|AC/DC: Back in Black
Label: Sexy Intellectual
Back in Black was a pivotal record for AC/DC. Bon Scott died and the boys had the daunting task of carrying on and finding the right voice to replace the legendary vocalist. A Classic Album Under Review covers all that terrain and provides a track-by-track analysis of the album. Tony Platt, who engineered the record, is the most interesting contributor to the piece because he was actually in the room with the boys helping them create this rock masterpiece. The problem with the documentary is that none of the other principals responsible for Back in Black are included. Instead we get three musicians in an AC/DC tribute band waxing poetic about the record. To that interesting fact, I say, What the Fuck?
I would have preferred listening to any of the band members or the super-reclusive Mutt Lange talk about the record. Instead you get Simon Davies (who plays the part of Angus Young in a tribute band) and two of his cohorts, Paul Sticca and Grant Foster, discussing and demonstrating the nuances of the music.
So, let’s line up the facts:
- Black in Back is a monster classic record. √
- Tony Platt, who actually was in the Compass Point studio and had some real interesting stories and tidbits including the evolution of the bell sound at the beginning “Hells Bells.” √
- Malcolm Dome, who appears in every hard rock documentary on the planet (and looks like the love child of Matt Pinfield and Freddie Mercury), adds some rock critic perspective on the importance of the work. √
- Three bozos who want to be AC/DC demonstrate chord progressions from the record, and a singer who wants to be Brian Johnson and Bon Scott tell what a great record Back in Black is. Not on the checklist!
I generally like the Sexually Intellectual product, but not in this case. There is some decent analysis included, such as how much more sexually straightforward Johnson’s lyrics were than Scott’s double entendre stuff. However, the piece just doesn’t give you enough. I could think of a 100 million other things to do than watch dudes who want to be AC/DC talk about their heroes. I find it really funny. Don’t talk to the guys who wrote the album, talk to guys who idolize the guys who wrote the album to speculate on what might have been going through the original artists’ minds. (Not) Brilliant!
~R. David Smola