More than three decades into a career that shows no signs of slowing down or letting up, AC/DC, like electricity itself, provides the world with an essential source of power and energy. Since forming in 1973, AC/DC's high voltage rock 'n' roll has flowed out into the world via consistently sold-out concert tours and global sales totaling more than 150 million albums and counting. SonyBMG Music Entertainment's #1 best-selling catalog act worldwide, AC/DC has sold nearly 70 million albums in the U.S. alone, making AC/DC one of the five top-selling bands in American music history. One of the group's best-loved works, the enormously successful and influential "Back In Black," has achieved RIAA "Double Diamond" status, for sales in excess of 22 million copies in the United States,and is the U.S.'s fifth largest-selling album ever.
But the roots of AC/DC lie back in Australia, and before that Glasgow, Scotland, where Angus and Malcolm Young, the musical core of the band (and still the most formidable guitar team in rock history), were born (in 1958 and 1953, respectively). In 1963, the Young family migrated to Sydney, Australia, where music would make its mark on thebrothers. (As a member of the Easybeats, Angus and Malcolm's older sibling, George Young, was responsible for one of Australia's first international hits, "Friday On My Mind," in 1966. From 1974 through 2000, George and musical collaborator, Harry Vanda, produced a number of AC/DC albums including "High Voltage,," "T.N.T.," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Let There Be Rock," "If You Want BloodYou've Got It," "Powerage," "'74 Jailbreak," "Who Made Who," "Blow Up Your Video," and "Stiff Upper Lip.")
Taking a cue and encouragement from their older brother's musical success, Angus and Malcolm Young formed their own rock 'n' roll combo and premiered their inimitable interlocking guitar sound on December 31, 1973 at a New Year's Eve gig at Sydney's Chequers Club.
Calling their new rock band"AC/DC" (from the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret), Angus and Malcolm moved from Sydney to Melbourne and began plowing through numerous line-ups searching for a solid rhythm section and a lead singer whose voice could match the manic assault of the Young brothers' guitars. The newly-christened AC/DC found its spiritual sparkplug in Bon Scott, a hard-living, hard-loving,hard-playing wild-eyed rabble-rousing singer who'd once "auditioned" for the band when he'd worked for them as a roadie and driver back in Sydney. With Bon Scott, another born Scotsman who'd relocated to Australia as a lad, in place as co-frontman to Angus's trademark raffish schoolboy-in-knickers, AC/DC was ready to electrify the world.
Quickly signed by George Young to the Albert Records labelin Australia, AC/DC kicked out its first Australian album releases, 1974's "High Voltage" (a somewhat different album from the US "High Voltage") and 1975's "T.N.T." With each album achieving silver, gold, and platinum status in Australia, AC/DC embarked on a regime of relentless touring that would become one of the most enduring hallmarks of the band's career.
In 1976, having conquered theirvery first continent, AC/DC set off for Great Britain. When the band's no-holds-barred double-barrel rock 'n' roll landed them a residency at the prestigious Marquee Club, AC/DC promptly broke the venue's all-time house attendance record. AC/DC's days in clubland would not last much longer. Within a year, "Let There Be Rock," the band's first simultaneous world release and first to use theunmistakable AC/DC logo -- raised metallic Gothic lettering separated by Zeus's own lightning bolt -- would catapult them into the stadium strata. AC/DC was ready to take on America.
The summer of 1977 found AC/DC performing a dizzying crisscross of American gigs, ranging from clubs like the Palladium and CBGB in New York and the Whiskey in Los Angeles to sprawling venues like the Jacksonville...