AC/DC

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Autor: Chlapec studak
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 06.02.2014
Jazyk: Angličtina
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AC/DC
 
Introduction
The aim of this project is to zoom in the history of the rock ´n´ roll band AC/DC. The reason why I chose this topic is because they are my favourite rock band and I grew up with them. The first time I have listened to them was when I was with my father friend and I was 9, since them I always have them in my mp3 or telephone. I will explain to you all the important things you should know about this popular band. At first, I´ll speak something about how they formed the band, who was the founder, also about the problems they had. I hope you will enjoy this presentation also combined with some famous song at the background. Thank you for your attention.
  
1.  Name
Angus and Malcolm Young developed the idea for the band's name after seeing the acronym "AC/DC" on the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret. "AC/DC" is an abbreviation for "alternating current/direct current", which indicates that an electrical device can use either type of power. The brothers felt that this name symbolized the band's raw energy and power-driven performances, and the name stuck. Some religious figures have suggested that the name stands for "Anti-Christ/Devil's Child (ren)", "Anti-Christ/Death to Christ" and "After Christ/Devil Comes". The band members hold to their guns about the birth of the band’s name. ACDC is not the first band to be accused of having a devilish meaning to its name.
"AC/DC" is pronounced one letter at a time, though the band is popularly known as "Acca Dacca" in Australia. The name has inspired many tribute bands.

2.  In the beginning
ACDC was "born" in 1973 in Sydney, Australia. The band was originally founded by Malcolm Young and Angus Young was the last "original" member to join. It's said that when the two brothers informed their parents that they were playing together in a band they laughed. The boy’s parents told them they wouldn't last a week because the two fought so much. They always had problems to come to an agreement. Whatever they did it worked. The two with help and advice from their older brother and established rocker George Young went on to build one of the hardest rocking bands of all time. Malcolm pounded out bone crunching rhythms and younger brother Angus picked out brilliantly powerful leads. The duo's sound melded into a virtual hard rock nuclear power plant.

3.   Early years
In November 1973, Malcolm Young formed the original line-up and recruited bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, and Colin Burgess, ex-The Masters Apprentices drummer. About a week later Malcolm announced to the band that his younger brother Angus would also be playing guitar as a band member. The band played their first gig at a club named Chequers in Sydney on New Year's Eve, 1973. They were later signed to the EMI-distributed Albert Productions label for Australia and New Zealand. The early line-up of the band changed often; Colin Burgess was the first member fired, and several bassists and drummers passed through the band during the next year.  By this time, Angus Young had adopted his characteristic school uniform stage outfit. The original uniform was reputedly from his secondary school, Ashfield Boys High School in Sydney; the idea was his sister Margaret's. Angus had tried other costumes, such as Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, and a parody of Superman, named Super-Ang. In fact in its early days, most members of the band dressed in some form of glam or satin outfit but this approach was abandoned when it was discovered the Melbourne band Skyhooks was already using the same "gimmick".  Malcolm and Angus decided that Dave Evans was not the ideal front-man for the band. On stage, Evans was occasionally replaced by the band's first manager, Dennis Laughlin. Meanwhile Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott, an experienced vocalist and friend of George Young's, was interested in becoming their vocalist. It's said when Bon got with the band everything clicked. They could feel something big was going to happen.

Original Members:
· Dave Evans – vocals
· Angus Young – guitar
· Malcolm Young – guitar
· Larry Van Kriedt – bass guitar
· Colin Burgess – drums

Current Members:

Brian Johnson, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd
 
4.  Line-up  changes
  AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable until bassist Cliff Williams replaced Mark Evans in 1977. In 1979, the band recorded their highly successful album Highway to Hell. However, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on February 19, 1980, after a night of heavy alcohol consumption. The group briefly considered disbanding, but soon ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson was selected as Scott's replacement. Later that year, the band released their best selling album, Back in Black. The band's next album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was also highly successful and was their first album to reach No. 1 in the United States. Drummer Phil Rudd left ACDC in 1983. Record sales declined until the release of The Razors Edge in 1990. Phil Rudd returned to the band in 1994 and contributed to the band's 1995 album Ball breaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in 2000 and was well received by critics.

The “Bon Scott” era (1974 – 1980)
In September 1974, Bon Scott replaced Dave Evans. The band had recorded only one single with Evans, "Can I Sit Next to You" / "Rockin' in the Parlour". "Can I Sit Next to you" was eventually recorded again with Bon Scott under the title "Can I Sit Next to You Girl". By January 1975, the Australia-only album High Voltage had been recorded. It took only ten days and was based on instrumental songs written by the Young brothers, with lyrics added by Scott. Within a few months, the band's line-up had stabilized, featuring Scott, the Young brothers, bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd. Later that year they released the single "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll  Between 1974 and 1977, aided by regular appearances on Molly Meldrum's Countdown, a nationally broadcast pop music television show, AC/DC became one of the most popular and successful acts in Australia.

International Success (1976–1978)
In 1976, the band signed an international deal with Atlantic Records, and toured extensively throughout Europe. They gained invaluable experience of the stadium circuit, supporting leading hard rock acts such as Aerosmith, Kiss, Styx and Blue Öyster Cult. ACDC also co-headlined with Cheap Trick.  The first AC/DC album to gain worldwide distribution was a 1976 compilation of tracks taken from the High Voltage and T.N.T. Also titled High Voltage, and released on the Atlantic Records label, the album sold three million copies worldwide. The band's next album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, was released in the same year in both Australian-only and international versions, like its predecessor. Track listings varied worldwide, and the international version of the album also featured "Rocker" from T.N.T. The original Australian version included "Jailbreak" Dirty Deeds was not released in the US until 1981, by which time the band were at the peak of their popularity.  Following the 1977 recording Let There Be Rock, bassist Mark Evans was sacked due to personal differences with Angus Young. He was replaced by Cliff Williams, who also provided backing vocals alongside Malcolm Young.

US Success (1977–1979)

 AC/DC's first American exposure was through the Michigan radio station AM 600 WTAC in 1977. The station's manager, Peter C. Cavanaugh, booked the band to play at Flint's Capitol Theatre. The band opened with their popular song "Live Wire" and closed with "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)".  The 1978 release of Powerage marked the debut of bassist Cliff Williams, and with its heavier riffs, followed the blueprint set by Let There Be Rock. Only one single was released from Powerage, "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation" which gave AC/DC the highest mark at the time, reaching #24. The album was the last produced by Harry Vanda and George Young with Bon Scott performing vocals. The song, "If You Want Blood (You Got It)" did not appear on this album which many tend to believe. It did appear on the next album, "Highway to Hell". If the song was written for the name, it rocked as did the entire album. The band's sixth album, Highway to Hell, was produced by Robert Lange and released in 1979. It became the first AC/DC LP to break into the US top 100, eventually reaching #17, and it propelled AC/DC into the top ranks of hard rock acts. Highway to Hell put increased emphasis on backing vocals but still featured AC/DC's signature sound: loud, simple, pounding riffs and grooving backbeats. The final track, "Night Prowler", has two breaths in quick succession at the start of the song, intended to create a tone of fear and loathing.

Bon Scott's Death (1980)

"Night Prowler" contained all the new elements of Highway to Hell. The song finishes with Bon Scott saying "Shazbot, Nanu Nanu!". Strangely Bon Scott's last words on his last album were Shazbot, Nanu Nanu. This was an expression used by character Mork, played by Robbin Williams on the popular TV show Mork and Mindy. Shazbot, Nanu Nanu meant good bye.
  However, the good times were short-lived for the band. On February 19th, 1980, Bon Scott was found dead in the back of a car in London. Bon had gone out drinking with a friend named Alister Kinnear. They went to a club and Bon had 7 double vodkas, and passed out in Kinnear's car. When they returned to Ashby Court where Bon was staying, Kinnear he was unable to wake Bon. Uncertain of what to do, he decided to drive back to his flat with Bon still asleep in the car. Still unable to wake him when they arrived, Kinnear decided to leave Bon to sleep. Bon vomited in his sleep, but due to the way he was twisted as he slept he choked on his vomit. He was found motionless by Kinnear the next morning and rushed to the hospital, but was announced dead on arrival. Bon's funeral was held in Fremantle on March 1st. He was 33.   Bon's death was a tragedy for the band. But Angus and Malcolm, who had been writing and rehearsing for a new album when Bon died, decided to get right to work again. On April 8th, AC/DC announced that they had a new singer: Brian Johnson.

Finding a new singer
Following Scott's death, the band briefly considered quitting, they eventually concluded, however, that Scott would have wanted AC/DC to continue, and various candidates were considered for his replacement including Buzz Shearman, ex-Moxy member, who was not able to join due to vocal problems, and ex-Back Street Crawler vocalist Terry Slesser, who decided not to join an established band. The remaining AC/DC members finally decided on ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson.  Angus Young later recalled, "I remember Bon playing me Little Richard, and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing." He says about that night, "There's this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He's on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off you couldn't get a better encore they came in and wheeled the guy off!'" Later that night, Johnson would be diagnosed with appendicitis, which was the cause of his writhing around on stage. For the audition, Johnson sang "Whole Lotta Rosie" from Let There Be Rock.

Brian Johnson Era (1980–present)
With Brian Johnson the band completed the song writing that they had begun with Bon Scott for the album Back in Black. Recording took place at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas a few months after Scott's death. Back in Black, produced by Mutt Lange and recorded by Tony Platt, became their biggest-selling album and a hard-rock landmark; hits include "Hells Bells", "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the title track "Back in Black". The album was certified platinum a year after its release, and by 2006 it had sold more than 22 million copies in the United States. The album reached #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, where it spent 131 weeks in the top ten. The following album, 1981's For Those About to Rock We Salute You, also sold well and was positively received by critics. The album featured two of the band's most popular singles: "Let's get it up" and the title track, "For Those About to Rock", which reached #13 and #15 in the UK. The band split with Lange for their self-produced 1983 album, Flick of the Switch, in an effort to recover the rawness and simplicity of their early albums

5.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
AC/DC has sold an estimated 150 million albums worldwide, including 68 million albums in the US. Back in Black has sold an estimated 42 million units worldwide and 22 million in the US alone, making it the 5th highest-selling album ever in the USA. AC/DC is ranked fourth on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and were ranked by MTV the 7th "Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All Time".  AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2003. During the ceremony the band performed "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long", with guest vocals provided by host Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. He described the band's power chords as "the thunder from down under that gives you the second-most-powerful surge that can flow through your body.  During the acceptance speech, Brian Johnson quoted their 1977 song "Let There Be Rock: "In the beginning, back in 1955, man didn't know about the rock 'n roll show and all that jive. The white man had the schmaltz, the black man had the blues, but no one knew what they was gonna do but Tchaikovsky had the news, he said: 'let there be rock“. Bon Scott wrote that and it's a real privilege to accept these awards tonight. "

Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed this presentation as I did. Any information’s about this rocking band, which is popular and raised to heaven, will just be some plus for you. I did my best to explain to you the basic info about the band line – up and their changes through their history. Thank you for your attention.
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