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AC/DC (band)

AC/DC is a hard rock band formed in Sydney, Australia in 1973 by brothers Malcolm Young and Angus Young. The band has sold over 150 million albums worldwide and over 68 million albums in the United States[1], making them one of the most successful hard rock acts ever. Their 1980 album Back in Black has sold 42 million units worldwide (21 million in the US alone)[2] is the second highest selling album of all time [3]. and the biggest selling album by any band. In its recording career, the band has had two distinctive lead singers, and fans tend to divide its history into the 'Bon Scott era' (1974-80), and the 'Brian Johnson era' (1980-present).

Although the group is generally considered to be a pioneer of Hard rock and Heavy metal music along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath[4], the members have always referred to their music as Rock 'n' roll. The band accepts the title of 'hard rock' (they are ranked number 4 on VH1's '100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock')[5], but find being called metal offensive. At one point they were known as a punk band, which AC/DC also disagreed with.

Overall, AC/DC are the most successful and well-known band to originate from Australia. In 2005 the band finished second in a list of highest-earning entertainers from Australia – trailing only The Wiggles – despite neither releasing an album nor touring that year.[6]


Born in Glasgow, Scotland, brothers Angus, Malcolm and George Young moved, along with their family, to Sydney, Australia, in 1963, when they were all still young children. George began playing guitar first and became a member of Australia's most successful band during the 1960s with Harry Vanda, The Easybeats who were the first local rock act to score an international hit ("Friday On My Mind" in 1966). Malcolm and Angus soon followed in his footsteps. Malcolm first played with a Newcastle, New South Wales band called The Velvet Underground (not to be confused with the New York based Velvet Underground which included member Lou Reed).[7] In 1974 George Young was playing in an album of the Marcus Hook Roll Band called Tales Of Old Granddaddy when he invited Angus and Malcolm to show them what recording was all about.[8]

Early years

In November 1973, Malcolm and Angus Young started AC/DC, in which he played rhythm guitar and Angus played lead guitar. They recruited drummer Colin Burgess (ex-The Masters Apprentices), bassist Larry Van Kriedt, and vocalist Dave Evans. Altough they originally intended to have a keyboardist, the idea was dropped soon.[9] They played their first gig at a club called 'Chequers' in Sydney, Australia on New Year’s Eve, 1973.

The early lineups of the band changed often. Colin Burgess was sacked after passing out on stage (reportedly because someone spiked his drink), and a number of different bassists and drummers passed through the band over the next year, some lasting only a few weeks.

Another vital innovation was Angus Young's adoption of his now-famous school uniform as a regular stage outfit; the original was reputedly Angus' real uniform from his secondary school, Ashfield Boys High School, in Sydney. This idea was suggested by the Young brothers' sister, Margaret, but Angus has tried diferent costumes such as Zorro, Gorilla and Super-Ang.[9]

The Young brothers soon felt that Evans wasn't a suitable frontman for the group. According to them, he was more of a "glam rocker", inspired by the likes of Gary Glitter. Occasionally Evans would be replaced onstage by the band's first manager Dennis Laughlin, and when the band's chauffeur (and experienced vocalist) Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott met the Youngs and expressed an interest, it soon became apparent that Evans' time with AC/DC was coming to an end. Evans also had personal problems with Laughlin, which contributed to the ill-feeling towards him.

Origin Sydney, Australia
Country Australia
United Kingdom
Years active 1973 — Present
Genres Hard Rock
Rock and Roll
Blues Rock
Labels Albert, Atlantic, ATCO, Epic, Elektra, Eastwest, EMI
Members Angus Young — guitar
Malcolm Young — guitar
Brian Johnson — vocals
Cliff Williams — bass
Phil Rudd — drums
Past members Bon Scott Deceased
Dave Evans
Mark Evans
Simon Wright
Chris Slade

The Bon Scott era (1974-1980)

In September 1974, Dave Evans, was replaced by Bon Scott, former lead vocalist with The Spektors (1964-66), The Valentines (1966-70) and Fraternity (1970-73). This signified the beginning of the band's international success. With Evans, they had recorded one single, "Can I Sit Next To You"/"Rockin' In The Parlour". "Can I Sit Next To You" was eventually recorded with Bon Scott under the title "Can I Sit Next To You Girl".

By early 1975, the line-up had stabilised around Scott, the Young brothers, George Young (bass) and Tony Currenti (drums). By January, the Australian-only album entitled, High Voltage, was recorded based on instrumental songs written by the Young brothers and lyrics written by Scott. In 1975, the band release a single originally written for the High Voltage album, "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)", their perennial rock anthem, included on their second album T.N.T. which again was only released in Australia and New Zealand. The album also had another classic, "High Voltage". Between 1974 and 1978, aided by regular appearances on the nationally-broadcast TV pop music show, Molly Meldrum's Countdown, AC/DC became one of the most popular and successful acts in Australia.

International success (1976-1978)

AC/DC signed an international deal with Atlantic Records. They worked all over the UK and Europe to establish themselves, touring almost constantly and gaining invaluable experience on the stadium circuit supporting the top hard-rock acts of the day including Alice Cooper, Queen, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Nazareth, Foreigner, Thin Lizzy, Moxy, and The Who.

A compilation of tracks from the Australian LPs High Voltage and T.N.T. was released by Atlantic in 1976. The album was also called High Voltage, and eventually sold 3 million copies. The track selection of this album was in fact weighted towards the band's more recent T.N.T.. Their next album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, was released in the same year. Like its predecessor, this album exists in both Australian-only and international versions, track listings varied worldwide and the international version of the album was a compilation of tracks from the band's existing Australian LPs. The original Australian version includes their popular song Jailbreak, which is now more readily available on the 1984 compilation EP '74 Jailbreak and the 1991 Live album. Dirty Deeds didn't reach the US until 1981 (after Bon Scott's death), when AC/DC were at the peak of their popularity. After the recording of 1977's Let There Be Rock, bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams, who thereafter also shared background vocal duties with Malcom Young.

AC/DC first played in America on the radio station 'AM 600 WTAC' (based in Flint, Michigan). The station's manager, Peter C. Cavanaugh, booked the band to play in Flint's 'Capitol Theater' in the Fall of 1977. The opening act was The MC5 who were briefly reunited and agreed to play the event. AC/DC opened with their popular song, 'Live Wire' and closed with 'It's a Long Way to The Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)'. The entire event is chronicled in Cavanaugh's book. [10]

The band were tagged as a punk rock band by the British press, but they managed to survive the punk upheavals of 1976 and 1978. They also, gained a cult following in UK and Angus Young became notorious for mooning the audience. Their hard rock sound and Scott's image have been a significant influence for the frontman of the punk band Sex Pistols, lead singer Johnny Rotten. [11]

Highway to Hell (1979)

It was their sixth album, Highway To Hell, produced by Mutt Lange and released in 1979, that propelled them into the top ranks of hard rock acts; its anthemic title track is still a radio staple and is still widely popular in the U.S. This album was the first album not produced by Harry Vanda and George Young and the last to feature Bon Scott on vocals.

Bon Scott's death

Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980. He had passed out after a night of routine partying in London, and was left in a car owned by an acquaintance of his, named Alistair Kinnear. The next day, Bon was found unconscious by Kinnear and immediately rushed to the King's College hospital in Camberwell, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Although common folklore cites pulmonary aspiration of vomit as the cause of his death, the official cause was listed as "Acute alcohol poisoning" and "Death by Misadventure".[12] There are many inconsistencies in the official story, which in recent years have led to many conspiracy theories, many involving heroin overdoses. Some think it was murder, and that Bon Scott was killed by fumes from the exhaust being redistributed into the car, and some think Kinnear didn't even exist.[12] It should be noted, however, that Bon was asthmatic and the temperature was below freezing that morning.

Finding a new voice

After Bon Scott's death, the band members considered quitting, but they decided that Bon would have wanted AC/DC to continue. Shortly after, the band had lined up various candidates to replace Bon. Among them were ex-Back Street Crawler vocalist Terry Slesser, ex-Moxy vocalist Buzz Shearman and ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson.

With regard to Brian Johnson, Angus Young says: "I remember Bon playing me Little Richard and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing. And he says about that night, 'there's this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He's on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off - you couldn't get a better encore - they came in and wheeled the guy off!'" (Johnson was actually diagnosed with appendicitis later that night, which explains his writhing around on stage).

At the AC/DC audition Johnson sang two songs: "Whole Lotta Rosie" (from Let There Be Rock) and "Nutbush City Limits" (Ike & Tina Turner).[13] A few days later, the band told Johnson that he would be the new vocalist of AC/DC. Buzz Shearman had been suffering vocal cord problems for many years, which ruled him out. Terry Slesser was not too excited about the idea of joining an established band from the start, and instead went on to have a solo career and co-wrote Iron Maiden's song "A Rainbow's Gold" in 1984.

The Brian Johnson era (1980-present)

With Johnson, they completed the song-writing that was started while Bon Scott was still alive and began recording Back in Black, also produced by Lange. This became their biggest-selling album, a hard-rock landmark. The album's biggest hits were, "Hell's Bells", the title track and "You Shook Me All Night Long". The follow-up album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, released in 1981, also sold very well and was well received by critics.

Departure of Rudd (1983)

The band split with Lange for their self-produced 1983 album, Flick of the Switch. Amid rumours of alcoholism and drug-induced paranoia, drummer Phil Rudd left the band, during the recording of the album, after personal differences with Malcolm Young. Rudd was replaced by Simon Wright (formerly of 'Tytan'), after the band held an anonymous audition. With the new lineup, they recorded the less successful Fly on the Wall, produced by the Young brothers, in 1985. An ambitious series of music videos (featuring the band at a bar, playing five of the album's ten songs and supplemented by a variety of goings-on, including an animated fly) was also released.

In 1986, the group returned to the charts with the title track from Who Made Who, the soundtrack to Stephen King's film Maximum Overdrive. This album also included two new instrumentals along with previous hits, such as Hell's Bells and Ride On. In February 1988 AC/DC were inducted into ARIA Hall of Fame.

Regained popularity (1988-present)

The next album, Blow Up Your Video (1988) saw them reunited with their original producers, Harry Vanda and George Young. It had better sales than the band's two previous albums, scoring a British Top 20 single with "Heatseeker".

Following Blow Up Your Video, Wright left the group and was replaced by session veteran Chris Slade. Johnson was unavailable for several months so the Young brothers wrote all the songs for the next album themselves, as they would do for all subsequent releases. The new album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn, who had worked previously with Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi. Released in 1990, The Razors Edge was a big comeback for the band and included hits "Thunderstruck" and "Moneytalks". The album went multiplatinum and went into the top ten in the United States and elsewhere around the world.

By 1994, a sober Rudd had returned. The departure of Chris Slade was, however, amicable and mainly due to the band's strong wish to return with Rudd. According to Angus Young, Slade was the best musician in AC/DC, but the wish to regroup with Rudd was stronger. With the 1980–1983 lineup back, the group recorded Ballbreaker (1995) with hip hop and heavy metal producer Rick Rubin and Stiff Upper Lip (2000).

In 2002, Q magazine put AC/DC at the very top of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die" list. [14] AC/DC have entered into a long-term, multi-album deal for new recordings, which will be released through Epic Records.[15]

In 2003, Epic Records/Legacy Recordings released newly remastered AC/DC albums. These albums are a part of AC/DC's Remasters series. This included all the albums, except Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip. Ballbreaker was rereleased in 2005, and Stiff Upper Lip will be rereleased in 2010.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

During their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003, AC/DC performed "Highway To Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" with guest vocals by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, who inducted the band into the hall. Tyler also called the band's power chord ""The thunder from down under that gives you the second most powerful surge that can flow through your body."[16]

The band thanked their fans for their support in an acceptance speech and Brian Johnson quoted the band's 1977 song "Let There Be Rock," written by Bon Scott. "In the beginning, back in 1955, man didn't know about the rock 'n roll show and all that jive. The white man had the schmaltz, the black man had the blues, but no one knew what they was gonna do, but Tchaikovsky had the news, he said, let there be rock" he later said, "Bon Scott wrote that. And it's a real privilege to accept these awards tonight."

Recent events

In May 2003, Malcolm Young accepted the Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Service to Australian Music and paid special tribute to Bon Scott. That same year, the Recording Industry Association of America upgraded the group's US sales figures, increasing their cumulative sales from 46.5 million to 63 million, making AC/DC the fifth-best-selling band in US music history, behind The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Eagles. The RIAA also certified the classic Back in Black album as double diamond (20,000,000) US sales, making it the sixth-best-selling U.S. album in history. As of 2005, the album has sold 21 million copies, moving it into fifth place.

On July 30 of the same year, the band gave a performance with the Rolling Stones at Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, in Toronto, Canada. Held before an audience of 500,000, the concert was held to help the city overcome the effects of the 2003 SARS epidemic.

Helen of Troy musical

Johnson has long been working on a musical version of Helen of Troy with Sarasota Ballet coreographer Robert de Warren. The musical is a Les Miserables-style musical with rousing anthems, tender ballads and minimal dialogue. He conceived the project five or six years ago, with writers Ian La Frenais, Dick Clement and Brendan Healy after seeing Andrew Loyd Webber's musical Cats and describing it as "fucking shit, wrist-cuttingly bad".[17]

Malcolm McDowell, who recently made his recording debut singing one of the songs for the soundtrack in Brian's studio, has agreed to play Zeus. Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan and Bruce Vilanch are also set to participate.[18]

The full show didn't premiere yet, but a public premiere was given in New York on June 2005.


On 1 October 2004 Melbourne's road Corporation Lane was officially renamed "ACDC Lane" in honour of the band (street names in the City of Melbourne cannot contain the "/" character).

It is near Swanston Street, the location where, on the back of a truck, the band recorded their video for the 1975 hit "It's a Long Way to the Top".[19] There is another street named after the band in Leganιs, Spain (near Madrid) called 'Calle de AC/DC', close to other streets named after Iron Maiden and Spanish hard rock star, Rosendo.

Family Jewels box set

In March, 2005, an official two-disc DVD box-set containing music videos, live clips and promotional videos called Family Jewels was released. The first disc contains videos from the Bon Scott era (with live videos shot ten days before his death), and the second disc contains material from the Brian Johnson era.

New album

AC/DC are currently working on a new studio album, but as of now, no release date has been set. In a 2004 interview, Brian Johnson said he was handling lyrics, for the first time since the 1988 album, Blow Up Your Video. He also said Angus Young has written harder riffs than the ones who appeared on Stiff Upper Lip.[20] In a 2005 interview with Brian Johnson, he has confirmed that the band does not know where the album will be recorded and the producer is yet unknown, Malcolm Young stated that this new album "gotta be perfect". Also, it was announced that there was a possibility the next release could be a double album.[21][22]

In a recent interview on April 2006 with Guitarist magazine, Malcolm Young stated, "The band is currently recording and writing material for the eagerly anticipated next album." [23]


It has been said by Angus and Malcolm that the name's origins are from the back of their sister Margaret Young's sewing machine. In fact, the acronym "AC/DC" stands for "Alternating Current/Direct Current" which is used as an abbreviation to show that a given device that can run on either type of electrical current. In any case, the Young brothers liked the way that this name symbolized the band's raw energy and power-driven performances so the name stuck.[24]

It's also been said that the band was initially unaware of the bisexual connotation of the term and that public response finally brought it to their attention. Supposedly, this public perception was exacerbated by their early "glam rock" image, which included satin jumpsuits (common rock attire in the early 1970s) and other costumes including Angus' schoolboy persona. Many bands at the time, however, adopted a deliberately theatrical and androgynous look, including two of Malcolm's heroes: The Rolling Stones and Marc Bolan.

Some religious figures have suggested that the name stood for "Anti-Christ/Devil's Children", "After Christ/Devil Comes" or "Anti Christ/Death to Christ"; the rumour has long persisted among critics who, already disliking the band's image, use it to paint the band as Satanists. The band has stated this is not true and these accusations were laughed at (Malcolm adding, "Me mum would kill me for that!")[25]. The band also stated publicly, "We write songs like this to make a point and to give the listeners a picture in their minds." For example, the band states that Highway to Hell was written about touring on the roads of America, before they were highly popular.

The name AC/DC is pronounced one letter at a time, although the band is nicknamed by its Australian fans as "Acca Dacca", a parody of the AC/DC name. There is also a popular Canadian AC/DC tribute band known as BC/DC, after the province of British Columbia.

Band members

1973 - 1974
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Dave Evans — vocals
  • Larry Van Kriedt — bass
  • Colin Burgess — drums
  • Dave Evans — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Neil Smith — bass
  • Peter Clack — drums
  • Dave Evans — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Rob Bailey — bass
  • Peter Clack — drums
1974 - 1975
  • Dave Evans — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Rob Bailey — bass
  • Peter Clack — drums


  • George Young — bass (studio only)
  • Tony Currenti — drums (studio only)
  • Bon Scott — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Phil Rudd — drums


  • George Young — bass (occasional fill-in)
  • Larry Van Kriedt — bass (occasional fill-in)
  • Paul Matters — bass (occasional fill-in)
1975 - 1977
  • Bon Scott — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Mark Evans — bass
  • Phil Rudd — drums
1977 - 1980
  • Bon Scott — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Cliff Williams — bass / backing vocals
  • Phil Rudd — drums
1980 - 1983
  • Brian Johnson — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Cliff Williams — bass / backing vocals
  • Phil Rudd — drums
1983 - 1989
  • Brian Johnson — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Cliff Williams — bass / backing vocals
  • Simon Wright — drums
1989 - 1994
  • Brian Johnson — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Cliff Williams — bass / backing vocals
  • Chris Slade — drums
1994 - present
  • Brian Johnson — vocals
  • Angus Young — lead guitar
  • Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar / backing vocals
  • Cliff Williams — bass / backing vocals
  • Phil Rudd — drums


Studio albums

Title Release date Label U.S. Album Sales
High Voltage (Aus.) February 1975 Albert  
T.N.T. December 1975 Albert
High Voltage September 28 1976 Albert 3,000,000
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Aus.) September 1976 Albert
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap November 1976 Albert 6,000,000
Let There Be Rock (Aus.) March 1977 Atlantic
Let There Be Rock June 1977 Atlantic 2,000,000
Powerage May 1978 Atlantic 1,000,000
Highway To Hell July 1979 Atlantic 7,000,000
Back in Black July 1980 Atlantic 21,000,000
For Those About to Rock November 1981 Atlantic 4,000,000
Flick of the Switch April 1983 Atlantic 1,000,000
'74 Jailbreak October 1984 ATCO 1,000,000
Fly on the Wall June 1985 Atlantic 1,000,000
Who Made Who May 1986 Atlantic 5,000,000
Blow Up Your Video January 1988 Epic 2,000,000
The Razor's Edge September 1990 Atlantic 5,000,000
Ballbreaker September 1995 Elektra 2,000,000
Volts November 1997 Eastwest  
Stiff Upper Lip February 2000 EMI 1,000,000

Live albums

Title Release date Label Producer
If You Want Blood You've Got It October 1978 Atlantic / ATCO Vanda / Young
Live October 1992 Epic Bruce Fairbairn
Live: 2 CD Collector's Edition October 1992 Epic Bruce Fairbairn
Live from the Atlantic Studios November 1997 Eastwest George Young
Let There Be Rock: The Movie November 1997 Eastwest Tony Platt


1980: AC/DC: Let There Be Rock

1985: Fly on the Wall

1986: Who Made Who

1989: AC/DC (released only in Australia)

1991: Clipped

1991: Live at Donington

1993: For Those About to Rock We Salute You

1996: No Bull

2001: Stiff Upper Lip Live

2003: Live '77 (released only in Japan)

2004: Toronto Rocks

2005: Family Jewels


AC/DC has been mentioned by many contemporary and later hard rock, heavy metal (although they distanced themselves from this genre), and progressive rock bands as an influence, including Accept, Anthrax, Bon Jovi, Buckcherry, The Darkness, Def Leppard, Dio, Dokken, Dream Theater, Exodus, Faster Pussycat, Iron Maiden, Great White, Guns N' Roses, Hanoi Rocks, Journey, Megadeth, Metallica, Mφtley Crόe, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Ratt, Rhino Bucket, Saxon, Scorpions, Skid Row, Supagroup, Twisted Sister, UFO, Van Halen, Whitesnake, Wolfmother and Y&T.[26]

Many artists within the punk rock, hardcore punk, grunge, garage rock and alternative rock movements have also cited AC/DC as an influence. Whilst AC/DC themselves were initially critical of the British punk movement of the late 1970s, many artists within the scene drew on AC/DC's energetic, basic and (as some may argue) anti-commercialist approach to rock music.

AC/DC's legacy on the Australian music scene should not be underestimated. Virtually every Australian rock band to emerge since the mid 1970s has been influenced by AC/DC, including their 'contemporaries' within the Australian pub rock movement which emerged at the same time. Some of the notable Australian acts who have acknowledged the influence of AC/DC include Airbourne, Alchemist, Blood Duster, Dallas Crane, Frenzal Rhomb, Hard-Ons, INXS, Jet, The Living End, Midnight Oil, Mortal Sin, Powderfinger, Screaming Jets, Silverchair, Spiderbait, Wolfmother and You Am I.



AC/DC's incredible influence on the zeitgeist is nowhere more evident than in popular culture films. Beyond the influence of the music itself, Angus' school uniform and duck walk are a body of text often mimicked. So too the band's logo, which is often used in the fashion of anti social characters and parodied in movies.

  • Mad Max (1979) [1] - the character known as 'Nightrider' quotes some of the lyrics from AC/DC's tune "Rocker".
  • Sixteen Candles (1984) [2] - In the scene where the Baker family is waking up/running around getting ready for the day, you can hear "Snowballed" playing in the bedroom of Molly Ringwald's character's brother.
  • Maximum Overdrive (1986) [3] - AC/DC's album Who Made Who is the soundtrack for this film; a VW MiniBus in the opening scenes is seen to have the logo of AC/DC painted on the side.
  • Empire Records (1995) [4] - Anthony LaPaglia's character plays the song "If You Want Blood, You've Got It" on the drums, in a fit of anger.
  • Idiot Box (1996) [5] - in several scenes, Ben Meldonson's character wears a T-shirt bearing the logo 'RIP Bon Scott'.
  • School of Rock (2003) [6] - Jack Black's character Dewey Finn wears an Angus Young schoolboy outfit, for the concert finale of the movie.
  • The Pacifier (2005) [7] - The older sister wears a pink AC/DC shirt at a house party her boyfriend throws.
  • The character 'Butthead', in the animated television series Beavis and Butthead, always wears an AC/DC T-shirt.
  • Thunderstruck (2004) [8] - 'After a near death experience, five boys, all devoted AC/DC fans, make a pact to bury their best friend next to the grave of Bon Scott. 12 years later, having gone their different ways, they come together to fulfill the promise.'
  • Kicking and Screaming (2005) - One of the soccer players wears an AC/DC shirt in many of his scenes.
  • Rock Star (2001) [9] - In the scene where Chris gets his nipple pierced, "Are You Ready" can be heard playing in the background.
  • in TV show My Name Is Earl, main character Earl has a list of regrets for which he seeks forgiveness from family and friends. Number 98 on the list is not taking his two sons to an amusement park because he saw an AC/DC concert instead.
  • In an episode of the TV show The Simpsons, Otto, the bus driver, asked Lisa to spell AC/DC.
  • In the American Dad episode "Francine's Flashback," there is an AC/DC poster hanging on a wall in Francine's old apartment.

Tributes by other artists

Many artists have paid tribute to the works of AC/DC, and many tribute albums have also been issued. The list is very extensive - examples include the following:

  • Thrash metal group Exodus covered two songs, "Overdose" (on their 1989 album Fabulous Disaster) and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (on the digipack version of their 2004 album Tempo of the Damned)
  • Rock group Guns N' Roses have played "Whole Lotta Rosie" live and included the song on a "Welcome to the Jungle" single. [27]
  • The Pop punk band The Offspring covered the song "Sin City". It is on the 2001's Million Miles Away Single. [28]
  • Marilyn Manson have played a version of "Highway to Hell" for the Kiss film Detroit Rock City. [29]
  • In 1989 or 1990, the Canadian heavy metal group Annihilator released a song cover of "Live Wire" and appeared on their 1996 live album In Command.
  • A drawing of Angus Young can be seen on the cover the 1994 album Dookie by Green Day. He is on top of the red building on the right, right behind the dogs pouring brown matter into the street. [30]
  • Power metal group Iced Earth covered two songs "Highway to Hell" and "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)" on the 2002 covers album Tribute to the Gods.
  • 2004 saw the release of a tribute to AC/DC album The Rock-A-Billy Tribute to AC/DC.
  • The Colombian singer Shakira covered the song "Back in Black" in her live CD and DVD Live & Off the Record.
  • The garage rock band The Hives covered the song "Back in Black".
  • In 2005, Nerf Herder frontman Parry Gripp released his first solo album titled For Those About to Shop, We Salute You as a parody of the title For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). The album cover is also parody of the international version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. [31]
  • The rock band Foo Fighters performed a cover of AC/DC's Back in Black, with Jack Black providing lead vocals in the MTV coverage of the 2001 New Year's Eve.
  • Motφrhead covered the songs "Highway To Hell" and "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)".
  • Danish death metal band Illdisposed covered Beating Around The Bush on their 2000 release Retro.
  • American Bluegrass band Hayseed Dixie released the album A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC, which was a cover of many of the band's greatest hits. [32]
  • The movie School of Rock featured a cover of It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll). This song is featured on the soundtrack. (The movie also features the original version of For Those About To Rock (We Salute You), though this doesn't appear on the soundtrack.) Jack Black dresses in a Angus Young type schoolboy outfit for concert finale'.
  • Sprung Monkey performed a cover of "Thunderstruck", the latter part of the song incorporating AC/DC lyrics from other songs such as "Big Balls" and "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)". This song appears on the soundtrack for Varsity Blues. [33]
  • Mark Kozelek performed three covers on his EP Rock 'N' Roll Singer.[34] The covers were radically interpreted into a "folk ballad" style. They were so well-received that he decided to do a whole album of AC/DC covers. The album was titled What's Next To The Moon. [35]
  • The US death metal band Six Feet Under covered the song "T.N.T." on their album Graveyard Classic[36] and recorded the entire Back in Black album as Graveyard Classics 2 in 2004.[37]
  • Living Colour recorded a cover version of "Back In Black" for their 2004 reunion album, CollideΨscope.
  • Quiet Riot performed a cover of "Highway To Hell" on their album Alive and Well.
  • In 1998, serveral artists collaborated on a tribute called Thunderbolt. Some of the musicians are Sebastian Bach, Joe Lynn Turner, Jack Russell, John Corabi (Ex-Mφtley Crόe member) and Ugly Kid Joe (Also known as The Sensational Whiskiteer Band). [38]
  • John Farnham covered "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll)" for his Age of Reason album. [39]
  • You Am I with Tex Perkins on vocals covered "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" for the Dirty Deeds motion picture soundtrack in 2002. [40]
  • Cult Australian punk rock band The Hard Ons covered "Let there be Rock" with Henry Rollins on vocals. [41]
  • An Australian tribute album called Fuse Box release in 1995 [42] featured 17 Australian bands covering their favourite tracks. A famous highlight was Aboriginal band Yothu Yindi's cover of "Jailbreak". Singer Mandawuy Yunupingu made a very cheeky stab at the issue of Aboriginal deaths in police custody, by changing a lyric to "And he got out... With a Sheet around his neck", instead of "...a bullet in his back".
  • In 2006, all-star rock band Damnocracy, from VH1's reality show Supergroup featuring Ted Nugent among others did covers of AC/DC's "Sin City" and "T.N.T."
  • On the Twisted Sister tribute album Twisted Forever, the final track is Twisted Sister performing the AC/DC song "Sin City".


  1. ^ Top Artists. RIAA.
  2. ^ Top Albums. RIAA.
  3. ^ Record Breakers and Trivia : Albums
  4. ^ AC/DC Biography.
  5. ^ 100 Greatest artists of hard rock.
  6. ^ Wiggles wriggle back into top spot.
  7. ^ The Velvet Underground. Urban Dictonary.
  8. ^ History of Albert Music.
  9. ^ a b What really happened 25 years ago?. No Nosense AC/DC Webzine.
  10. ^ Peter Cavanaugh. Wild Wednesday.
  11. ^ AC/DC Biography. The Tab World.
  12. ^ a b 25 years on, AC/DC fans recall how wild rocker met his end. Guardian Unlimited.
  13. ^ Brian Johnson at AllExperts.
  14. ^ 50 Bands to See Before You Die. All experts.
  15. ^ AC/DC Sign big contract with Sony. Chart Attack.
  16. ^ Rock and roll hall of fame open doors.
  17. ^ Brian Johnson, Information from
  18. ^ Classic Rock magazine, October 2003
  19. ^ Lane way to the top for AC/DC.
  20. ^ Italian Rock Hard magazine, January 2004
  21. ^ AC/DC's New Album Is 'Gotta Be Perfect'.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ AC/DC information at
  26. ^ MUSICMATCH Guide: AC/DC.
  27. ^ Guns N' Roses singles. Here Today... Gone to Hell.
  28. ^ The Offspring - Million Miles Away single.
  29. ^ Covers by Marilyn Manson.
  30. ^ Billie Joe Explains Dookie's Cover.
  31. ^ Parry Gripp - For Those About to Shop.
  32. ^ Hayseed Dixie - A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC.
  33. ^ Varsity Blues Soundtrack.
  34. ^ Mark Kozelek - Rock 'n' Roll Singer EP..
  35. ^ Mark Kozelek - What's Next To The Moon.
  36. ^ Six Feet Under - Graveyard Classics.
  37. ^ Six Feet Under - Graveyard Classics vol. 2.
  38. ^ Thunderbolt: A Tribute to AC/DC.
  39. ^ John Farnham - Age of Reason.
  40. ^ Dirty Deeds Soundtrack.
  41. ^ HardOns Discography. HardOns Official Site.
  42. ^ Fuse Box - An AC/DC tribute. The Kuepper Files.

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