorbike accident that laid the wild man up for many months. Upon his recovery he allied himself with AC/DC, his last sessions before joining being THE MOUNT LOFTY RANGERS with HEADBAND's Peter Head.

By September 1974 Evans had left to create RABBIT, releasing two albums, and Scott took over the lead vocal role and Tony Kerrante filled the drummer's role. Evans career would later take him through HOT COCKEREL, FINCH, CONTRABAND, THE BEAST, HEAVEN and THE HEADHUNTERS.

1975 to 1976

With their new vocalist AC/DC became a completely new machine. Known to one and all as 'Bon' AC/DC's new singer's gruff alcohol fried tonsils gave the band a whole new direction to straight-ahead no nonsense hard rocking. Although Angus and Malcolm had shared lead guitar duties in this formative period Malcolm shifted to supplying the rhythm, his trademark Gretsch Jet Firebird and almost clockwork sense of timing giving the band its backbone.

The following year the band lost Kerrante but filled the vacancy with ex-BUSTER BROWN man Phil Rudd (real name Rudzevecuis). BUSTER BROWN was another Hard Rock n' Roll band not too dissimilar to AC/DC and fronted by a pre ROSE TATTOO Angry Anderson. George Young took over bass duties from Bailey but his commitments forced Malcolm into the four-string role. The band was not a quartet for long as Malcolm went back to rhythm upon the investiture of Mark Evans.

During 1976 AC/DC exploded across Australia. Selling out huge club tours and proving to be the most abrasive act to appear on the popular 'Countdown' television show, AC/DC scored no less than 4 hit singles. Included were 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n' Roll)' with Bon on bagpipes, prompting Atlantic Records to sign the band and their production team of Vanda & Young for a long term deal.

AC/DC hit Britain in 1976 during the heady days of the Punk phenomenon. Strangely the media lumped the band in with the Punk scene at first rather than Rock. AC/DC hit back with a string of electrifying live performances and high energy supports to RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH. The British Rock scene had never seen anything like it. Atlantic repackaged the first two Australian albums into a single album 'High Voltage' (only serving to heighten interest in the original imports) and released 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', an album put together hastily in between bouts of touring. These sessions did throw up some rare tracks though with 'Fling Thing', an instrumental Scottish homage, appearing as the B side to the Australian 'Jailbreak' single and 'Carry Me Home', again appearing as a B side to an Australian single release 'Dog Eat Dog'.

1977 to 1979

At the beginning of 1977 Cliff Williams, from the influential British Hard Rock acts HOME and BANDIT, joined the band on bass as AC/DC took on the might of America. His predecessor Mark Evans later turned up in HEAVEN, HELLCATS and MAMA'S DARLINGS. The release of 'Let There Be Rock', seeing different cover arts for the Australian and international releases, was followed by a headlining club tour of Europe and a valuable support slot to BLACK SABBATH's European and Scandinavian tour. The Summer of 1977 found AC/DC on North American turf for the first time, winding their way through the clubs as a headline act prior to a burst of arena gigs opening for REO SPEEDWAGON to close out. By the Autumn they would return to the UK and mainland Europe for more shows before a return to the States, guesting for both RUSH and KISS. During this enforced period of globetrotting AC/DC maintained their status in Australia with all of their album releases charting.

The April 1978 release 'Powerage' maintained the momentum. The German pressing of 'Powerage' came with an extra track 'Rock n' Roll Damnation' and a slightly different running order of the remaining tracks. Upon the album's issue AC/DC put in an extensive European tour before switching their sites to the USA again. This time acts such as ALICE COOPER, UFO, AEROSMITH, RAINBOW and even JOURNEY would host the band as openers.

1979's Mutt Lange produced 'Highway To Hell', recorded at Roundhouse Studios, proved to be the band's North American breakthrough. Lange had taken the band's rugged sound and made it palatable for mainstream radio without compromising on the AC/DC In doing so the band had delivered an unquestionable all time classic. The group put in lengthy tours of America with support acts DEF LEPPARD, who shared the same management, and PRISM. Trekking across the country AC/DC provided support for CHEAP TRICK, UFO once again and TED NUGENT. America was not all milk and honey though. AC/DC had to face in the land of the free rabid religious groups proclaiming that AC/DC's logo stood for 'Anti Christ Devil's Child'. Although the band looked on all this with some bemusement their latest album title and it's depiction of Angus with devil horns and a forked tail did not help matters. Oddly, in Australia AC/DC albums were still being issued with totally different sleeve art to the rest of the world, 'Highway To Hell's cover depicting the band surrounded by flames and a guitar neck signifying the highway.

Heading back to Europe, their dates their found JUDAS PRIEST guesting. The Paris show would be filmed and subsequently released as the 'Let There Be Rock' movie.

1980 to 1982

As AC/DC teetered on the brink of international superstardom Bon Scott died in February of 1980. Found dead in his car after a not unusual night of heavy drinking Scott died by choking on his own vomit. The band endeavoured to carry on and set about auditioning. One potential recruit was Englishman Steve Burton; a gravel voiced singer who fronted Angus and Malcolm's cousin Stevie Young's act THE STARFIGHTERS. Reports were that Burton was offered the job but turned it down. At the time Burton was wrestling with his own drink demons and did not want to go the same way as Bon Scott.

AC/DC settled on another Englishman former GEORDIE vocalist Brian Johnson. Although GEORDIE's albums were not as rough edged in as AC/DC's Johnson's vocals certainly displayed the character required. Just prior to joining AC/DC Johnson had been rehearsing with Metal band DEATHWISH! AC/DC retired the Bahamas to record the 'Back In Black' album with Lange once more at the controls. Upon it's release those who had predicted global triumph for AC/DC before Scott's untimely demise were proved correct. 'Back In Black' sold in huge numbers and today ranks as one of the highest selling Rock albums ever. Still selling steadily today 'Back In Black' has anything but quietly slipped by a staggering total of 20 million U.S. sales, 'Double diamond' status, and counting.

The resulting world tour, complete with a specially cast huge bell for Johnson to clang during 'Hells Bells', was a monstrous success. AC/DC stepped up to arena league in America with virtually every show a sell-out. Bands lucky enough to support AC/DC on these historical dates were NANTUCKET, BLACKFOOT and England's SAXON. Such was the impact of 'Back In Black' that Atlantic released the 1976 album 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' which quite incredibly scored a higher chart position than 'Back In Black'! Indeed, 'Dirty Deeds' resurrection pushed its sales past the 6 million marker in America alone. Buoyed by the huge wave of interest in AC/DC it's immediate predecessor was given a new lease of life too- it reaching the same 6 million sales target.

1981 readers of British rock magazine 'Kerrang' voted 'Whole Lotta Rosie' to be the greatest Rock track of all time. 1981 was to throw up a further surprise although not to the band's liking. With the impact of the current crop of AC/DC albums their back catalogue had been given an extra acceleration in sales. One of these older tracks 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' had been the subject of a lawsuit from Illinois residents Norman and Marilyn White after fans had found their telephone number listed in the song lyrics and harangued the couple with requests for dirty deeds!!

The follow up 'For Those About To Rock' proved another blockbuster. AC/DC were now employing two cannons either side of the stage for the title number encore. AC/DC struck the American arena trail once again with guests FASTWAY and Y&T. A rare event took place at AC/DC's Brussels show on the tour when, for the first and only time, the band let a guest musician appear onstage with them with Atlantic's Phil Carson took the bass for a rendition of 'Lucille'. Needless to say this was bootlegged shortly after and released as an unofficial single!

1983 to 1987

The october 1983 'Flick Of The Switch' album, their first Australian number 1, kept up the pace. However, the self produced record, recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau with engineering and mixing credits going to Tony Platt, did not achieve quite so well in the USA, only reaching no. 15 on the charts. The record came clad in a disappointingly simplistic sleeve and many fans believed the end product to be evidence of the group going through the motions. Internal tribulations would also result in the dismissal of longstanding drummer Phil Rudd in mid session, later acknowledged to be directly attributable to substance abuse. Rumours were also in circulation that the gradual build up of tensions had resulted in a physical altercation between the drummer and Malcolm Young.

For the American shows Rudd had made way for erstwhile TORA TORA, AIIZ and TYTAN drummer Simon Wright, the new sticksman making his entrance with a gig in Vancouver, Canada in October 1983. The Young's cousin, Stevie Young, was given the support with his act THE STARFIGHTERS. The band made a triumphant return to the UK in August of 1984 to headline the Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' festival, their fourth such occasion. A whole series of roving 'Monsters Of Rock' festivals then took the band right across continental Europe. In 1984, renewed demand for AC/DC in America was so great that Atlantic issued the 'Jailbreak '74' album for a ten-year anniversary. The group also opened 1985 in headlining two consecutive nights at the gargantuan 'Rock In Rio' festival in Brazil.

1985's new record 'Fly On The Wall', this outing again being produced by Angus and Malcolm Young and recorded that Spring at Mountain Studios near Montreux, in Switzerland. Released in June, 'Fly On The Wall', like its predecessor, suffered from critical press and failed to spin off any significant hit singles. Naturally a fresh album signalled yet another mammoth US tour with guests YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and Japanese Rockers LOUDNESS. UK and European shows saw the band's schedule taking road work up until February of 1986 as the song 'Shake Your Foundations' garnered a healthy UK chart position, peaking at no. 24.

Outside of band activity, 1986 had Williams making a rare guest appearance, the bassist adding a session to ADAM BOMB's album. The band's next move was to be 'Who Made Who', an album of new tracks mixed with classics laid down as the soundtrack to a Stephen King movie 'Maximum Overdrive'. This record had once again been laid down at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, employing the old team of Harry Vanda and George Young to craft three new songs. Of these, 'Who Made Who', raced to no. 16 in the UK charts, AC/Dc's biggest hit for many years. In the USA the album did not fare so well but demand for the band in concert was such that an exhaustive tour, backed by support acts QUEENSRYCHE and DOKKEN, was stretched out until November.

In 1987 AC/DC's roots were pushed to the fore again with the release of an album titled 'Bon Scott- Seasons Of Change: 1968-1972'. Released on Raven Records the album comprised Bon Scott tracks from his former acts FRATERNITY and THE VALENTINES.

1988 to 1991

According to media reports AC/DC became the victim of studio tape theft for their 1988 'Blow Up Your Video' album. Nevertheless, the album, marking a return to the Vanda & Young production team, duly arrived on time and followed the predictable pattern of charting high globally. Two tracks that failed to make the finished album 'Let It Loose' and 'Alright Tonight' being issued on a European coloured vinyl bootleg single.

As AC/DC geared up for their American 'Blow Up Your Video' tour, Malcolm Young was forced to bow out due to health problems. The band drafted in cousin Stevie, at that point trying to resurrect THE STARFIGHTERS, to fill in. However, AC/DC first had to pay for Stevie to have some new front teeth, the guitarist having lost them in a fracas with a doorman wielding a baseball bat. The new look band debuted on 3rd May at the Cumberland Civic Center in Portland, Maine. The tour as usual performed to sell out crowds with support once again from DOKKEN and a new crop of American Metal bands such as WHITE LION, L.A. GUNS and CINDERELLA. Stevie performed the role well with many critics commentating that if AC/DC had not told the media of the switch no one would be any the wiser as the Young's lesser known cousin not only played in the same as Malcolm he was a deadringer for him too. After the tour's completion Stevie founded LITTLE BIG HORN, signing to AC/DC's management but this act never released product.

Upon completion of the 'Blow Up Your Video' dates Angus and Malcolm set to work on recording new material. Rumours, subsequently proven false, surfaced that Johnson had opted out of the band. However, the resulting album did see Johnson out of the picture as far as lyrical contributions were concerned, the Young's for the first time contributing all words. In 1989 Wright took time out, to join DIO for their 'Lock Up The Wolves' album. Originally intended purely as a studio session this break became permanent, Wright exiting to enroll into DIO full time and subsequently journeying through AC/DC soundalikes RHINO BUCKET and later UFO.

AC/DC enlisted former FIRM and GARY MOORE band drummer Chris Slade for album rehearsals in Brighton, England during November of 1989. The new record was recorded at Windmill Road Studios in Ireland and Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver working with noted Canadian producer Bruce Fairbairn. Issued in September of 1990 through the newly established Atco label 'The Razor's Edge' only served to solidify the band's success, scoring a no. 1 in Australia and pulling multi-platinum status in the USA where the tracks 'Thunderstruck' and 'Money Talks' both crossed over to radio. Quite incredibly, 'The Razor's Edge' pushed combined album sales past the 60 million mark. With the video age in mind the band scored successes in this field too with the 'Clipped' collection hosting all their promotional videos to date whilst 'Who Made Who' comprised footage from the eighties.

Predictably AC/DC opened 1991 on the road, touring the US arenas with KING'S X as support. This combination continued into Europe, where dates covered March and April, commencing in Helsinki on 15th March and including three night stands at both London's Wembley Arena and the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. AC/DC then returned to North America for another leg of dates.

In August, the band was back in Europe, not only to headline the Castle Donington 'Monsters Of Rock' festival yet again but also topping the bill for a further 20 events of the same title that crossed the European mainland. A first came with a Russian outdoor extravaganza held on the 18th September at the Tushino Airfield in Moscow. With free entry, over half a million fans flocked to see the band, the show being televised on Russian television and captured by director Wayne Isham for a documentary.

The band's Australian tour to promote 'The Razor's Edge' would see JUDGE MERCY as support.

1992 to 2000

Concerts from 'The Razor's Edge' world tour were duly taped for the double 'AC/DC Live' album of 1992, giving the band yet another Australian no. 1. During 1995 AC/DC contributed the track 'Big Guns' to the movie soundtrack to 'The Last Action Hero' starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The same year saw the first tribute album to the band as AC/DC was honoured by alternative Australian acts on the Ariola 'Fusebox' album.

In 1996 Phil Rudd was welcomed back into the fold for the Rick Rubin produced 'Ballbreaker' opus. This record rekindling the band's former glories and giving them a top ten American album and clocking up a welcome two million U.S. sales. For the world tour AC/DC once again renewed the family connection drafting in THE POOR as support, a band with a certain Mr. Young on drums!

The interest was maintained with the 'Bonfire' 4 CD box set. A lavish package celebrating Bon Scott the set included the first official release of the renowned 'Live At Atlantic Studios' promotion album, the soundtrack to the 'Live In Paris 1979' video, a set of rare tracks titled 'Volts' and 'Back In Black'. Despite it's high price 'Bonfire' still managed to attain an American platinum sales award.

It was to a lengthy hiatus between albums, although Johnson put in a rare guest slot with JACKYL in America and wrote a song with the band 'Locked And Loaded', but with AC/DC remaining quiet a further tribute album 'Thunderbolt' filled the gap. The album featured numerous name artists such as MOTÖRHEAD's Lemmy, SKID ROW's Sebastian Bach, DEEP PURPLE's Joe Lynn Turner, Y&T's Dave Meniketti and TWISTED SISTER's Dee Snider. More pertinent was the fact that erstwhile AC/DC man Simon Wright performs too.

AC/DC's absence was not enough to dim public memory though as can be illustrated when Angus appeared on an official Australian postage stamp in 1998!

In 2000 the band returned for the back to basics 'Stiff Upper Lip' album. Anticipation was high and in keeping with tradition 'Stiff Upper Lip' soon earned itself a platinum award for one million sales in America. As AC/DC returned so did their past as Sony Records in Australia released an album by the MARCUS HOOK ROLL BAND, the Young brother's 1973 pre AC/DC outfit.

Amongst a plethora of AC/DC tribute albums at least one act managed a fresh spin on the genre when Nashville's Appalachian act HAYSEED DIXIE offered an album of AC/DC tunes all reworked in a Country Bluegrass (HAYSEED DIXIE obviously made an impression on AC/DC as they were invited to perform at the band's end of tour party.)

AC/DC themselves set about another mammoth North American arena tour to promote the 'Stiff Upper Lip' opus. Early dates were supported by SLASH'S SNAKEPIT. In December 2000 Uk shows had Swedish garage Rock n' Rollers BACKYARD BABIES as opening act. Enjoying somewhat of a renaissance the band added a second leg to the tour for the summer of 2001 issuing a fresh single 'Safe In New York City' to back it up. Oddly this song had not even featured on the original tour's set list but was included for the second round.

AC/DC put in a solo UK show during 2001 at the mammoth Milton Keynes bowl in June ably supported by Punks THE OFFSPRING, Thrashers MEGADETH and Stoner outfit QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE. European dates would witness a radical shift in the bands set list with rarely performed tracks such as 'Problem Child', 'What Do You Do For Money Honey?' and 'Up To My Neck In You' being performed.

In a rare showing of outside activity Brian Johnson's name would crop up as songwriter for the track 'I Feel (Down)' on the debut NEUROTICA album.

2001 to 2007

In 2001 Johnson's previous act GEORDIE made a return to action even putting in live shows with a guesting Brian Johnson. The AC/DC singer would also record two songs 'Byker Hill' and 'Wor Geordie's Lost His Liggie' for inclusion on an ambitious 20 CD box set celebrating Northern culture entitled 'Northumbria Anthology'. Brian Johnson would yet again contribute to the JACKYL cause in 2002, donating his songwriting skills to the track 'Kill The Sunshine'.

Another outside venture of Johnson's would take many AC/DC fans by surprise as the frontman revealed he was co-writing a musical, set for an American premier in March of 2003, entitled 'Helen Of Troy', colluding on this endeavour with British actor Brendan Healy. The singer would also reportedly be engaged in the recording of an all star album comprising children's songs too. AC/DC bass player Cliff Williams would also strike out into unfamiliar waters, laying down bass for an album 'Sans' by the oddly titled Bosnian-American musicians EMIR AND THE FROZEN CAMELS. Williams would later tour with the band on a mini-tour of former Yugoslavian territories in November.

Meantime, early AC/DC singer DAVE EVANS made a return touting a live album built upon early AC/DC material entitled 'A Hell Of A Night' and appearing on a Perris Records Bon Scott tribute album 'Bon Appetite'.

AC/DC would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in New York City during December. That month would also mark another major event in the band's history as AC/DC shifted labels, for the first time in 26 years, from the Warner Group stable to Sony. At that juncture the band had sold an estimated 140 million albums worldwide with 'Back In Black' standing proud at 40 million plus. Part of the new deal would be the realisation of AC/DC's back catalogue re-launched with enhanced features.

Brian Johnson joined German veterans the SCORPIONS onstage for an encore of 'Rock You Like A Hurricane' at the group's February 2nd concert at St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The Young's would also participate in guest appearances, Angus and Malcolm joining none other than the ROLLING STONES at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney, Australia on February 18th for a rendition of the B.B. KING Blues number 'Rock Me Baby'.

Performing at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City in March to mark their inauguration into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame AC/DC were joined onstage by none other than AEROSMITH frontman Steven Tyler for a performance of 'You Shook Me All Night Long'. AC/DC were announced as the support act to a batch of ROLLING STONES festival gigs in Germany during June. The band would then figure highly in the ranking of bands donating their services to the mammoth 30th July 'Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto' event intended to boost tourism in Toronto and southern Ontario after the SARS virus outbreak. AC/DC shared the stage in front of over 400,000 fans with Rock n' Roll heavyweights RUSH, the ROLLING STONES, THE GUESS WHO and FLAMING LIPS. On a slightly smaller scale, early AC/DC singer DAVE EVANS embarked upon on a three-month tour of Europe with the German AC/DC tribute band OVERDOSE. AC/DC's first UK gig since 2001, held on 21st October at London's Carling Apollo in Hammersmith, sold out in a spectacular four minutes.

2004 brought news of further band related activity with the shooting of an Australian comedy movie entitled 'Thunderstruck', the tale of five die hard fans who, during AC/DC's Australian tour in 1991, make a pact that if one of them dies before they reach the age of 40 the others will bury him beside the grave of AC/DC's late singer, Bon Scott. The film, opening in Australian theatres on 20th May and which saw investment from actor Mel Gibson, even included a gig held at Scott's resting place in Fremantle Cemetery.

'Thunderstruck's soundtrack included an archive track from the singer's pre-AC/DC band FRATERNITY and a AC/DC covers from THE JACK. This latter act being in fact an all star assemblage of modern day Aussie Rockers comprising Phil Jameson of GRINSPOON, Janet English from SPIDERBAIT, Davie Lane of YOU AM I, Kemstar of 1200 TECHNIQUES, Travis Demsey previously with LIVING END and Bodhan Dower of SENDER.

July of 2004 saw recognition from the Recording Industry Association of America for 1980's landmark 'Back In Black' album reaching platinum status, or 'Double diamond', twenty times over. Back at home, Melbourne City Council unanimously supported a proposal to change the name of the city's 'Corporation Lane' in the central business district to 'AC/DC Lane' in the band's honour.

AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson and bassist Cliff Williams would headline a benefit concert at the Germain Arena in Fort Myers in Florida on 10th September, performing alongside former BAD COMPANY frontman BRIAN HOWE, in an effort to raise funds for the American Red Cross' relief efforts in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Charly. Also in Florida, the noted Death Metal band SIX FEET UNDER, having spent much of the year droppong teaser press statements quoting their 'Graveyard Classics II' as being a "unique" album it would be learned that the band had indeed stuck to their word - by covering an entire album, namely AC/DC's seminal 'Back In Black'.

DAVE EVANS, the original singer with AC/DC, launched his solo album 'Sinner' in October of 2004. Featured musicians included the RABBIT duo of Mark Tinson and David Hinds alongside Trevor Dare and Simon Croft on guitar, Justin "Ngariki" Bolth on bass and drummer Steve "Mac" McLennan.

As 2005 opened word of another tribute band of distinction arose, RAZOR'S EDGE, notably including former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade.The band also numbered Hollywood veterans vocalist Joe Leste of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and BANG TANGO, Brent Woods from the VINCE NEIL band, Anthony Focx of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES and Muddy from L.A. GUNS and GILBY CLARKE. The inaugural RAZOR'S EDGE performance was held on 13th January 2005 at Club Vodka's Pink Pussycat in Hollywood, California.

It would be learned in late March that Malcolm and Angus Young would be putting the finishing touches to a brand new AC/DC album in London. Meantime, Brian Johnson continued his onstage guest appearances, the singer getting onstage on 24th March at the Khrome club in Sarasota, Florida, performing the AC/DC classics 'Back In Black' and 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' with BIG MACHINE and 'Rock n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution' with THE GREG BILLINGS BAND.

In June the Billboard organisation released figures showing 'Back In Black' had tipped over the 21 million US sales mark, making it the equal fifth best selling album of all time, whilst 'High Voltage' passed the 3 million register. That same month the Recording Industry Association of America revealed AC/DC had sold over 66 million albums in the USA, with only LED ZEPPELIN ranking above them in terms of Hard Rock sales. Meantime, 'Guitar World' magazine bestowed honours upon the Young siblings, although not for the more familiar roles with Malcolm Young being voted "Most Underrated Guitarist" whilst Angus won the top position in the "Who Would You Most Like To Have A Drink With" category.

A notable AC/DC convention, 'Big Ball II - The Second Coming' held during August in Wrexham, North Wales, included live performances from a swathe of cover bands including BACK IN BLACK, DIRTY DC, SEEDY DC and THUNDERSTRUCK from the UK, HELLS BALLS from Germany, ACTION IN DC from Holland, FAT ANGUS and HAYSEED DIXIE from the USA. Also on the bill would be RHINO BUCKET, an originals band often compared to AC/DC and having previously included ex-AC/DC drummer Simon Wright, DIDDY DC, a child tribute band with an age range from 7 to 14, and the all female DIRTY DEE'S DUNGEON SHEEP.

Angus and Malcolm participated in a world record breaker with an act of charity later that year. In response to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami disaster Canadian Rocker BRYAN ADAMS initiated the signing of a white Fender Stratocaster guitar by a host of guitar legends and Rock stars. Amongst the fellow signees would be LED ZEPPELIN's JIMMY PAGE, TONY IOMMI of BLACK SABBATH, BRIAN MAY of QUEEN, Ritchie Blackmore of RAINBOW and DEEP PURPLE, members of DEF LEPPARD, Mick Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards from the ROLLING STONES, ERIC CLAPTON, DAVID GILMOUR, JEFF BECK, Pete Townshend of THE WHO, Mark Knopfler, Ray Davies, Liam and Noel Gallagher of OASIS, Paul McCartney, Sting, and BRYAN ADAMS himself. Quite incredibly the instrument was auctioned in November for a staggering $1.6 million dollars, proceeds of which went to the 'Reach Out To Asia' foundation.

During late 2005 it was revealed ex-AC/DC drummer Chris Slade was involved with 100 PROOF, a band which comprised the internationally known cast comprising Stacey Blades from L.A. GUNS on guitar, Mike Duda of W.A.S.P. on bass and the veteran figure of the L.A. GUNS, LOVE/HATE and RATT credited JIZZY PEARL on vocals.

AC/DC was the subject of an historical event held at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland on 25th February 2006 when the bands LENINGRAD COWBOYS, QUINTESSENCE, EMMI, ISMO ALANKO AND FREUD, MARX, ENGELS and JUNG performed, in chronological order, the entire AC/DC catalogue. Soundscan statistics for the following month revealed that, quite incredibly, AC/DC's 1980 classic 'Back In Black' was still selling over 8,000 copies every week in the USA.

In November 2006 Angus Young, a Dutch resident of the Gelderland town of Aalten since the 80s, had his name appear for the first time on the annual listing of the richest people in the Netherlands, the 'Quote 500' list stating the guitarist held personal wealth of around $93 million.

Rumours of an impending fresh studio album from AC/DC began to bubble in late 2006, with a supposed title of 'Strap It On'. Brian Johnson revealed he had been contributing to no less than 40 proposed tracks and believed Angus and Malcolm Young were working on a double album set. However, in December Albert Music claimed no new music had been recorded.

On February 25th 2007 over 10,000 AC/DC fans gathered at Claremont Showground for a Bon Scott tribute concert. Music was provided by THE ANGELS, ROSE TATTOO and SCREAMING JETS. That April Australian actor Alex O'Loughlin, star of 'The Oyster Farmer' and 'The Shield', apparently revealed he was in fact the son of Bon Scott, a fact not made public previously. However, within days this was refuted as untrue and the result of an "internet rumour".

AC/DC's first new single in eight years, 'Rock N Roll Train', hit the band's web site and radio stations on August 28th 2008. In anticipation of the new album 'Black Ice', in early September no less than six back catalogue albums all resurfaced on the official Australian charts, the group's presence being felt at no. 20 with 'TNT' from 1975, no. 26 with 'The Razors Edge' from 1990, no. 27 with 'Highway To Hell' from 1979, no. 28 with 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' from 1976, no. 30 with 'Who Made Who' from 1986 and no. 45 with 'Stiff Upper Lip' from 2000. The six albums sold a combined total of 10,871 copies in just one week.

'Black Ice' entered the UK charts at no. 1. In Australia 'Black Ice' was not only the biggest selling album of the week in Australia, it also proved to be the biggest selling album of the year as 83,855 copies of the album sold in its first full week of sales. It soon became evident that 'Black Ice' was not only a sales blockbuster, but a record breaker, hitting the no. 1 position on 29 charts around the world. In the USA the album was sold exclusively through Wal-Mart stores, the band pointedly denying any download digital sales.

The band announced North American dates commencing 28th October at the Wachovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania supported by Irish Rockers THE ANSWER. On 19th September tickets to AC/DC's 28th November concert at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada completely sold out within four minutes after they went on sale. When the next three shows went on sale they also sold out in spectacular fashion. The 7th November show at Toronto, Ontario's Rogers Centre sold out within 30 minutes, a 9th November concert at Boston's TD Banknorth Garden sold out in 15 minutes as did a 21st November show at the Columbus, Ohio Schottenstein Center.

'Black Ice' was released in Germany during December as a limited-edition steel box containing the CD, a 20 page colour booklet, a bonus DVD featuring the 'The Making Of Rock N Roll Train' documentary and the 'Rock N Roll Train' video, a large AC/DC flag, five stickers and a Gibson guitar pick. The set was limited to 25,000 copies. 

Before the year was out, 'Black Ice' had been certified multi-platinum in eight countries, including the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the Czech Republic. Additionally, 'Black Ice' achieved platinum status in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, UK, Argentina, Singapore and New Zealand, and gold status in the Netherlands, Spain, Poland and Brazil. With over 6 million copies of 'Black Ice' shipped worldwide, combined with over 5.5 million in back catalogue sold in 2008, AC/DC spectacularly surpassed THE BEATLES as the number 1 selling catalogue artist in the U.S.A. for the year.

AC/DC's European tour convened in Oslo, Norway at the Telenor Arena on 18th February 2009, taking in stops across Sweden, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Spain, Ireland and the UK. June shows at London's Wembley Stadium, Dublin's Punchestown Racetrack and Glasgow's Hampden Park were to be supported by THIN LIZZY. However, the openers were forced to withdraw when drummer Tommy Aldridge suffered a broken collar bone.

On the 23rd of same month AC/DC won the "Most Played Australian Work Overseas" award with their 1978 song 'Highway To Hell' at the annual Australasian Performing Right Association awards, which were held in Melbourne.

New Zealand dates, in Wellington and Auckland, were announced for early 2010. February Australian concerts were supported by WOLFMOTHER.

AC/DC's music was heavily featured in Marvel Studios' blockbuster movie 'Iron Man 2'. In addition, Columbia Records released the album 'AC/DC: Iron Man 2' on Monday, 19th April 2010, this set featuring 15 classic AC/DC songs ranging from 1976 to 2008. 

Garry Sharpe-Young

Copyright Musicdetector Websites 2009

Discography

Album


BLACK ICE 2008

STIFF UPPER LIP 2000

BALLBREAKER 1995

AC/DC LIVE 1992

THE RAZOR'S EDGE 1990

BLOW UP YOUR VIDEO 1988

WHO MADE WHO 1986

FLY ON THE WALL 1985

FLICK OF THE SWITCH 1983

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK (WE SALUTE YOU) 1981

BACK IN BLACK 1980

HIGHWAY TO HELL 1979

POWERAGE 1978

IF YOU WANT BLOOD YOU GOT IT - LIVE 1978

LET THERE BE ROCK 1977

TNT 1976

DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP 1976

HIGH VOLTAGE 1975

Single/EP


Rock N Roll Train 2008

Stiff Upper Lip (Single) 2000

Satellite Blues 2000

Safe In New York City 2000

Ballbreaker - Australian Tour EP 1996

Cover You In Oil 1996

Hail Caesar 1995

Hard As A Rock 1995

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Live) 1993

Back In Black (Live) 1993

Big Gun 1993

5 Titres Inédits En Concert 1992

Highway To Hell (Live) 1992

Thunderstruck 1990

Rock Your Heart Out 1990

Are You Ready 1990

Money Talks 1990

Heatseeker 1988

That's The Way I Wanna Rock n' Roll 1988

Who Made Who (Single) 1986

You Shook Me All Night Long (Live) 1986

Sink The Pink 1985

Shake Your Foundations 1985

Danger 1985

Jailbreak '74 1984

Nervous Shakedown 1984

Flick Of The Switch (Single) 1983

Guns For Hire 1983

Pistolas De Alquiler 1983

Let's Get It Up 1982

For Those About To Rock 1982

Back In Black (Single) 1981

Touch Too Much (Live) 1980

You Shook Me All Night Long 1980

Rock n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution 1980

Hell's Bells 1980

Touch Too Much 1980

Girls Got Rhythm 1979

Highway To Hell (Single) 1979

Whole Lotta Rosie (Live) 1978

Rock n' Roll Damnation 1978

Whole Lotta Rosie 1978

Let There Be Rock (Single) 1977

Love At First Feel 1977

Dog Eat Dog 1977

TNT (Single) 1976

It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock n' Roll) 1976

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Single) 1976

Jailbreak 1976

High Voltage (Single) 1975

Baby Please Don't Go 1975

Can I Sit Next To You Girl 1974

Visual


HELLS BELLS - THE ESSENTIAL REVIEW 2009

HIGHWAY TO HELL - A CLASSIC ALBUM UNDER REVIEW 2008

NO BULL - THE DIRECTORS CUT 2008

CHURCH OF ROCK - THE BON SCOTT YEARS 2008

BACK IN BLACK - THE ULTIMATE CRITICAL REVIEW 2007

IN PERFORMANCE 2007

PLUG ME IN 2007

THE DOCUMENT 2007

IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP 2006

AC/DC - MOTÖRHEAD - METALLICA 2006

BACK IN BLACK - THE VIDEOS 2005

FAMILY JEWELS 2005

AND THEN THERE WAS ROCK - LIFE BEFORE BRIAN 2005

MUSIC IN REVIEW - THE BON SCOTT YEARS 2005

LET THERE BE ROCK (DVD) 2004

NO BULL / STIFF UPPER LIP LIVE 2003

STIFF UPPER LIP LIVE 2001

LIVE AT DONINGTON 1992

LET THERE BE ROCK (VHS) 1991

FLY ON THE WALL (VHS) 1991

CLIPPED 1991

AC/DC (VHS) 1989

Compilation


OVER THE TOP 2009

BACKTRACKS 2009

COLLECTOR'S BOX 2008

FROM MELBOURNE TO LONDON 2007

DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP / THE RAZOR'S EDGE 2007

SIGHT & SOUND COLLECTION 2007

AC/DC (15 CD BOX SET) 2003

THERE'S GONNA BE SOME ROCKIN' 2003

THE AC/DC LP COLLECTION 2003

AC/DC (17 CD BOX SET) 2002

POWERAGE / BLOW UP YOUR VIDEO 2000

HIGH VOLTAGE / BACK IN BLACK 2000

T.N.T / FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK 2000

DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP / HIGHWAY TO HELL 2000

LET THERE BE ROCK / FLY ON THE WALL 2000

MAXIMUM AC/DC 2000

AC/DC IN THE 20TH CENTURY 2000

DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP / IF YOU WANT BLOOD 1999

LET THERE BE ROCK / POWERAGE 1999

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK / HIGH VOLTAGE 1999

DOBLE DOSIS - LET THERE BE ROCK / POWERAGE 1999

BALLBREAKER / BACK IN BLACK 1998

VOLTS 1997

BONFIRE 1997

LET THERE BE ROCK: THE MOVIE - LIVE IN PARIS 1997

LIVE FROM THE ATLANTIC STUDIOS 1997

1996 AUSTRALIAN BALLBREAKER TOUR SOUVENIR 1996

1996 AUSTRALIAN TOUR PACK 1996

POWERAGE / FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK 1996

123 (FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK / FLICK OF THE SWITCH / FLY ON THE WALL) 1995

BOOM BOX 1995

THE INTERVIEW 1992

BOOM BOX - THE COMPLETE COLLECTION 1991 1991

1991 AUSTRALIAN TOUR SOUVENIR 1991

THE EARLY YEARS 1991

HIGHWAY TO HELL / BACK IN BLACK / FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK 1990

BOX SET VOLUME 1 1989

AC/DC BOX SET VOLUME 2 1989

HIGH VOLTAGE / DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP / POWERAGE 1979

Promotion


Anything Goes 2009

Rock N Roll Train (Promo) 2008

Big Jack 2008

The AC/DC Remasters - The Ultimate AC/DC Experience 2003

Satellite Blues (Promo) 2000

Meltdown Summer Sampler EP 2000

Bonfire Sampler 1997

Dirty Eyes 1997

Limited Edition Live Tracks 1996

Thunderstruck (Promo) 1995

The Furor 1995

Big Gun (Promo) 1993

Highway To Hell (Promo) 1992

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Promo) 1992

Highway To Hell (Live) (Promo) 1992

Are You Ready (Promo) 1990

Mistress For Christmas 1990

Who Made Who (Promo) 1986

Danger (Promo) 1985

Baby Please Don't Go (Promo) 1976