AC/DC: A Long Way to the Top

AC/DC: A Long Way to the Top

AC/DC, formed in 1973, is a rock band hailing from Australia. It was formed by brothers Angus and Malcom Young. Their style can be described as hard rock/blues, and they have also been classified as a heavy metal band, but they prefer to simply call their brand of music “rock and roll.”

After several line-up changes in the early years, the band released High Voltage in 1975. After recording their second album, Highway to Hell, lead singer Bon Scott died after a night of excessive alcohol consumption on February 19, 1980. In the wake of Scott’s death the group decided to find a new lead vocalist and to continue on. Brian Johnson, former lead singer of the band Geordie, was installed as Bon Scott’s replacement. Soon afterward, they recorded and released Back in Black, which was a tribute to Bon Scott. Back in Black catapulted the band to a new level of success, and became an instant classic, and, eventually, the band’s all-time best selling album.

Through the ensuing years, the band had several line-up changes, including Simon Wright replacing drummer Phil Rudd, and Rudd’s return to the fold in 1994. In 2014, Malcom Young retired after being diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Brian Johnson, in 2016, retired due to worsening hearing loss. He was replaced by Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses front man) for the remainder of the Rock Or Bust tour dates in 2016. The tour ended with the departure and retirement of bassist Cliff Williams.

Through the years, AC/DC has had worldwide album sales of more than 200 million records, 71.5 million of which were sold in the United States. They are one of the best-selling music artists in the world. To date, Back in Black has estimated sales of 50 million units worldwide, and is listed as the second-highest-selling album by any musical artist, and the highest-selling album by any band. In 2010, AC/DC were listed by VH1 as one of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”