Best Songs Ever: AC/DC 'Back In Black'

4/5/13

In late 1980, AC/DC set about writing a tribute song to their incredible front man, Bon Scott, who had died from alcohol poisoning earlier that year. The band's new lead singer, Brian Johnson, wrote the ferocious lyrics, while guitarist, Malcolm Young, contributed the iconic guitar riff – a lick that he had been warming up with for several years. The result was today's Best Songs Ever, 'Back In Black' - a frankly timeless chugger that simultaneously captured Bon Scott's audacious spirit and signalled a thrilling new direction for AC/DC:

'Back In Black' is lifted from AC/DC's sixth album of the same name - the second best-selling album of all time after Thriller. In 1981, the song peaked at #37 on the Hot 100 and in 2004, it was ranked at #187 on Rolling Stone magazine's The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list.

The song has since been covered by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse, Foo Fighters and, for some strange fucking reason, Shakira. In 1985, Beastie Boys were forced to withdraw 'Rock Hard' from the shelves after they sampled 'Back In Black' without AC/DC's consent. For shame, Missy Elliott and Eminem did get the band's permission. The song has also appeared in the films Iron Man, The Smurfs and The Muppets. We don't get it, either.

In 2009, AC/DC's almighty concert at Argentina's Club Atlético River Plate was transformed into the live DVD, Live at River Plate. Turns out, AC/DC still know how to rock a stadium's ass off. Get a load of the pit during 'Back In Black.' Brutal:

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Lyrics:

Back in black
I hit the sack
I've been too long I'm glad to be back
Yes I'm, let loose
From the noose
That's kept me hanging about
I keep looking at the sky
'Cause it's gettin' me high
Forget the herse 'cause I'll never die
I got nine lives
Cat's eyes
Usin' every one of them and running wild

'Cause I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back, back
(Well) I'm back in black
Yes, I'm back in black

Back in the back
Of a Cadillac
Number one with a bullet, I'm a power pack
Yes, I'm in a bang
With a gang
They've got to catch me if they want me to hang
Cause I'm back on the track
And I'm leadin' the pack
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I'm just makin' my play
Don't try to push your luck, just get out of my way

'Cause I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back
Yes, I'm back
Well, I'm back, back
(Well) I'm back in black
Yes, I'm back in black

Well, I'm back, Yes I'm back
Well, I'm back, Yes I'm back
Well, I'm back, back
Well I'm back in black
Yes I'm back in black

Hooo yeah
Ohh yeah
Yes I am
Oooh yeah, yeah Oh yeah
Back in now
Well I'm back, I'm back
Back, I'm back
Back, I'm back
Back, I'm back
Back, I'm back
Back
Back in black
Yes I'm back in black

Outta sight