Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer School of Rock - AC/DC

Apparently when you take a pair of brothers from Scotland and move them to Australia, you get one of the most successful rock and roll bands in history.

Angus and Macolm Young, those brothers, are the only two members who have been with the band since it's inception in 1974.  They chose the name AC/DC in reference to electrical currents, and their energy as a band.

They went through quite a few lineups in the early days, and became famous in Australia pretty quickly.  In 1976, they signed an international deal with Atlantic Records and went on tour with bands like Aerosmith, Black Sabbath and Cheap Trick.  They were regarded mostly as a punk band back then, and adopted their trademark school uniform look.

Highway to Hell, released in 1979, was their breakout album in the United States, and demonstrated their shift towards pure rock.  In 1980 Bon Scott, at the time the lead singer, died of alcohol poisoning.  The band regrouped and chose Brian Johnson as their new front man.

Back in Black was recorded with the new man on vocals, and is by far, their biggest commercial success.  The album is the second highest selling of all time in the entire world, behind only Thriller.  It spawned hit songs like Back in Black, You Shook Me All Night Long and Hells Bells - one of my personal favorites.

Incidentally, if you lived in San Diego in the late 90's/early 2000's, the song is inseparable from Padres pitcher Trevor Hoffman.  He was a kick ass reliever, and this song accompanied his walk to the mound.  It spelled certain doom for any visiting team.  This kind of stuff could make anyone a sports fan.  Good lord, I miss Trevor Time.

AC/DC would never come close to the sales of that album, but later ones would still do well, notably The Razors Edge in 1990 that had a few hits including Thunderstruck.  That song is the theme of the Denver Broncos mascot Thunder...are you sensing a pattern yet?

It's impossible to think about sports in my life without AC/DC.  Those bells, those chords, they can only mean one thing.


They were rightfully inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, and are still kicking ass.  Rumored to be recording another album, their eager crowd awaits.

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