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Back in Black
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Australian rockers AC/DC have always been about sex, booze, and power chords, and that this album immediately follows the death of their original lead singer, Bon Scott, from too much alcohol. That said, Back in Black, which includes such classic rock anthems as the title track, "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," and "You Shook Me All Night Long," proved to be their most successful album ever, and keeps up a frenetically partying pace from start to finish. Thoroughly steeped in testosterone and teenage frustration, it leaves little doubt about what's on the band's mind at all times. It also includes some of the best hard-rocking music in the history of the genre. Some crude language: "arse," "bitch," "ass," "dick," "hell."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
No one was sure AC/DC would survive the sudden death of their malevolent, hard-drinking singer Bon Scott in early 1980, but within a month the Australian rockers, noted for schoolboy-uniformed lead guitarist Angus Young, had recruited new vocalist Brian Johnson and gone into the studio. Back in Black begins with the tolling of \"Hell's Bells\" in Scott's honor, and then the party that left off at the end of the previous year's Highway to Hell picked up without missing a beat. It's loud, raucous, anthemic rock, unabashedly about hedonistic fun.
Is it any good?
If you're looking for deep introspection, sensitive lyrics, or tender love songs, this is not the album for you. Its power lies in Johnson's screeching vocals, the churning Young-fronted instrumental engine, and the shared, fist-pumping faith of band and audience that "Rock and roll ain't noise pollution / Rock and roll ain't gonna die / Rock and roll ain't noise pollution / Rock and roll it will survive." The most commercially successful album of AC/DC's career, Back in Black is also widely considered the band's best.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about lewd, crude rock 'n' roll -- who does it appeal to, and why?
Angus Young is considered one of the world's best guitarists. How does he compare with some of your favorites?
These guys were touring well into 2010. Does it seem silly for geezer rockers to be singing this kind of music?
For kids who love to rock
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.