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Always ‘Back In Black’: AC/DC Hits Billion Views Milestone on YouTube

The title track from AC/DC’s seminal seventh LP passes 1 billion YT views, a milestone reserved for a select few music videos from the 1980s.

There are no surprises on AC/DC's new album, 'Power Up,' and that's just how it should be.

Josh Cheuse*

AC/DC’s “Back In Black” will never go out of fashion – judging by a major streaming milestone the rock nugget racks up on YouTube.

Lifted from AC/DC’s seminal seventh studio album, “Back In Black” passes one billion streams on YT, a milestone reserved for a select few music videos from the 1980s.

“Back In Black” is, of course, the title track to the rock legends’ massive breakthrough LP from 1980, an era-crossing collection, stacked with epic, timeless riffs, and released just months after the shock death of the band’s charismatic frontman Bon Scott.

Gravel-voiced northern Englishman Brian Johnson took the mic, and AC/DC fulfilled their destiny by taking on the world with Back In Black, now recognised as one of the best-selling rock albums in history.

Produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange (Def Leppard, Foreigner, The Cars), the album’s genius is in it’s simplicity. “Heavy music, made accessible,” wrote Rolling Stone AU/NZ in 2021, as Back In Black was crowned No. 1 in the music title’s list of Greatest Australian Albums of All Time.

In December 2019, “Back in Black” was certified by the RIAA for U.S. shipments of 25 million copies — making it the fourth best-selling album in the U.S. and the best-selling LP that never reached the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart (it peaked at No. 4).

AC/DC are bona fide gods of rock.

Theirs was one of the very first names read out for induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, saluted at a ceremony in 1988, alongside Dame Joan Sutherland, Johnny O’Keefe, Slim Dusty, Col Joye and Vanda & Young.

Later, in 2003, AC/DC made it to the big show when they were elevated into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, during a U.S. ceremony with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler on induction duties.

Ten years on, in 2013, Back In Black was entered into the Grammy Hall Of Fame, established by the Recording Academy to honour “recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance.”

“Back In Black” is AC/DC’s second clip to join the Billion Views club, following “Thunderstruck,” lifted from the 1990 effort The Razors Edge.

Other ’80s music videos to enter YouTube’s 1 billion views club include George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” A-ha’s “Take On Me,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”