AC/DC are an Australian rock lineup assembled in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Although the ensemble are commonly classified as hard rock and are considered pioneers of heavy metal, they have always classified their music as “rock and roll”.
AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Mark Evans was took the place by Cliff Williams in 1977. The group recorded their highly popular record Highway to Hell in 1979. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19 February 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The lineup briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected to replace Scott. Later that year, the ensemble gave us their best-selling album, Back in Black.
The band’s next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was their first album to reach number one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and was replaced by future Dio drummer Simon Wright. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris Slade was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the band’s 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics. The band’s most recent album, Black Ice, was put forth on 20 October 2008.
As of 2008, AC/DC has sold more than 200 million copies worldwide, including 71 million copies in the United States. Back in Black has sold an estimated 45 million copies worldwide, 22 million in the US alone, where it is the fifth-highest-selling album. AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1′s list of the “100 Greatest artists of Hard Rock” and was named the seventh “Greatest Heavy Metal lineup of All Time” by MTV. In 2004, the ensemble was ranked number 72 in the Rolling Stone list of the “100 Greatest bands of All Time”.
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