Best of AC/DC: Brian Johnson Years

What isn’t mentioned much with the death of Bon Scott and the unreal success with his replacement, Brian Johnson, is that the band’s sound changes. On Back and Black, AC/DC no longer sounds like a great bar band, they sound like the tightest heavy metal group ever. Johnson’s screech and Mutt Lange’s crystal production doesn’t leave any room for sloppy sleaze. There is no time to waste on these songs. It’s hard to argue with the results.

**Notes: I’m doing 20 songs here, as the band has too much great stuff here to do 10. I could just put up Back in Black, as it’s a perfect record, but the band has other songs which are just as worthy. Make your own fucking list if you feel wronged. Thanks for reading:)

1. Hells Bells

Let the church bells ring. This kicks off Back and Black and declares that nothing is off the record, as the death of their former singer isn’t going to get in the way of them achieving world domination. The band was never more powerful than on this song, as Mutt Lange’s production choices are perfect.

2. Rock and Roll Pollution

This song is what AC/DC became under Brian Johnson. It was about celebrating hard rock music, with some sexual overtones thrown in for fun.

3. Nervous Shakedown

Easily the most underrated song of the band’s career. Who says the boys can’t be funky.  I’ll be damned.

4. Let Me Put My Love Into You

This is AC/DC’s version of a love song. Yes, I will admit Don’t You Struggle, Don’t You Fight…is an aggressive way of demonstrating tenderness, but Johnson sings soulfully when he offers Let Me Cut You Cake with My Knife.  I mean the guy is willing to give it ALL to you. How many men can really say that.

5. For Those About to Rock

If James Brown fronted a heavy metal band, this would be his closer. From the almost as good foll0w-up album to Back in Black, no wonder the band was saluting their fans. These fans had made them really fucking famous and really fucking rich. Set off a canon and fire!!!

6. Inject the Venom

Here’s the closest the band comes to making one of their slow blues stomps from their past. Johnson rips the lyrics, but I would’ve loved to have heard the Bon Scott version of it.

7. Givin’ the Dog a Bone

More misogynistic lyrics from the Aussies. My guess is that the band had to look up the word when they first read it in reviews and then responded with a Crikey, what a bunch of fuckin’ rubbish. I’m dryer than a dingo’s dong, let’s go get drunk and find some Sheila’s.

8. Have a Drink on Me

So are we going to become teetotalers after our former lead singer has an alcohol related death? Uh, nope. Hey, let’s get drunk and find some Sheila’s!

9. Back in Black

Who knows what exactly is happening in the song, but the song rocks your balls. Number 1 with a bullet, I’m a powerpack.

10. You Can’t Stop Rock and Roll

Best example that the band wasn’t totally living off it’s old catalogue. Check this one out.

11. Shake Your Foundations

A remix of a Fly on the Wall tune which appeared on the Who Made Who soundtrack, this comes out of the gate like a house on fire.

12. Flick of the Switch

Brian Johnson screams this from his balls like he’s fronting Accept.

13. Let’s Get It Up

Pretty simple song, but it’s hard to deny the catchy backbeat pushing this riff making your foot tap.

14.  Shoot to Thrill

A classic Angus rave-up with Brian screaming in perfect tune.

15. What Do You For Money

Listen to this song and ask yourself, was this the lyrical inspiration for Kanye’s Gold Digger?

16. Night of the Long Knives

Blues boogie with sinister intentions.

17. C.O.D.

This sounds like a great Gene Simmons song. Underrated.

18. Safe in New York City

This one just builds and builds. From the underrated Stiff Upper Lip record, which was their best overall record since For Those About to Rock.

19. Stiff Under Lip

This record shows their more bluesy side again, as they didn’t just to rewrite Back in Black like they had been doing for awhile.

20. Rock n’ Roll Train

Classic AC/DC released in 2008.  Black Ice is pretty hit or miss, as producer Brendan O’Brien overproduces it he often does, but this one rocks.

FINALLY, where the hell is You Shook Me All Night Long? Sorry, but I’ve heard it way too many times. It’s easily one of the bands 10 best songs, but I flip past it now when it comes on the radio, as I’m tired of it. So that’s why it isn’t on me list.


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