2003 – The RIAA certifies AC/DC’s Back In Black as the world’s second


2003 – The RIAA certifies AC/DC’s Back In Black as the world’s second-best-selling album of all time, behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Back in black
I hit the sack
It’s been too long I’m glad to be back
Yes, I’m let loose
From the noose
That’s kept me hanging around
I’ve been looking at the sky
and it’s gettin’ me high
Forget the hearse ’cause I never die
I got nine lives
Cats eyes
Cruisin’ every woman, never wonderin’ why

‘Cause I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back
Yes, I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
Well I’m back in black
Yes, I’m back in black

Back in the back
Of a Cadillac
Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack
Yes, I’m in a bang
With a gang
They’ve got to catch me if they want me to hang
Cause I’m back on the track
And I’m beatin’ the flack
Nobody’s gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I’m just makin’ my play
Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way


Well, I’m back, Yes I’m back
Well, I’m back, Yes I’m back
Well, I’m back, back
Well I’m back in black
Yes I’m back in black

hooo yeah
Ohh yeah
Yes I am
Oooh yeah, yeah Oh yeah
Back in now
Well I’m back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back, I’m back
Back in black
Yes I’m back in black

Out of the sack
Back in Black is the 7th studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released on July 25, 1980. Back in Black was the first AC/DC album recorded without former lead singer Bon Scott, who had died at the age of 33 on February 19, 1980. The band considered disbanding following Scott’s death, but ultimately decided to continue and shortly thereafter hired Brian Johnson as their new lead singer and lyricist. Producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who had previously worked with AC/DC on Highway to Hell, was again brought in to produce.

The album was remastered and re-released first in late 1994, then again in the Bonfire box set in 1997, and as part of the AC/DC Remasters Series in 2003. In addition, a Dualdisc version was released in 2004, featuring the album in enhanced LPCM Stereo format and the video documentary The Story of Back in Black.

It has sold an estimated 42 million copies, making it second only to Michael Jackson’s Thriller as the best-selling album of all-time as well as the best selling album ever released by a band.


Back in Black contains some of AC/DC’s biggest hits, including “Hells Bells”, “You Shook Me All Night Long”, and the title track “Back in Black.” According to Angus Young the album’s all-black cover was a “sign of mourning” for Scott, as black is the traditional Western colour of mourning. It is AC/DC’s best selling album, the second best-selling album of all time, and the biggest selling album by any band, with more than 42 million copies sold worldwide.

In 1989, it was ranked #26 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 100 Greatest Albums of the 80’s. In 2003, the album was ranked number 73 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. VH1 named ‘Back in Black’ as one of the biggest comeback albums of all time.

Track listing

* All songs written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Brian Johnson.

1. “Hells Bells” – 5:12
2. “Shoot to Thrill” – 5:17
3. “What Do You Do for Money Honey” – 3:35
4. “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” – 3:32
5. “Let Me Put My Love into You” – 4:15
6. “Back in Black” – 4:15
7. “You Shook Me All Night Long” – 3:30
8. “Have a Drink on Me” – 3:59
9. “Shake a Leg” – 4:06
10. “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” – 4:15

It should be noted that “Givin’ the Dog a Bone” was originally spelled “Given the Dog a Bone.”


* Brian Johnson — lead vocals
* Angus Young — lead guitar
* Malcolm Young — rhythm guitar, backing vocals
* Cliff Williams — bass guitar, backing vocals
* Phil Rudd — drums, percussion


* Robert John “Mutt” Lange — Producer
* Benji Armbrister — Assistant Engineer
* Bob Defrin — Art Direction
* Robert Ellis — Photography
* Bob Ludwig — Mastering (original LP)
* Barry Diament — Mastering (original CD releases)
* Ted Jensen — Remastering (EMI/Atco reissue)
* George Marino — Remastering (Epic reissue)
* Tony Platt — Engineer
* Brad Samuelsohn — Mixing
* Jack Newber — Assistant Engineer

Chart performance

Year     Chart     Position
1980     UK Albums Chart     #1
Billboard Pop Albums     #4
Ö3 Austria Top 40     #2
Norwegian Album Charts     #11
RIANZ Album Top 50     #1
1981     Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart     #1
1990     The Billboard 200     #13
2008     Billboard Top Pop Catalog     #1
2008     Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums     #4

Year     Single     Chart     Position
1980     “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”     UK Singles Chart     #15
“You Shook Me All Night Long”     Billboard Hot 100     #35
“You Shook Me All Night Long”     UK Singles Chart     #38
1981     “Back in Black”     Billboard Hot 100     #37
“Hells Bells”     Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks     #50
“Back in Black”     Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks     #51
“Shoot To Thrill”     Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks     #60


* Engleheart, Murray & Arnaud Durieux (2007-01-02), AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, Harper Entertainment, ISBN 0-0611-3391-4, <http://www.acdcbook.com/>.


1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. “Back in Black > Overview”. All Media Guide. Retrieved on 2007-11-08.
2. ^ “For The Record: Quick News On Ozzy Osbourne, Korn, Paris Hilton, Black Eyed Peas, AC/DC, John Mayer & More”. MTV (2003-12-09). Retrieved on 2008-12-03.
3. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS
4. ^ “Record Breakers and Trivia: Albums”. Every Hit. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
5. ^ “Top 100 Albums”. Recording Industry Association of America (2006-07-31). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
6. ^ a b “AC/DC discography”. Rock Detector. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
7. ^ “73) Back in Black”. Rolling Stone (2003-11-01). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
8. ^ “Charts & awards – Billboard albums”. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
9. ^ “Number 1 Albums – 1980s”. Every Hit. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.
10. ^ “Charts & awards – Billboard singles”. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2007-01-29.
11. ^ “Every Hit”. Retrieved on 2007-02-01.

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