AC/DC (formed 1973)
AC/DC are a heavy rock band from Australia that began their rise to fame with the debut album High Voltage.
The band's name was chosen after Angus and Malcolm Young spotted the logo on their sister's sewing machine. They decided that the acronym was a suitable representation of the band's raw energy and powerful performances.
Born in Glasgow, Angus, Malcolm and George Young all moved with their family to Sydney, Australia, in 1963. George was the first of the brothers to learn guitar, and joined The Easybeats, a successful Australian rock band, with Malcolm following suit and joining The Velvet Underground (an Australian band, not their New York counterparts)
AC/DC eventually formed in 1973, when Malcolm and Angus were joined by bassist Larry Van Kriedt, drummer Colin Burgess and vocalist Dave Evans. Their debut gig was at Chequers Club in Sydney, New Year's Eve, 1973. The band's line-up changed frequently during this early period, with Burgess being the first to get fired.
The schoolboy uniform was adopted after Angus had tried a number of other stage outfits, including a gorilla and Spiderman. Having decided that Evans was an unsuitable front person for the band, they eventually settled on Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott.
Bon Scott joined the band in 1974 and by January the next year, the debut album, High Voltage had been recorded.
AC/DC: Success, Highlights and Hard Times
Following the release of High Voltage, AC/DC released the single 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)', which became something of an anthem for the band and their fans.
The band's success grew, thanks to a number of high profile Australian TV performances, as well as international tours with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and Blue Öyster Cult.
A compilation of their first two albums, High Voltage and T.N.T. became the band's first album to be granted international distribution. Their next studio album was Dirty Deeds Done Cheap, followed by 1977's Let There Be Rock. Around this time, Mark Evans was fired, due to personal differences with Angus Young. He was replaced by Cliff Williams.
Williams' debut studio appearance was on Powerage. The supporting tour for the album spawned the live recording, If You Want Blood, You've Got It, recorded in Glasgow's Apollo Theatre.
Highway to Hell was the band's first album to break into the US Top 100 album chart, promoting them to the top rank of the world's hard rock acts at the time.
In February 1980, Bon Scott passed away. The official cause of death was named as 'death by misadventure' and 'acute alcohol poisoning'. He was buried in Fremantle, Australia.
After much deliberation, the band decided to continue, and recruited Brian Johnson to take up the mantle of AC/DC vocalist. He helped the band to finish writing the album Back In Black, which they had begun with Bon Scott. The album spawned the hits 'You Shook Me All Night Long' and 'Hells Bells'. The album has sold over 22 million copies, in the US alone. It was a UK number one and spent 131 weeks in the US album charts.
For Those Of You About To Rock, We Salute You was released in 1981, to a positive critical and commercial response. In 1983, they self-produced the album Flick of The Switch, trying to return to their earlier raw production sound. It was around this time that Phil Rudd and Angus Young's differences came to a head. Rudd was replaced by Simon Wright and Wright was later replaced by Chris Slade.
1986 saw the band release a compilation album, Who Made Who, which was the soundtrack to Stephen King's film Maximum Overdrive.
In 1994, Rudd was invited back into the band and replaced Slade. They released the album Ballbreaker with this line-up in place.
In 2006, the band begun working on a new studio album and announced that it would be due for release in late 2008, for sale exclusively through WalMart stores.