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AC/DC
Rock band in performance on a well-lit but hazy stage. we see two guitarists, a bassist, a vocalist off to one side, and a drummer in the rear.
AC/DC, from left to right: Brian Johnson, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, Angus Young, Cliff Williams, performing at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma on 31 August 2009.
Background information
OriginSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Genres
Years active1973 (1973)–present
Labels
Associated actsMarcus Hook Roll Band
Websiteacdc.com
Members
Past members

AC/DC (stylized as ACϟDC) are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young.[1] Although their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal,[2] the band themselves call it simply "rock and roll".[3]

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, 1975's High Voltage. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bassist Mark Evans. Evans was fired from the band in 1977 and replaced by Cliff Williams, who has appeared on every AC/DC album since 1978's Powerage. In February 1980, Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking.[4] The group considered disbanding but elected to stay together, bringing in longtime Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson as Scott's replacement.[5] Later that year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which was dedicated to Scott's memory. The album

AC/DC (stylized as ACϟDC) are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young.[1] Although their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal,[2] the band themselves call it simply "rock and roll".[3]

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, 1975's High Voltage. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bassist Mark Evans. Evans was fired from the band in 1977 and replaced by Cliff Williams, who has appeared on every AC/DC album since 1978's Powerage. In February 1980, Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking.[4] The group considered disbanding but elected to stay together, bringing in longtime Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson as Scott's replacement.[5] Later that year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which was dedicated to Scott's memory. The album launched AC/DC to new heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time.

The band's eighth studio album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), was their first album to reach number one in the United States. Prior the release of 1983's Flick of the Switch, drummer Rudd left the band and was replaced by Simon Wright, being in turn replaced by Chris Slade in 1989. The band experienced a commercial resurgence in the early nineties with the release of 1990's The Razors Edge. Rudd returned to the band in 1994, replacing Slade and appearing on the band's next five albums. Their fifteenth studio album Black Ice was the second-highest-selling album of 2008, and their biggest chart hit since For Those About to Rock, eventually reaching No.1 worldwide.[6]

The band's line-up remained the same for twenty years, until 2014 with Malcolm Young's retirement due to early-onset dementia (he later died in 2017) and Rudd's legal troubles. Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young, who debuted on AC/DC's 2014 album Rock or Bust, and on its accompanying tour, previous drummer Chris Slade filled in for Rudd. In 2016, Johnson was advised to stop touring due to worsening hearing loss. Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose stepped in as the band's vocalist for the remainder of that year's dates. Long-term bass player and background vocalist Cliff Williams retired from AC/DC at the end of the Rock or Bust tour in 2016 and the group entered a four-year hiatus. A reunion of the Rock or Bust lineup was announced in September 2020 and the band's seventeenth studio album Power Up will be released that November.

AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 75 million albums in the United States, making them the ninth highest-selling artist in the United States and the 16th best selling artist worldwide.High Voltage. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bassist Mark Evans. Evans was fired from the band in 1977 and replaced by Cliff Williams, who has appeared on every AC/DC album since 1978's Powerage. In February 1980, Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking.[4] The group considered disbanding but elected to stay together, bringing in longtime Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson as Scott's replacement.[5] Later that year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which was dedicated to Scott's memory. The album launched AC/DC to new heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time.

The band's eighth studio album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981), was their first album to reach number one in the United States. Prior the release of 1983's Flick of the Switch, drummer Rudd left the band and was replaced by Simon Wright, being in turn replaced by Chris Slade in 1989. The band experienced a commercial resurgence in the early nineties with the release of 1990's The Razors Edge. Rudd returned to the band in 1994, replacing Slade and appearing on the band's next five albums. Their fifteenth studio album Black Ice was the second-highest-selling album of 2008, and their biggest chart hit since For Those About to Rock, eventually reaching No.1 worldwide.[6]

The band's line-up remained the same for twenty years, until 2014 with Malcolm Young's retirement due to early-onset dementia (he later died in 2017) and Rudd's legal troubles. Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young, who debuted on AC/DC's 2014 album Rock or Bust, and on its accompanying tour, previous drummer Chris Slade filled in for Rudd. In 2016, Johnson was advised to stop touring due to worsening hearing loss. Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose stepped in as the band's vocalist for the remainder of that year's dates. Long-term bass player and background vocalist Cliff Williams retired from AC/DC at the end of the Rock or Bust tour in 2016 and the group entered a four-year hiatus. A reunion of the Rock or Bust lineup was announced in September 2020 and the band's seventeenth studio album Power Up will be released that November.

AC/DC have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, including 75 million albums in the United States, making them the ninth highest-selling artist in the United States and the 16th best selling artist worldwide.[7][8][9] Back in Black has sold an estimated 50 million units worldwide, making it the third highest-selling album by any artist, and the highest-selling album by any band. The album has sold 22 million units in the US, where it is the sixth-highest-selling album of all time.[10] AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock"[11][12] and were named the seventh "Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time" by MTV.[13] In 2004, AC/DC ranked No. 72 on the Rolling Stone list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Producer Rick Rubin, who wrote an essay on the band for the Rolling Stone list, referred to AC/DC as "the greatest rock and roll band of all time".[14] In 2010, VH1 ranked AC/DC number 23 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".[15]

In November 1973, Malcolm and Angus Young formed AC/DC with bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, and ex-Masters Apprentices drummer Colin Burgess.[16] Gene Pierson booked the band to play at Chequers nightclub on New Year's Eve, 1973.[17] By this time, Angus Young had adopted his characteristic school-uniform stage outfit. The idea was his sister Margaret's. Angus had tried other costumes: Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, and a parody of Superman, named Super-Ang.[18] In its early days, most members of the band dressed in some form of glam or satin outfit. On stage, Evans was occasionally replaced by the band's first manager, Dennis Laughlin, who was the original lead singer with Sherbet. In Paul Stenning's book AC/DC: Two Sides To Every Glory it was stated that Evans did not get along with Laughlin, which also contributed to the band's bitter feeling toward Evans.[19]

The band's logo was designed in 1977 by Gerard Huerta. It first appeared on the international version of Let There Be Rock.

Malcolm and Angus Young developed the idea for the band's name after their sister, Margaret Young, saw the initials "AC/DC" on a sewing machine. "AC/DC" is an abbreviation meaning "alternating current/direct current" electricity. The brothers felt that this name symbolized the band's raw energy, power-driven performances of their music.[20][21] "AC/DC" is pronounced one letter at a time, though the band are colloquially known as "Acca Dacca" in Australia.[22][23] The AC/DC band name is stylised with a high voltage sign separating the "AC" and "DC" and has been used on all studio albums, with the exception of the international version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.[24]

By the middle of 1974, the band had built up a strong live reputation, which led to a support slot for the visiting Lou Reed. Sometime in 1974, on the recommendation of Michael Chugg, veteran Melbourne promoter Michael Browning booked the band to play at his club, the Hard Rock. He was not pleased with their glam rock image and felt that Evans was the wrong singer for the band, but was impressed by the Young brothers' guitar playing. Shortly afterward, he received a call from the band; Laughlin had quit as manager, and they were stuck in Adelaide with no money. Browning agreed to bail them out and booked them for another gig at the Hard Rock. Following the gig, they agreed to take him on as their new manager, with the co-operation of their older brother George and Harry Vanda.[25] The Young brothers decided to abandon the glam rock image which had already been adopted by Melbourne band Skyhooks and pursue a harder blues-rock sound. To this end, they agreed that Evans was not a suitable frontman for the group.[19] Around this time, they also moved their base to Melbourne, where they frequently played at the Hard Rock.

Bon Scott era (1974–1980)

Beginnings (1974–1976)

In September 1974, Bon Scott, an experienced vocalist and friend of George Young, replaced Dave Evans[26] after friend Vince Lovegrove recommended him to George Young.[5] Scott's appointment coincided with him working as a chauffeur for the band at the time until an audition promoted him to lead singer.[27] Like the Young brothers, Scott was born in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in his childhood. The band had recorded only one single with Evans, "Can I Sit Next to You, Girl" / "Rockin' in the Parlour"; the song was re-written and re-recorded with Bon Scott.

Malcolm and Angus Young developed the idea for the band's name after their sister, Margaret Young, saw the initials "AC/DC" on a sewing machine. "AC/DC" is an abbreviation meaning "alternating current/direct current" electricity. The brothers felt that this name symbolized the band's raw energy, power-driven performances of their music.[20][21] "AC/DC" is pronounced one letter at a time, though the band are colloquially known as "Acca Dacca" in Australia.[22][23] The AC/DC band name is stylised with a high voltage sign separating the "AC" and "DC" and has been used on all studio albums, with the exception of the international version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.[24]

By the middle of 1974, the band had built up a strong live reputation, which led to a support slot for the visiting Lou Reed. Sometime in 1974, on the recommendation of Michael Chugg, veteran Melbourne promoter Michael Browning booked the band to play at his club, the Hard Rock. He was not pleased with their glam rock image and felt that Evans was the wrong singer for the band, but was impressed by the Young brothers' guitar playing. Shortly afterward, he received a call from the band; Laughlin had quit as manager, and they were stuck in Adelaide with no money. Browning agreed to bail them out and booked them for another gig at the Hard Rock. Following the gig, they agreed to take him on as their new manager, with the co-operation of their older brother G

By the middle of 1974, the band had built up a strong live reputation, which led to a support slot for the visiting Lou Reed. Sometime in 1974, on the recommendation of Michael Chugg, veteran Melbourne promoter Michael Browning booked the band to play at his club, the Hard Rock. He was not pleased with their glam rock image and felt that Evans was the wrong singer for the band, but was impressed by the Young brothers' guitar playing. Shortly afterward, he received a call from the band; Laughlin had quit as manager, and they were stuck in Adelaide with no money. Browning agreed to bail them out and booked them for another gig at the Hard Rock. Following the gig, they agreed to take him on as their new manager, with the co-operation of their older brother George and Harry Vanda.[25] The Young brothers decided to abandon the glam rock image which had already been adopted by Melbourne band Skyhooks and pursue a harder blues-rock sound. To this end, they agreed that Evans was not a suitable frontman for the group.[19] Around this time, they also moved their base to Melbourne, where they frequently played at the Hard Rock.

In September 1974, Bon Scott, an experienced vocalist and friend of George Young, replaced Dave Evans[26] after friend Vince Lovegrove recommended him to George Young.[5] Scott's appointment coincided with him working as a chauffeur for the band at the time until an audition promoted him to lead singer.[27] Like the Young brothers, Scott was born in Scotland and emigrated to Australia in his childhood. The band had recorded only one single with Evans, "Can I Sit Next to You, Girl" / "Rockin' in the Parlour"; the song was re-written and re-recorded with Bon Scott.