AC/DC star and also the musician who became the third singer of the band after Bon Scott’s death, Brian Johnson, was the latest interview guest of WMMR’s MMaRchives Podcast and talked about their current projects as well as the 40th anniversary of their legendary album named ‘Back In Black.’
As you may already know, AC/DC has released ‘Back In Black’ in 1980 and got over ten certifications in many countries like Austria, Italy, Spain, and the United States. The album has sold over 50 million copies worldwide and it’s known as one of the most-selling albums of music history.
In his latest interview with Pierre Robert has asked that what is his reaction to the success of the album and shared the process of writing the lyrics of the album. Brian stated that they were sort of a level that close to the mindset of Megadeth and Metallica these days.
While he shared how he wrote ‘Shook Me All Night Long’ in just twenty minutes, he also admitted that even at the age of 32, he was not thinking of getting a job with a rock and roll band at the age of 32.
Here is what he said:
“It’s a little frightening. I was just a working boy. When I got to the Bahamas, Malcolm and Angus came to me and said, ‘Hey, by the way, can you write lyrics?’ And I went, ‘Well, I’ll give it a shot.’ And the first night, they brought me a legal pad — yellow legal pad — and a pen, and a little cassette player. And they said, ‘Well, this song, it’s a very basic track.’ It was ‘Shook Me All Night Long’. They gave me the title — they said, ‘It’s called ‘Shook Me All Night Long’.’ And I said, ‘Bugger, that’s a long one.’
And it was just a basic track of it there. But to this day, Angus argues it was ‘Back In Black’ [that we worked on first]. But I remember it being ‘Shook Me All Night Long’. I don’t know… And I remember just sitting there [and thinking], ‘What have I got to lose? I’ve got a week’s holiday in the Bahamas, at least.’ I wrote it down in about 20 minutes — honestly — and I went, ‘That’s it.’ And I took it to ’em next day, and they said, ‘Sing what you’ve written.’ And what you hear is basically that first day. And as soon as it finished, I went, ‘I like that.”
“That’s a good little song.’ And then ‘Back In Black’ came, which was fascinating, because I never knew that I could sustain notes like that. That was Mutt Lange, the producer, who said, ‘Sing it higher. I’ve heard you do it.’ And I went, ‘Well, I’ll give it a try.’ And it was just like being set free from a straitjacket — once I found out I could do it, I went, ‘Wow! This is just amazing.’
And I just wanted to do it all the time. [But] he had to keep pulling us back down. But it was a wonderful thing to discover that you could do — even at the age of 32. To me, I was way past it, and I didn’t think I would ever get a job with a rock and roll band at the age of 32. But the age of Bon when he passed. And it just kept getting better as the weeks went by with these new songs.”
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