Happy B-day Back In Black! If you don't yet have this classic rocker, shake a leg, wake the dead, and get one already! According to a Revolver article just published, this gem came out on July 21, 1980 (according to the liner notes on mine it was July 25, 1980), months after Bon Scott's sad demise. This one will shake you all night long, give you Hell's Bells, cut your cake, and teach you a very important lesson you need to learn and understand in this life. ROCK AND ROLL AIN'T NOISE POLLUTION!
I have added some extra cover and inner sleeve pics. It appears there are 2 versions of the 1st press Australian album. Both are identical except for the outer and inner sleeves. The 2nd release has a textured embossed outer sleeve and sealed top opening envelope inner sleeve unlike the 1st version which has a flat outer sleeve which is slightly glossier than the 2nd version as well. The inner sleeve on version 1 is a gatefold as per the image vs the record envelope style on version 2. Also the paper is a heavier gauge for the gatefold inner vs the envelope inner. This could theoretically be given it's own release in the database but the vinyl appears to be identical.
Aussie one, Maxicut. First Mother, and the closest related records to the Father, Aussie presses are very very good, and they generally did not stretch the life of the stampers to far, because the population base was so small, they were not compelled to. Aussie issues on many many records are good to get for that very reason... you know that the overall quality of the issue is higher.
If they stretch the life of the stampers too far, it will lower the overall standard of the entire issue, and it is just pot luck whether you get the first stamp, or the 500th one. Its sort of an unwritten ideal to not stamp past 300 presses with a stamper, so if they stretch to 500 ..and beyond, then the quality will deplete....and the further you go, the faster it depletes.
These sort of generalisations are a bit dangerous, because technology changes the parameters considerably between the introduction of stereo in the mid sixties to the digital take over in the late eighties, but I think that they are pretty accurate for 1980... Aussie vinyl is a bit of a hidden treasure chest of high quality pressings... Aussies are a bit rough around the edges, but they are very musically motivated, and have never tolerated shit live performances... the pub scene for live music is utterly ruthless. the same can be said for quality vinyl.... such a small population is a massive advantage with mass produced vinyl.
I think this has to be AC/DC's best work. It was certainly their last one before they made a comeback with Razor's Edge. The performance on every song is outstanding and the guitar work is fantastic. AC/DC isn't very political so their message is always relevant: a somewhat hedonistic "let's have a good time".
& Uncredited Bon Scott might have helped write this one.
Landmark album, one of only a handful, which could be described as genre defining. Remembering clearly the excitement of opening the shrink wrap around this vinyl for the first time, and its still sounding as good as it did that day.
But, there’s something not quite right about this album.
Bon Scott is not credited with any of the writing on Back In Black. – IMO & in many others this was a big oversight. Many years later the band attempted to correct this with the inclusion of Back In Black on the Bonfire Box set. One clearly understands the presence of Atlantic Studios ’77 - Highway To Hell Outtakes – & Bon Scott’s Last Oui Oui, but why include Back In Black?
Many propagated the idea Bon wrote lyrics on this album because that writing style resembles what we’d all heard prior to Back In Black. Think the high standard set with Go Down, Gone Shootin’ , Problem Child, Touch Too Much.
The Brian, Angus & Malcolm combo write far differently, Guns For Hire, Thunderstruck, Hard As A Rock & We know from interviews with Cliff and Phil they are not involved too much with the whole writing & construction process.
To make comparisons with future material might help to confuse everyone further. There are tracks on For Those About To Rock, which for me echo a strong Bon quality Let Me Put My Love Into You. Put The Finger On You.
This is all pure conjecture until you examine the facts & witness testimonials. Bon wrote heaps of songs that never got used, probably the most available & acknowledge as a real corker is Carry Me Home. In addition there could exist recordings of AC DC with Bon performing “I’m A Rebel” – Young & Young didn’t like how this exercise worked out & the track found its way to Accept who went on to make it famous.
Malcolm Dome claims in 1980 Bon showed him notes in London’s Koko (then The Music Machine) and recalls reading “she told me to come, but I was already there.” Malcolm Young states Scott was working on drums (Have A Drink On Me/Let Me Put My Love Into You)in the studio last time he saw him, so perhaps Bon should be credited still further rather than not at all.
However you look at this Bon's body was discovered on 19th February 1980, the band took the painful & difficult decision to continue, & they play their first gig with Brian 29th June 1980. So its a fact that within four or so months the band recruited BJ, wrote, recorded, mixed, released (late July) and rehearsed the live performance of Back in Black, an album which without doubt contains some of the greatest rock tracks of all time & certainly serves as a "high point" in the band's carrier.
IMO This album is the cullmination of years of writing, working and handcrafted skill. The writing and compositions here are clever & would never be repeated.