Born in Glasgow, Angus and Malcolm Young moved with their family to Sydney, Australia when they were aged eight and 10, respectively. Ten years later, the brothers formed the group that would make them rock gods. On New Year's Eve of 1973, the group—rounded out by Dave Evans (vocals), Larry Van Kriedt (bass), and Colin Burgess (drums)—played their first ever show. The group shortly thereafter decided that Evans was not the right man for the job, and they replaced him with a certain Ronald Belford Scott. In 1974 with "Bon" in the band, the group hit the studio without Van Kriedt or Burgess to record their debut LP, High Voltage. The album was only released in Australia, and the group followed up quickly, releasing T.N.T. in December 1975. Also only released in Australia, the album signaled a paradigm shift within the group. While its predecessor featured a strong glam influence, T.N.T. is filled with the blues-infused hard rock that would become the group's trademark.
With a new direction and a little buzz, the group re-released High Voltage with cuts from both of their two previous LPs. The album, which has since become a bona fide hard rock classic, features classic cuts like "T.N.T." and "It's A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)." By this point, bassist Mark Evans and drummer Paul Rudd had joined the group fulltime. If High Voltage helped the group get recognized, 1976's Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap made them into full-fledged rock stars. The group signed an international distribution deal, toured all over the world, and became known for their hard-partying, outlandish behavior. That didn't stop the Aussies though, as they recorded Let There Be Rock (1977) and Powerage (1978). Though both albums were popular, it was 1979's Highway To Hell that really broke them through. The disc was recorded in Miami's Criteria Studios and Roundhouse Studios in London with legendary rock producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange behind the boards. The album was a massive success, ultimately selling over seven million copies in America alone.
Sadly, the wild ride would end for one of them soon after. On February 19th, 1980, legendary vocalist Bon Scott was found dead in the driver's seat of a car he had passed out in after a night of heavy drinking. Scott, who had a reputation for his hardcore partying, had choked on his own vomit. He was 33 years old. Without Scott's unbelievable pipes, electric style, and charismatic stage persona, AC/DC looked finished. The group strongly considered throwing in the towel, but after speaking with Scott's family and deciding that the Wildman would want them to continue, the began looking for a new vocalist. "We wanted to continue the band, but we just didn't have the will to," Malcolm Young said.
After much soul searching, the group hired British vocalist Brian Johnson, and the group went into the studio to record their tribute to Scott, Back In Black. Since its release, it had sold over 49 million copies, making it the second highest selling album of all-time, only behind Michael Jackson's Thriller. 1981's For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) picked up where Back In Black left off, selling well and keeping the group at the top of the hard rock heap. When it again seemed smooth sailing, Rudd and Malcolm Young had a falling out, leading to the dismissal of the band's long-time drummer. From there, the group's popularity took a slight dip, until they dropped the back-to-back smashes 1988's Blow Up Your Video and 1990's The Razors Edge, which combined to sell over seven million copies in the US. Since then, the group has slowed down considerably, only releasing albums about once every five years. That said, 1995's Ballbreaker, 2000's Stiff Upper Lip, and 2008's Black Ice all earned good reviews and sold successfully. Also, all those albums subsequent arena tours were great success, selling out nearly every night.
AC/DC has received countless accolades over the years, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but perhaps most impressive is that they are still standing. Rudd has since rejoined the band, and alongside the Young brothers, Johnson, and bassist Cliff Williams, the group has stayed mostly in tact since Bon Scott's death. They continue to convert new fans and delight old ones with their high-energy shows, playing with as much passion and rocking just as hard in their 50s—and for one, his 60s—as they ever did in their 20s.