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AC/DC

Australian hard rock group responsible for the most steamy and open rhythms the genre produces. Its appeal was partly determined by the eccentric act of guitarist Angus Young, who was always dressed in a boarding school uniform, constantly running back and forth during performances, rolling around the stage and even playing from singer Bon Scott's neck.

AC/DC’s music is fairly simple and is preferably performed at a very high volume. 

AC/DC was formed in Sydney in '74 by the Young brothers, who had emigrated from Scotland, their fellow countryman Bon Scott (9-7-46, vocals) and the Australians Malt Evans (bass) and Phil Rudd (ex-Buster Brown). Through performances in small clubs the group quickly acquired a large fan base and it was not long before HIGH VOLTAGE was released. The eight-minute single Baby Please Don't Go, taken from the album, was number 1 in Australia for weeks and the AC/DC name became a household name.

Under the direction of composer and producer duo Harry Vanda & George Young, T.N.T. and DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP the band was a major success in Australia. In '76 the group left for England and continental Europe, after which LET THERE BE ROCK was released. When they started touring the United States, AC/DC slowly grew into one of the most important hard rock acts.

After Mark Evans was replaced by the English immigrant Cliff Williams, POWERAGE and the excellent live recording IF YOU WANT BLOOD YOU'VE GOT IT were released. Via the hit singles Whole Lotta Rosie and Rock 'N Roll Damnation the group also broke through in the Netherlands and in the autumn of '78 they played two very successful gigs in the Netherlands. Summer '79 saw the release of HIGHWAY TO HELL, the best selling AC/DC record up to that time.

On February 19, '80, Bon Scott died very unexpectedly due to excessive alcohol consumption. The group retreated for a while, but decided to continue with the Englishman Brian Johnson, whose antecedents as singer of the Slade-like group Geordie can be heard on HOPE YOU LIKE IT to SAVE THE WORLD. Although Johnson was nowhere near the charisma of Bon Scott, BACK IN BLACK soon became the most successful AC/DC record until then. Especially in the United States, the group had a huge breakthrough and FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK WE SALUTE YOU can clearly be seen as a consolidation of this status.

In '83, the last remaining Australian in the company, Phil Rudd, was replaced by Briton Simon Wright and the band fell somewhat into disrepair. The remarkably quieter FLICK OF THE SWITCH, for example, lacked the razor-sharp, transparent chord progressions that had become the group's trademark. Moreover, the weak production (done by the group itself for the first time), didn’t contribute to a good end result.

On FLY ON THE WALL, things were again considerably better under control. So much so that horror writer and director Stephen King asked the band to provide the soundtrack for his film Maximum Overdrive: WHO MADE WHO. The album contained six old AC/DC crackers as well as three new ones, produced by Vanda and Young for the first time in years. The renewed collaboration worked out so well that the producer team was also brought in for BLOW UP YOUR VIDEO. This resulted in the best album since FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK WE SALUTE YOU. In particular, Simon Wright helped create greater variety of tempo, better dynamics and more inventive drumming than in the past. During the tour to promote this record, Malcolm Young was out of the running for a while due to drinking problems. His cousin Stevie (ex-Starlighters) replaced him, but Malcolm was back on the Bruce Fairbairn-produced THE RAZORS EDGE. At this point Wright switched to Dio and he was replaced by the bald Chris Spade (ex-Manfred Mann's Earth Band, ex-The Firm), who immediately came to prominence in the magisterially filmed music video for the song Thunderstruck.

Thunderstruck became AC/DC's first Dutch hit in over a decade. The concert in the Leiden Groenoordhal, April '91, sold out in no time. The concert promoters then decided to let the band headline the Monsters Of Rock spectacle of '91.

The convincing live sound of AC/DC was underlined once again with LIVE, which was available in both single and double CD versions. Not to mention the accompanying

(Live At Donington) video. September '95 finally saw the release of another studio album, BALLBREAKER, on which Chris Slade was replaced by first-time drummer Phil Rudd. On this Rick Rubin-produced BALLBREAKER the Aussies also returned to the Bon Scott era in terms of atmosphere: blues & guitar playing and minimal effects. Enough reason to spoil over sixteen thousand people in May '96 with a performance in the Prince of Orange Hall in Utrecht, which was part of a year-long world tour. People at home can still comfort themselves with the two-hour video No Bull.

Because no new CD was available, BONFIRE was released at the end of '97. This box set consisted of four (or five, if you paid extra) CDs and was a tribute to the singer Ronald Belford Scott, who died seventeen years earlier. BONFIRE contains recordings that were never released before (and therefore rare) on which Scott can be heard, as well as a lot of live material. In May '99 the band worked hard on a new studio album, which was released almost a year later.

Opinions are divided about STIFF UPPER LIP, but the fact is that this CD partly goes back to the old familiar AC/DC sound and even contains some blues-rock songs. This was partly thanks to producer George Young - the older brother of Angus and Malcolm - who, since BLOW UP YOUR VIDEO, was once again operating the shutters for AC/DC (at the Warehouse studio in Vancouver, Canada). George Young, however, did not succeed in getting the most out of the band, as the predominantly slow tempo of STIFF UPPER LIP shows. That the pace remained high during concerts, however, was evident at the show in Ghent in October '00. During this performance a fan died by falling from an eight meter high balcony.

In '01 the DVD No Bull, Live-Plaza de Toms, Madrid was released. At the end of that year or again a (very well done) DVD was released: Stiff Upper Lip, which recorded a concert in Munich that the band gave in June '01. In the meantime Brian Johnson had been busy: in October '01 he started up his old band Geordie again for a small club/pub tour in England and six months later he could be heard on a CD of the band Jackyl.

The year 2002 was a relatively quiet year for the band, but the devil was in the tail. In December '02 the band ended its 26-year relationship with Warner and signed a new deal with Epic/Sony, which reissued no less than 16 albums - with or without a DVD. This was for the fans, because there were six long years between the last feat STIFF UPPER LIP and the expected release of the new CD. These re-releases  pushed the already high number of sold CDs even further and for BACK IN BLACK 21 million CD’s were sold in America alone. This made BACK IN BLACK the fifth best-selling album ever in America and brought the total AC/DC sales to 66 million.

The recognition of the band did not only come from the financial corner. In the spring of 2003 the band was immortalized in the New York Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and at the end of 2004 Melbourne City Council decided to rename Corporation Lane - ACDC Lane.

In 2006 a new CD, which was recorded largely in England during 2005, saw the light of day. A number of tribute CDs were also released, such as AC/DC WE SALUTE YOU, LET THERE BE ROCKABILLY: THE TRIBUTE TO AC/DC and BLACK 'N BLUEGRASS - THE BLUEGRASS TRIBUTE TO AC/DC as well as the excellent double (partly live) DVD Family Jewels, of which the first disc focused on the Bon Scott period 1975-80 and the second DVD-disc, with Johnson as singer, covers the period from 1980 to 1991.

Family Jewels stormed to the first place of the music video/DVD charts in 14 countries instantaneously; in America, Australia, Canada, Germany and England among others. There was also talk of a simultaneous release of a book and DVD entitled Inside AC/DC, but halfway through 2005 this was postponed. In 2004 and 2005 the re-release funnel remained open, from which the CDs Live At Donington (this time as a DVD), Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Bp in England are released.

Speaking of shows, in Maarl 2003 the downunders almost gave a private concert for 175 lucky people in New York's Roseland Ballroom. This feat was so well received that AC/DC repeated it in Germany in the summer of 2003 with two "intimate" concerts ("only" for 3500 and 1800 visitors respectively). Some fans, flying in from all over Europe, even had to queue up for 80 hours for these shows.

The most loyal English fans got to see the band in October 2003 at the Apollo Hammersmith. That same year, the band shared the stage with the Rolling Stones in Germany, as well as in Downsview Park for the Sarsfest in Canada, which half a million people watched. Naturally, this Canadian concert was also immortalised, appearing in DVD form in June 2004 under the name Toronto Rocks. The fact that Johnson had more energy than is purely required for AC/DC was demonstrated by the fact that he had already been working for a couple of years on the rock opera cum musical Helen Of Troy. Not only was Johnson writing the script and songs (backed by Geordie band members Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais), he was even flying to Greece in 2004 to follow Helen's footsteps for a week and learn some historical facts. Johnson's visit appeared first on TV and later on the DVD that bears the working title AC/DC's Brian Johnson - Goddess Odyssey - Path Of Helen Of Troy. Since he remained a hard rocker at heart, Johnson helped provide the Florida based band Big Machine (a brainchild of his old buddy Doug Kaye) with songs, and gave an act during a show of this band in 2005. Steve Luongo, formerly drummer with the John Entwistle Band (see THE WHO), managed to persuade Cliff Williams and Brian Johnson to join him and guitarist Mark Hitt to form a band to participate in the charity tour Classic Rock Cares for the John Entwistle Foundation. The band was not named and, in addition to AC/DC material, played a few self-written songs.

Angus Young was in the news in 2007 when neighbours complained about his immense house, including studio, in Aalten where he sometimes lived with his Dutch wife. The guitarist was found to be Dutch enough to be included in the list of 500 richest Dutchmen.

At the end of '08 a new album was finally released. BLACK ICE was an album with which the gentlemen prove that they still have a perfect grasp of the old sound. A sound that continued to earn them many new fans and renewed recognition. With their Rock 'n Roll Train, AC/DC came to the Netherlands in '09 for two successful gigs and with no sign of any metal fatigue in their fingers.

  • AC/DC – T.N.T. (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – T.N.T. (VG/VG)

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  • AC/DC – Who Made Who (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Who Made Who (VG+/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Fly On The Wall (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Fly On The Wall (VG+/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Blow Up Your Video (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Blow Up Your Video (VG+/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Back In Black (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Back In Black (VG+/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Powerage (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Powerage (NM/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Let There Be Rock (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Let There Be Rock (VG+/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Back In Black (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Back In Black (VG/G+)

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  • AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (G+/VG)

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  • AC/DC – Let There Be Rock (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Let There Be Rock (VG/VG+)

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  • AC/DC – Powerage (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Powerage (VG+/VG)

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  • AC/DC – Highway To Hell (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Highway To Hell (VG+/VG+)

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  • Sink The Pink – AC/DC (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Sink The Pink (VG+/Generic)

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  • AC/DC – Highway To Hell (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Highway To Hell

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  • AC/DC – Back In Black (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Back In Black

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  • AC/DC – Pwr/Up (LP, Vinyl Record Album)
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    AC/DC – Power Up

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  • That's The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll – AC/DC (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – That's The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll (VG+/Generic)

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  • Danger – AC/DC (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Danger (NM/Generic)

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  • Jailbreak – AC/DC (LP, Vinyl Record Album)

    AC/DC – Jailbreak (VG+/Generic)

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  • Let There Be Rock – AC/DC (Vinyl record)

    Let There Be Rock – AC/DC

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  • Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC (Vinyl record)

    Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC

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  • High Voltage – AC/DC (Vinyl record)

    High Voltage – AC/DC

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