Back In Black
So, funny thing.
The other day I was thinking about tracks that had recognizable “pick” openings – single strings instead of chords – because I wanted to, well, learn one. The obvious, most anthemic tune that fits this bill is Hell’s Bells, so I got a tab for it and started goofing around on it.
Today, Mike and I went over it and talked about Angus Young (and AC/DC in general) for a half hour or so. I’ve listened to Back in Black on repeat four close to four hours today, actually; just paying attention to the way Young puts things together. It’s very simple but also elegant. The opening picks to Hells Bells, for instance, are actually chords (Am/Asus4/Am7) – only, he only picks one string out of the chord at a time.
So that brought me to going back to a List (capital ‘L’) that I’ve been working on for a couple months. My List of Important Rules, which I’ll get around to finishing someday.
A while back, I decided that somewhere in the top ten would be the following rule:
“Never trust the music taste of a man who does not own a copy of Back in Black“.
Say what you will about the other albums (most of which I think are 10 filler tracks and one gem), but Back in Black is just plain excellent. Consider even the opening bell tones: the story goes that the bell is there for Bon Scott, who died from alcohol poisoning, listening to the chiming of Big Ben.
It’s a terribly powerful album produced by a band who had lost its enormously popular lead singer not five months previously. It’s an album that, merely by listening to it, makes you feel like a bad-ass. AC/DC and Queen, the kings of stadium loudspeaker music everywhere.
As is my wont, I spent an hour or so today lost in the intertron, reading pointless information about any one particular subject (hey, what kind of pickups does Angus use? Where did they get the bell sound from? Hey, neat, despite being an Australian band, all of the founding members are from Scotland).
Turns out that July 25th (Wednesday, in the US) is the anniversary of the release of Back in Black, the number two selling album of all time in the world (42 million, holy shit – and 21 million in the USA alone).
Synchronicity is awesome.
So, happy twenty-seventh birthday, Back in Black. May you continue to be used to rock out football games for another twenty-seven.