Back in Black (song)

Back in Black (song)

Infobox Single
Name = Back in Black

Artist = AC/DC
from Album = Back in Black
B-side =
Released = 1982
Format = 7"
Recorded = Spring, 1980 at Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas
Genre = Heavy metal, hard rock
Length = 4:15
Label = Atlantic Records
Producer = Mutt Lange
Last single = "Hells Bells"
This single = "Back in Black"
Next single = "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"
Misc = Audiosample
Upper caption = Audio sample
Audio file = Back in Black by AC DC.ogg
"Back in Black" is a song by AC/DC (written mostly by Angus Young and with co-writer Malcolm Young), appearing as the sixth track on their 1980 album of the same title, "Back in Black". Known for its opening guitar riff, the song was AC/DC's tribute to their deceased former singer Bon Scott. It was a worldwide success, and peaked in the U.S. at #37 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart in 1981 and #51 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. The single was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA, and recently was certified as an RIAA Platinum Ringtone.Fact|date=August 2008

The song was ranked #4 by VH1 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs ["VH1 40 Greatest Metal Songs", 1-4 May 2006, "VH1" Channel, reported by [] ; last accessed September 10, 2006.] . It was also ranked #187 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


A number of artists have sampled "Back in Black" without permission from the copyright holders.

In 1984 the Beastie Boys sampled "Back in Black" without permission for their song "Rock Hard". In 1999, when they wished to include it on an upcoming CD compilation release, they sought permission but AC/DC refused. Mike D of the Beastie Boys quoted Malcolm Young's reason for refusing as: "'Nothing against you guys, but we just don't endorse sampling.'" [Citation
title = AC/DC nix Beastie Boys sample
magazine = New Musical Express
year = 1999
date = November 11 1999
format = LexisNexis Academic Search
accessdate = 2007-02-15
url =
] Back In Black was also sampled in the 2003 song "Work It" by Nelly.

Art Brut usually begin their song "Formed a Band" with the intro to "Back In Black" when they play it live. A recorded version of this can be found on their 2006 "Nag Nag Nag Nag" EP. Eminem released a version of his hit, "My Name Is", with "Back In Black" as the bassline.

Covers and other versions

Two live versions of the song later appeared on both versions of the album "Live", as well as the Australian tour edition of "Stiff Upper Lip". It has been covered by bands such as The Hives, Steriogram, Living Colour, Foo Fighters with Jack Black, Travis and Colombian pop singer Shakira. Other versions include:

*1984 Beastie Boys, sampled without permission on "Rock Hard"
*1986 Boogie Down Productions, sampled without permission on "Dope Beat"
*1995 Kid Rock, demo with no vocals he scratch over the riff and added a hip hop beat to it, he also covers it in concert usually just the riff in the middle of Devil Without A Cause but he will cover it fully occasionally.
*2001 Hayseed Dixie, on "A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC"
*2003 Living Colour, on "Collideøscope"
*2003 "Back in Baroque... The String Tribute to AC/DC"
*2004 Shakira, on "Live & Off the Record"
*2004 Six Feet Under, on "Graveyard Classics 2"
*2005 Wing, on "Wing sings AC/DC"
*2006 Art Brut, sampled without permission on a live recording of "Formed A Band"
*Unknown The Hives on an unreleased track found on the Internet

In the media

*In September 2006, "Back in Black" was used in a US Gap TV commercial featuring footage of Audrey Hepburn.
*The song is played when the University of Iowa Hawkeye football team runs onto the field of Kinnick Stadium.
*The song, since the mid-1990s, has been played regularly when the Blackshirts (football) - the starting defensive unit for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team - take the field at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Neb.
*The song was used for advertising of the Black Motorola Razr.
*The Chicago Blackhawks use the song after the starting lineups when they wear their black jerseys at home.
*It was used during the trailer for "Men in Black 2".
*It was used during the trailer for "Lilo and Stitch".
*Lewis Black uses a re-recording of the opening riff on his segment on "The Daily Show".
*The song is used in the beginning of the 2008 film Iron Man as was also used in one of its trailers.
*Jay-Z often uses this song's instrumental when performing 99 Problems live most famously at Glastonbury 2008
*The season 2 episode of Alias, 'Phase One' opened with the song accompying star Jennifer Garner's lingerie clad entrance.Series co-star Greg Grunberg is credited with the idea to use the song in the episode's DVD commentary.
*Back in Black is one of the most played songs on the CW show Supernatural, as AC/DC is known to be character Dean Winchester's favorite band.
*The song was used in the advert for the 3rd series of the TV show Heroes on BBC2.


*Brian Johnson - Lead vocals
*Angus Young - Lead Guitar
*Malcolm Young - Rhythm Guitar, Background Vocals
*Cliff Williams - Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
*Phil Rudd - Drums


External links

* [ Lyrics] on AC/DC's official website

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