AC/DC is an Australian rock band formed in 1973 by Malcolm and Angus Young. They have been through many subgenres of rock, from hard rock to blues rock, even heavy metal. However, the duo simply labeled their music as rock and roll. AC/DC sold over 200 million records worldwide. They got the fourth place on VH1‘s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and 23rd place on the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. They became known outside the rock music community for songs like Highway to Hell, Back in Black, You Shook Me All Night Long. The two brothers chose the band name after the initials from a sewing machine. “AC/DC” was an abbreviation for “alternating current/direct current”. They thought the name resonated with the band’s energy so they chose a stylized voltage sign as their logo.
AC/DC released their debut album, High Voltage, only in Australia, in 1975. It wasn’t received well but at the same time, it wasn’t made with the best effort in mind. During that same year, they released a more popular single It’s a Long Way to the Top. Ulteriorly, they included the song on their second album, TNT. Their fame started to expand due to their frequent appearances on the national music show Countdown.
High Voltage – Back in Black
It was 1976 when AC/DC truly received recognition thanks to their compilation called High Voltage, under Atlantic Records‘ label. The success was sudden and the band sold over 3 million copies. One year later, the band went touring with Black Sabbath. In 1977 they released the album Powerage with a new bassist, the emblematic Cliff Williams, which added a heavier sound in the mix. Before Scott’s tragic demise, AC/DC had their major breakthrough, due to the release of Highway to Hell, in 1979. It was their first album to reach the top of the US charts.
Brian Johnson stepped in as vocalist after Bon Scott supposedly died of alcohol poisoning. Back in Black was the second-highest-selling album in history (after Michael Jackson’s Thriller) with 50 million copies. It reached numerous “best of” lists. The single You Shook Me All Night Long became AC/DC’s first Top 40 hit in the US. Rolling Stones named the album one of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
After going through some up and downs, AC/DC released the latest album, Rock or Bust, in 2014. It was the last album featuring Brian Johnson’s vocals. After 36 years of activity, he was forced to quit the band, because of an increasing hearing loss. That actually turned out for the best for AC/DC, as his replacement was none other than Guns N’ Roses‘ Axl Rose. This brought the band a wave of massive publicity. However, in 2016 AC/DC suffered another loss, with the retirement of Cliff Williams. He left stating that “I feel in my gut it’s the right thing.” Reports say that AC/DC is working on an 18th album, to be released in 2018.
Photo Source: Allmusic