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162 of 172 found the following review helpful:
The Quintessential AC/DC Album Is Now Even Better! Mar 08, 2003
Released in 1980, "Back In Black" featured new lead singer Brian Johnson who replaced former singer Bonn Scott who died months earlier. With the death of Scott, there were sceptics that thought this was the end of the hard rocking Aussy band. But to their surprise "Back In Black" was a huge success with absolutely no filler tracks. The album produced a number of hits with the title "Back In Black", "Hells Bells" and "You Shook Me All Night Long". In my opinion some of the best songs on the album were not hits such as "Shoot To Thrill", "What Do You Do For Money Honey" and "Shake A Leg". With the addition of Johnson to the line up the band seemed to be stronger than ever, and Angus Young's guitar licks are absolutely amazing. Just listen to the lead guitar in "Shake A Leg" and I'm sure you'd agree. Numerous soundtracks have included AC/DC songs from this album, notably the Steven King film "Maximum Overdrive" which featured "Hells Bells" and "You Shook Me All Night Long". This newley remastered edition of "Back In Black" now on the Epic Label surpasses the older 1994 remastered version in that the volume is pumped up higher, there's definately more bottom end and mid-range. I actually listened to both versions of the disc and this new one blows the other away. The digipack that stores the new remastered version is attractive and there's an excellent booklet inclosed with color photos, etc. of the band. If you want to hear hard rock the way it was meant to be then pick this superb cd up and enjoy.
93 of 103 found the following review helpful:
"Back in Black" - Remastered. May 18, 2003
By The Groove
At this point, I really don't need to tell you the story behind "Back in Black." You already know that it's the first AC/DC album since founding member Bon Scott's death and the first featuring replacing singer Brian Johnson. You already know that it's one of the biggest-selling albums around the world. And you already know that it's the Aussie-based group's best album to date. What you may NOT know is that the repackaged and remastered edition is a must-have, even if you already own prior versions on LP, cassette, or CD. Re-released around the time the band received Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, "Back in Black" appears in a Digipak cover with cool photos of the band, as well as a nice booklet with more pictures and a well written commentary by Rolling Stone veteran editor David Fricke. And the sound quality? I personally listened to the previous CD edition and this version back to back, and not only can you hear the difference but also FEEL the difference. The new version projects with more force and clarity. The previous CD was okay as it was, but Sony really took it to a whole new level. You'll get to hear tracks like "Hells Bells," "Back in Back" and "Shoot to Thrill" like you never heard them before. So this review should end any speculation as to whether you should buy "Back in Black" again. You can never own too many copies of an album like this, and Sony gave it the upgrade it richly deserves.
34 of 36 found the following review helpful:
AN ALL-TIME CLASSIC JUST GOT BETTER!!! Feb 18, 2003
By Larry Davis
OK, firstly, AC/DC's catalogue is now going through Epic/Sony, after 20+ years of being in the Warner family. Now, hearing these new reissues, esp. "Back In Black", is like having a wool blanket removed from the speakers. These are taken from the original 2-track masters, first time ever, and the difference really shows!! This doesn't sound like an album recorded 23 years ago!! It sounds like it was recorded just yesterday!! As a result, you can file AC/DC's "Back In Black" under the category TIMELESS PURE UNADULTERATED ROCK N ROLL!!
Produced by UBERPRODUCER Robert John "Mutt" Lange, aka Mr Shania Twain, this album, and the 1 before + one after, are what gave him his reputation as a producer. As later with Def Leppard, Foreigner and especially Shania Twain, Mutt's trademarks are the boosting of the middleranges and emphasis on lead vocals + backing GANG vocals. This really shows on BIB, and you can hear this influence on those later records. Basically, the guy deserves his wealth, as he knew what he was doing, and this album is just very well-done, period.
The band is at the top of their game as well, which really was a miracle, considering the circumstances. The great Bon Scott dying tragically, and getting the whiskey-soaked Brian Johnson, formerly of Geordie, to take his place. This coulda been a disaster bar none, but Brian was a perfect fit, still with the band to this day, the album was a masterpiece, songwriting, performance-wise, and production-wise, and this all happened as their popularity just exploded!!
Every song is a gem, a perfect example of pure, pull-no-punches, back-to-basics, bluesy rock + roll. It seems like every song here was a hit too, as each one had it's share of airplay on rock radio, plus 2 singles made the US Top 40!! The songs never grow old either, don't sound dated or show their age. Every song works on their own as a single, yet flow masterfully from beginning to end as a complete work. Basically, the album was flawless, is flawless, and will continue to BE flawless!! It's one of those albums, where if someone asks you what rock + roll is, you can play him/her this album, and you can say "here's your answer". From the doomy opening "Hells Bells" to the catchy energetic "Shoot To Thrill" to the golddigger putdown "What Do You Do For Money Honey" to the raunchy "Givin The Dog A Bone" to the slow seductive "Let Me Put My Love Into You" to the classic 1-2 punch "Back In Black" + "You Shook Me All Night Long" (covered by Anastacia + Celine Dion??!!?? on VH1 Divas Las Vegas) to the cool "Have A Drink On Me" to the catchy "Shake A Leg" and ending with the statement of purpose "Rock + Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", with the line "It's Just Rock + Roll, yeah", it's just a perfect album, period!!
Buy it and treasure it. Guaranteed, in 50 years, it will sound shiny and new. Believe me, if you think pop music is all plastic ... these days, all manufactured and just junk, pop this baby on, and your faith in rock + roll will be instantly renewed.
May AC/DC keep on going and going and going....
26 of 27 found the following review helpful:
Still the best Feb 18, 2004
By Docendo Discimus
In February 2003, the American distribution rights to AC/DC's back catalog transferred over to Epic, their new label. Epic then reissued the band's catalog as remastered digipacks containing lavish, expanded booklets with plenty of rare photographs, memorabilia and notes.
Although the digipacks may wear a little too easy, the sound is terrific, clean and muscular, enhancing the raw qualities of the original record. And "Back In Black" certainly deserves this kind of loving treatment; it is AC/DC's best and most popular album by far, having sold well over forty million copies worldwide, which makes it one of the ten best-selling albums ever, regardless of genre.
(AC/DC remains the single best-selling hard rock or heavy metal band in the world, nearing the 150.000.000 mark, and outselling bands like The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, and even the mighty Led Zeppelin.)
"Back In Black" is one of rock's all-time classic records. Not a single weak track is included, even the lesser-known album tracks are strong, and it is filled with powerful riffs, huge hooks and tough, bluesy grooves.
The lyrics are a joke, of course, all booze and sex and rock n' roll, and Brian Johnson screams rather than sings, but AC/DC at the top of their game wrote the best, catchiest hard rock songs you can imagine, like the grand, anthemic "Hell's Bells" or the magnificent title track.
And AC/DC doesn't just thrash away or plod along like your average heavy metal band; they literally swing on "Have A Drink On Me", and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young churns out one sturdy riff after another. Just listen to the incredible groove he lays down on songs like "Given The Dog A Bone", "Back In Black", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the slow, bluesy (and superbly sleazy) "Let Me Put My Love Into You".
Hard rock doesn't get any better than this. In fact, it barely ever gets this good.
99 of 121 found the following review helpful:
A review from a musician's point of view. Oct 03, 2001
By Edvard Odessia
When I'm writing a song, I'm trying to capture a single image or emotion and transfer that to the listener. Because I have a limit of only a few minutes and a few words, that concept must be simple. Another rule is that I usually don't want to describe the idea directly; I want to talk around it, to allude to it. The audience has to be able to make some contribution to the act of creation, and using too-literal lyrics defies that. You don't sing, "I had sex with her and I really enjoyed it"; you sing, "The walls were shakin', the earth was quakin', my mind was achin', and we were makin' it, and you...shook me all night long"!
I don't really think about it in such detail. I just rely on an instinct of what will work and what won't. The boys in AC/DC are quite aware of what they are aiming for, and their instincts in this regard are sensational.
On this album, AC/DC has captured and perfectly transmitted the idea of MASCULINITY. It's a man's record full of men's images and urges. Rock 'n' roll is basically a man howling about his desires, and he often desires women, liquor, and guitars that sound like sheets of metal being destroyed by power tools. It's a very simple thing, really.
Normally, live music loses its edge in the recording process, becoming more bland. To combat this, producers try to enrich the sound with effects like reverberation (echoes that create a sense of space), chorus (modulating the pitch to make the instrument or voice sound thicker) and equalization (boosting or cutting certain high or low frequencies). The equipment used to do this changes from year to year, and therefore the more effects are used, the more the recording sounds 'dated.' Reverb machines from the early 70's had a very different sound from those used in the 80's, or 90's, for example.
Back In Black has very simple production, with almost no discernible effects. But it isn't bland. It's savage in the intensity of its tone. How did they do that? (Gibson now produces a model of guitar pickup named after Angus Young. I'll be buying a pair.)
Angus and Malcolm Young have created a lot of the catchiest guitar phrases in the entire body of rock music. Their masterpiece is the collection of gut-wrenching licks on the title song here. These will achieve timelessness because the average guitar player can learn to reproduce them--but never with the Angus touch.
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