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Australian rock band AC/DC 1976 --- Image by © Martyn Goddard/Corbis


AC/DC – 40 Years as the Hardest Rocking Band in the Business

AC/DC are the pure personification of hard rock. It is rare that a band can completely encompass one genre of music, and even rarer that a band can be universally revered. But the band of Scottish immigrants from Australia has built for themselves a niche like no other. They have constructed a following that is one of the most loyal and devoted on the planet.

A constant in lists of the top rock ‘n’ roll acts of all time, Acca/dacca are said by some to be the quintessential rock music act, with their perfect blend of the heavy guitar that rock has become famous for and those catchy chorus’ that make even the most insular of rock fan sing along. Guitarist Angus Young is responsible for some of the most recognisable guitar riffs of all time and his stage presence is world-renowned. Live they’re a tour de force and a spectacle unlike any other band on the planet (at the bands 2010 Download Festival performance they even brought their own stage). It is no wonder that they’re one of the most in demand live acts ever, continuously filling stadiums with religious fans easily.

Despite being hardened veterans of the industry, they’ve never shown any desire to slow down and recent musical releases still project the electricity that their name suggests. They haven’t stopped rocking, despite the members pushing 60.

This devoted following has propelled them to album sales of over 200million (one of only 14 artists to achieve the feat). And their stone cold classic: Back In Black is the second highest selling album of all time. A fact made even more incredible by the fact that they lost their original singer, Bon Scott in 1980, just five months before the albums initial release. Back In Black was unleashed as a tribute to Scott and since then the band has gone from strength to strength with new singer Brian Johnson.

A campaign has recently been started to get their song Highway to Hell to Christmas number one in celebration of the bands 40th anniversary. Similar to the successful drive to get Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name to the top of the charts in 2009, fans are using the bands song in protest against X Factor’s continued monopolization of the British music charts. But also as a tribute to AC/DC, who have never had a UK top ten single. The album the song hails from is one of DC’s finest works and propelled them into the mainstream.

The song might be seemingly anti-Christmas in terms of it lyrical content and subject matter, but there’s no doubt it’s a hard rock classic deserving to grace that top of the charts. Who better to symbolize heavy rock’s continued defiance against the mainstream than the hardest working band in rock?

I’ll be buying my copy of Highway to Hell come December 15th. Not to deny Simon Cowell his bloated sense of self-satisfaction. I couldn’t care less about him. Or to stop another manufactured pop act reaching the peak of their career, before fading out and joining the increasing mound of X Factor cast-offs. But to celebrate the career of one of the last great bastions of rock ‘n’ roll, who for forty years have been rocking harder than just about anyone else. For those about to rock, I salute you.

Written by Robbie Bryson

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