25th July 1980. One of the most significant days in rock history.

25th July 1980 saw the release of the sixth international studio album by Australian hard rockers AC/DC, the most successful of their career to date.
This was AC/DC’s first album that did not feature the vocal contribution of Bon Scott, it sold an estimated 49 million copies to date worldwide and is the highest selling album of all time second only to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

Today, 25th July 2010, marks the 30th anniversary of the iconic album, “Back in Black”.

“Back in Black” contains some of AC/DC’s biggest hits, including ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ‘Hells Bells’, ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’ (which reached #15 in the UK singles charts, higher than any other song on the album), and of course, title-track ‘Back in Black’.

I recently discussed this album with a rock DJ who plays at a bar in Edinburgh, who really drove home the significance of this album. “This is possibly one of the most important rock albums of all time,” he told me, “the title track has to be one of the most easily recognised intros ever with a wide, cross-genre appeal - even the Neds [chavs] on a Saturday night ask me to play it!”

The rock world lost a genius on 19th February 1980 with the tragic death of Bon Scott and it’s truly harrowing to know that because of this terrible event, “Back in Black” was very nearly scrapped. The decision taken to release it in dedication to Scott’s life was the biggest and most important of AC/DC’s career as it changed the face of rock forever. “Back in Black” reached out beyond the rock contingent, grabbed the mainstream music fans by the balls and taught them what it meant to rock out AC/DC style.

“Back in Black” was re-mastered and re-released in 1994, then again in the “Bonfire” boxset in 1997, and as part of the “AC/DC Re-Masters” series in 2003. A dual-disc version was also released in 2004. A video documentary was also made, titled “The Story of Back in Black”, not bad for an album that almost “never was”, eh?

“Back in Black” featured the musical talents of vocalist Brian Johnson (with some tracks written by Bon Scott), lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Malcolm Young, bassist and backing vocalist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd.