AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by
brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Although the band are commonly
classified as hard rock, and considered pioneers of heavy metal,
they have always classified their music as "rock and roll".
AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their
first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership remained stable
until bassist Mark Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977.
In 1979, the band recorded their highly successful album Highway
to Hell. Lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died on 19
February 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 number
one in the United States. AC/DC declined in popularity soon after
drummer Phil Rudd was fired in 1983 and replaced by future Dio
drummer Simon Wright. Phil Rudd returned in 1994 (after Chris
Slade was asked to leave in favour of him) and contributed to the
band's 1995 album Ballbreaker. Stiff Upper Lip was released in
2000 and was well-received by critics. The band's most recent
album Black Ice was released on 20 October 2008.
AC/DC has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including
71 million albums in the United States. Back in Black has sold
an estimated 45 million units worldwide and 22 million in the
United States alone, where it is the fifth highest-selling album.
AC/DC ranked fourth on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of
Hard Rock" and the seventh "Greatest Heavy Metal Band of All
Time" by MTV. In 2004, the band was ranked number 72 in the
Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.