After AC/DC’s original singer, Bon Scott's untimely death in February, the band was faced with an ultimatum, to disband, or to try and find a replacement and continue. They decided to continue, and it was with none other than Brian Johnson, who had fronted the English rock group Geordie for a good part of the 70's. Brian fit into the fold in a way that no other really could have. He had the right stage presence, and an incredible range just like Bon's, yet, a different enough voice to accommodate the bands intense guitar sound without sounding like an imitator. AC/DC were back, and they did it in a big way.
Brian was announced as AC/DC's new singer in April, and the band went to Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas to begin writing and recording. The album was released as a tribute to Bon, housed in a plain black sleeve, with an embossed logo, simple, but very powerful. The introduction is the ominous "Hells Bells" with 13 tolls sounding out, as a salute to their lost comrade, and as a right back at you stiff upper lip attitude to the religious groups that had protested the bands "Highway To Hell" a year earlier.
To date, "Back In Black" is AC/DC's biggest selling album in their discography. The album is also rock music's biggest selling album of all time, as well as the largest selling album by any group, ever. "Back In Black" has sold over 50 million copies worldwide, and counting. It is only 2nd to Michael Jackson's "Thriller", selling more copies than any album by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Queen, The Eagles, or any other artist in the world. AC/DC's "Back In Black" has also notched its way to the top in US album sales, ranking as the fourth best selling album in U.S. history, with 22 million copies sold in the USA alone. When Bon Scott penned the words "It's A Long Way To The Top, If You Wanna Rock n Roll" he knew deep down that AC/DC would be one day destined for the top.