How AC/DC’s Back In Black Changed Rock Music Forever – Kerrang!



The same year, AC/DC released their debut album, High Voltage, after recruiting Bon Scott as vocalist in October 1974. Bon was said to be a catalytic influence on the band, his personality helping to define their direction.

“They thought we’d be a good pop-rock type band, play a little rock ‘n’ roll and a little pop. That’s how we started but, then, when Bon came on the scene six months later, we had the key to going straight to rock’n’roll because he could deliver it, and he had his own style,” begins Malcolm, as the cameras begin rolling for what is an interview that spans nearly two hours and spans AC/DC’s entire career.

“Bon influenced the band to go more into rock ‘n’ roll, which we always liked anyway,” he continues. “But when you’re kids, you do whatever it takes to sign up and hit the road. We were really happy about working in clubs for the rest of our lives because it was better than having day jobs and you could travel. We thought, ‘If we could accomplish this, then we have a life.’ Everything else became a bonus after that.

Bon Scott indeed pushed AC/DC to higher ambitions, and he remains at the heart of their success – culminating in Back In Black, the band’s tribute to their late frontman who released 40 years ago. years this week.

Like the Young brothers, Bon was born in Scotland before his family’s decision to emigrate to Australia. He was 28 when he joined AC/DC, seven and nine years older than Malcolm and Angus respectively, and he had already managed several groups (The Spektors and The Valentines) without ever really finding success in the major leagues.

His next band, Fraternity, was what Malcolm calls “a hippy-dippy band” whose whimsical musical style was at odds with what he describes as Bon’s “sock-it-to-em attitude”. The frontman had also toured the UK with Fraternity, but the band failed to find an audience there, forcing him to return to Australia. Returning home, he got a job at a fertilizer factory and joined country-rock band The Mount Lofty Rangers, only to leave during a heated argument at a rehearsal.

Initially, Bon was reluctant to join AC/DC due to the age difference between him and the rest of the group, believing his day job gave him a greater sense of security. But, after seeing them perform shows, he was also acutely aware of the chemistry that existed between the brothers. Struck by a moment of realization, he realized that AC/DC offered him one last chance at a career in music, and when the brothers and Bon moved into a communal band house in Lansdowne Road, Melbourne, he found himself. assured that they were getting to work.

“Bon was the first to get up in the morning, no matter what state he went to bed,” Malcolm explains. “You were having a cup of coffee by your bed. “Come on, it’s time to get up and practice.” He drove us a lot.

“When it came to rock ‘n’ roll, he was always deadly serious. He would be the first to say to you, ‘No, that doesn’t work’ or, ‘Go away and write something,'” adds Angus: “Sometimes he would get stuck and he would go down to a club for the night and get lost but, as Mal said, he was there in the morning, putting those lyrics together.”

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