For the 40th anniversary of AC/DC‘s legendary album, Back In Black, we’re counting down 40 Facts about the album that you may have missed.

  1. Back In Back landed on July 25th, 1980, fewer than six months after the passing of the band’s incumbent lead singer Bon Scott.
  2. It is the band’s first album to feature vocalist Brian Johnson, following the death of Bon Scott.
  3. Scott’s father insisted that they keep AC/DC going. During Funeral Bon’s dad said, ‘You can’t stop; you’ve got to find someone else,’
  4. During his audition, Johnson sang both “Whole Lotta Rosie” and the Ike and Tina Turner song “Nutbush City Limits,”
  5.  The album’s all-black cover was designed as a “sign of mourning” for Scott.
  6.  It has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide.
  7. It is one of the best selling albums in music history.
  8. An international hit right away, Back in Black shot to #1 in Australia, England, France, and Canada.
  9. Worldwide, Back in Black ranks #2 in sales only behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
  10. Bon Scott had written numerous songs for AC/DC’s follow-up to Highway to Hell, but the band felt ghoulish about using and profiting from the late singer’s work. Instead, Brian Johnson penned the album’s lyrics, while the music came from lead guitarist Angus Young his rhythm guitarist brother, Malcolm Young
  11. Back in Black has often been compared to Led Zeppelin.
  12. AC/DC toured the world in support of Back in Black. Their first show with Brian Johnson took place on July 1, 1980, in Namur, Belgium.
  13.  AC/DC released their concert movie, Let There Be Rock to theaters on September 18, 1980. The film is a triumphant showcase for Scott, shot in Paris on December 9, 1979.
  14. The year following its release, AC/DC headlined the second-ever Monsters of Rock festival on August 22, 1981.
  15. Back in Black begat four singles. In order of release, they were “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” “Hells Bells,” and “Back in Black.”
  16. Two music videos for “You Shook Me All Night Long” exist. One, released in 1980, second was created in 1986.
  17. To work on the album, producer Robert “Mutt” Lange took the band to Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, which was according to Johnson hardly any kind of studio. They were in these little concrete cells – comfy, mind – and had a bed and a chair.
  18. At the center of every song is an easily remembered one-liner,For example: “Oh, hells bells”, “Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution/Rock and roll ain’t gonna die”, “Honey, what do you do for money?”, “Givin the dog a bone,” “YesI’m back,” and “You shook me all night long.”
  19. Tunes like the title track and “Have A Drink On Me” were inspired by Bon’s memory.
  20. The final song recorded for the album was for “Hell’s Bells.” The group had ordered a 2,000-pound bronze bell for the tour, and it was being manufactured by John Taylor Bellfounders in the town of Loughborough in Leicestershire in the UK.
  21. The pitch of the bell as you hear it on the record is an octave lower than the actual bell. It was slowed down to half-speed to replicate the sound of a two-ton bell that would have been impossible for the band to take on the road with them or to hang in the venues. As a result, when that bell was hit on stage, it was an octave higher than on the record.”
  22.  The title track and “You Shook Me All Night Long” both became Top 40 tracks on the Billboard Hot 100.
  23. Stormy weather influenced the lyrics to ‘Hells Bells‘. “I’m rolling thunder, pourin’ rain. I’m comin’ on like a hurricane. My lightning’s flashing across the sky. You’re only young but you’re gonna die.”
  24. Thunder and rain and tropical storms weren’t the only visits from nature. During the recording, a crab wandered up from the beach and into the drum booth stopping a session and giving everyone a good laugh.
  25. Nobody knows for certain who wrote ‘You Shook Me All Night Long, but some say Scott contributed to the lyrics.
  26. ‘You Shook Me All Night Long‘ is the fourth most-played song on classic-rock radio.
  27. Malcolm wasn’t sure if the ‘Back in Black‘ riff was any good. Angus Young remembers the funniest thing said to him, ‘What do you think? I don’t know if it’s crap or not.’”
  28. Back in Black‘ was the first riff Kurt Cobain learned while he was 14 yrs old in 1984.
  29. Shoot to Thrill” is about drugs. In the documentary ‘The Story of Back in Black,’ Johnson explained he took inspiration for the song from the explosion of middle-aged women using benzos.
  30. Shoot to Thrill‘ is Iron Man’s theme song, the song appeared in the trailer and during the opening scenes of ‘Iron Man 2.’
  31. Johnson’s daughter took decades to fall in love with it. ‘I just didn’t realize how brilliant this album is!’” Johnson said in 2006. “She said her new favorite songs are ‘Shoot to Thrill’ and ‘Let Me Put My Love Into You.
  32. AC/DC has a lot of songs about sex. A lot. But it was “Let Me Put My Love Into You” that landed on the Parents Music Resource Center’s infamous “Filthy Fifteen.”
  33. Even great white sharks love ‘Back in Black‘. Australian news outlet ABC reported that great white sharks act more calmly when listening to AC/DC. After tour operator Matt Waller played the band using underwater speakers, the sharks became “more investigative, more inquisitive and a lot less aggressive.”
  34. You Shook Me All Night Long‘ has been covered by some unexpected artists like Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Paul Shaffer and Big & Rich.
  35. You Shook Me All Night Long’ has been named one of the most played tracks in US strip clubs, as the groove and lyric lend themselves well to pole-dancing.
  36. Death metal band Six Feet Under paid the ultimate tribute to ‘Back in Black.’ The group turned all 10 tracks into sludge-meets-thrash, Cookie-Monster-voiced chaos in 2004. Some of the songs are barely recognizable.
  37. The original plan for the album was to have the sleeve entirely back as a sign of mourning for Bon Scott. Their label Atlantic objected, however, and a compromise was made wherein the AC/DC logo was bordered in grey
  38. After the Battle Of Mogadishu in Somalia in 1993, downed helicopter pilot Michael Durant was captured by the enemy and savagely beaten. His compatriots knew that AC/DC was his favorite band, so they attached speakers to their helicopters and flew over the town’s rooftops playing ‘Hell’s Bells’. Despite having a broken back and legs, this gave Durant the strength to crawl into view and wave his shirt from a window for rescue.
  39.  The sound quality of Back in Black is so perfect that studios in Nashville, a.k.a Music City, and elsewhere, use the album to check the acoustics of a room. Motorhead used the record to tune their sound system.
  40.  During the intro to “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution,” Brian Johnson lights a cigarette and smokes it.