The lore of AC/DC’s Back in Black is about as legendary as the album itself. However, if you were hoping there was some sort of lost tapes that contained vocals from Bon Scott, Angus Young has set the record straight in a new interview.
Speaking with Paste, Young said of those rumored recordings, “There’s never been one. Bon never really got the chance. At the time, me and Malcolm were writing songs, which became the songs for ‘Back in Black.’ We were in London in a rehearsal room, and Bon had come down, too. And what used to happen was, me and Malcolm would get together and get a drum kit, and Malcolm would get behind the drums sometimes, and I’d get on the guitar and just tap out a riff. Or other times, Malcolm would get on the guitar and he’d get me to just knock out a simple beat on the drums. Anyhow, we were working away, and it was on an intro which was actually what became the intro for ‘Hells Bells.’ So Bon showed up, and Malcolm said, ‘Oh, great, Bon! You can get behind the kit!’ Because originally, Bon started as a drummer.”
Young continued, “So Bon got behind the drum kit so we could try and work out this intro, how we wanted to do it. So we sorted that out how we wanted, and the other one was ‘Have a Drink on Me,’ a riff Malcolm was playing around with. So we worked out the intro on that and how the song was gonna go. So he had Bon tapped to do a demo for that. So that was it, really. If you were looking up what Bon had done, it was really just to help us with those demos on the drums. And he even said to us, as we were knocking off in the night time, ‘Look, we’ll hook up next week.’ He’d been working on some lyrics, and said, ‘We’ll hook up next week and maybe the three of us can just start going through stuff.’ But unfortunately, he passed before that.”
Back in Black has moved over 50 million units worldwide, with 25 million of those units coming from the United States.