On July 25, 1980, AC/DC released "Back In Black" in the U.S., followed by the album's U.K. release on July 31. It was the band's first album without lead singer Bon Scott, who had died a few months earlier after passing out and choking on his own vomit following a long night of drinking.
The group quickly decided to press on and hired Brian Johnson from the band GEORDIE to take over on vocals, and they headed to the Bahamas for about six weeks to do the album. AC/DC had made some serious headway in America before Scott's death, but no one knew how "Back In Black" would be received. The album took off, and eventually sold over 21 million copies in the U.S.
Johnson told The Pulse of Radio that he didn't have a clue how successful "Back In Black" would turn out to be. "I'd just melted me brain in there, and I didn't know if it was good or bad," he said. "That was the first time I'd been in the Bahamas, anyway, or near America, you know, and you (have to) remember, I was just fascinated by the whole culture and all, and I had no idea what the hell I was doing! And (laughs) lucky, really — I was a bit lucky, I think."
"Back In Black" included the singles "You Shook Me All Night Long", which peaked at No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100, and "Back In Black", which peaked at No. 37.
Despite its massive success, it never got higher than No. 4 on the album charts. The band's next album, "For Those About To Rock", reached No. 1.
"Back In Black" is tied for fifth place with BILLY JOEL's "Greatest Hits Vols I & II" on the list of the biggest selling albums in the U.S.
To celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, AC/DC invites you to revisit the story of "Back In Black", complete with videos, photos, quotes from the band, a timeline and a whole lot more. Check it out at this location.
The album was produced by Robert "Mutt" Lange, who went on to produce DEF LEPPARD, FOREIGNER, THE CARS, and BRYAN ADAMS. He married SHANIA TWAIN in 1993 and has produced all her albums since then. The couple has since divorced.