This weekend marks Back in Black’s 40th anniversary and a number of AC/DC-inspired rock stars took part in a virtual celebration. The streamed event on Consequence of Sound’s YouTube channel was hosted by Jared James Nichols and even featured Slash. The Guns N’ Roses guitarist went on to reveal his favourite AC/DC song and guitar solo from the best-selling band album of all time.
On the first time he heard Back in Black, Slash said: “First I ever heard it was at my friend Matt Cassel’s house.
“So this was 1980 and this was a crucial point in Rock and Roll at that time because all my favourite bands had disbanded or members had died.
“And there was a lot of new music, but nothing really turned me on that much.”
The Guns N’ Roses guitarist had been familiar with a couple of AC/DC songs like Highway to Hell, but he wasn’t aware that the band had a new singer in Brian Johnson after Bon Scott’s death that year.
Back in Black 40th anniversary: Slash reveals favourite AC/DC song and guitar solo – WATCH
The 55-year-old recalled: “All of a sudden Back in Black came out and it was like a battle cry for Rock and Roll and Heavy Metal at that time.
“It was a killer record from start to finish; every song was good.
“The single Back and Black was as good as a Rock and Roll single gets.
“I think one of my favourite songs on the record was Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.”
Slash performing with AC/DC and Axl Rose
Slash added: “Even to this day, one of my favourite guitar solos of all time is in Hells Bells.
“That particular record, it was pivotal for me.
“I’d just started playing guitar and it was the first really great Rock and Roll band to come along in a while.
“And obviously it was a big record for AC/DC and garnered them a place in the history books that would go on for ever and ever after that. It’s a great record.”
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Meanwhile, AC/DC have shared a mini YouTube documentary series of the making of Back in Black.
On writing the title song, Brian Johnson revealed just how tough coming up with the lyrics was.
He said: “I remember Back in Black was particularly difficult.
“The boys were saying, ‘Listen we want this song in memory of Bon, but we don’t want it to be sad or maudlin, we want it to be a good thing…positive song.’”
Johnson continued: “So it was pretty tough, but I think we managed it pretty good. It’s kinda slow but it’s got a good riff. It was a toughy that one.
“The guys wanted it to be a good rock record, in memory of Bon but without all the slather, the emotion, the crap that usually goes with that.
“I filled it with lines like ‘nine lives, cats eyes’ because Bon had lived on the edge for a long time. He’d always made it through and I think it was a shock for the lads that this time he didn’t.”
Angus Young added: “If anything, the track that I wanted to get out was Back in Black itself. So I was just happy hearing that.”