AC/DC: Britain’s Favourite Hard Rock Heroes

Introduction: Raw, Loud and Electrifying

AC/DC are rock royalty who have supplied the soundtrack to UK rock fans for over four decades. Formed in 1973 in Sydney, Australia by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, AC/DC brought an explosive brand of blistering hard rock to British shores that was proudly loud, reckless and exhilarating.

With their battering ram riffs, screeching vocals and high-octane live shows, AC/DC became icons of heavy rock music in the UK through enduring albums like Highway to Hell and Back in Black. Hits like “Whole Lotta Rosie” and “Highway to Hell” are etched into rock history.

At the core of their appeal was a back-to-basics sound that championed the visceral thrill of excessively amplified guitars and brazen lyrics. Driven by the prodigious riffing of schoolboy-outfitted lead guitarist Angus Young and raw Bon Scott’s gritty vocals, their songs embodied hard rock abandon. The Young brothers later crafted anthems like “You Shook Me All Night Long” that are still stadium-fillers today.

AC/DC brought rock and roll that was tattooed, denim-clad and proudly lowbrow but executed with peerless chops. With their jarring opening chords and wailing vocals, songs like “Hells Bells” and “Thunderstruck” are the heart-racing soundtrack to life in the fast lane. Yet ballads like “Love Song” also demonstrated their songwriting talents beneath the decibels.

In Britain, AC/DC found fertile ground to foster a devoted following attracted to their back-to-basics, no-frills rock and roll. They became a touchstone band who influenced countless UK groups. Through fiery performances and immortal anthems, AC/DC made an indelible mark on Britain’s rock scene.

YouTube player

UK Hits

“Highway to Hell” (1979)
“Touch Too Much” (1979)
“You Shook Me All Night Long” (1980)
“Back in Black” (1980)
“Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” (1980)
“For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” (1981)
“Let’s Get It Up” (1981)
“Sink the Pink” (1985)
“Who Made Who” (1986)
“Heatseeker” (1988)
“Thunderstruck” (1990)
“Moneytalks” (1990)


High Voltage (1975)
T.N.T. (1975)
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
Let There Be Rock (1977)
Powerage (1978)
Highway to Hell (1979)
Back in Black (1980)
For Those About to Rock We Salute You (1981)
Flick of the Switch (1983)
Fly on the Wall (1985)
Blow Up Your Video (1988)
The Razors Edge (1990)
Ballbreaker (1995)
Stiff Upper Lip (2000)
Black Ice (2008)
Rock or Bust (2014)

The Bon Scott Era: Highway to Hell

AC/DC’s original frontman Bon Scott, who joined in 1974, was instrumental in forging their signature sound. The Scottish-born singer imbued AC/DC with a rough-and-ready rock sensibility through his sandpaper rasp vocals and charismatic live presence.

Early UK hit singles like “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)” highlighted Scott’s irreverent lyricism and knack for storytelling. He quickly became a much-loved focal point of AC/DC’s raucous concerts with his animated performances.

Scott’s collaboration with the Young brothers reached its peak on 1979’s Highway to Hell, which broke AC/DC globally. The album’s title track remains an all-time classic rock anthem celebrated for its rip-roaring guitar riff and Bon Scott’s throat-shredding vocals.

Hits like “Girls Got Rhythm”, “Walk All Over You” and “Touch Too Much” made Highway to Hell a landmark album in British rock history. Songs like “Shot Down in Flames” and the title track encapsulated the AC/DC formula – big hooks, swaggering vocals and peerless hard rock energy. The album made AC/DC mega-stars in Britain.

Tragically Scott passed away in 1980 at just 33 years old. But his short tenure fronting AC/DC produced some of hard rock’s most celebrated anthems in the UK canon. His charisma and voice were integral in establishing AC/DC as one of Britain’s most beloved rock acts.

Legacy: Etched in Rock History

With over 200 million albums sold worldwide, AC/DC rank among the biggest bands in rock history. In Britain, they helped spur the New Wave of Heavy Metal and inspire generations of metal and hard rock groups. Bands from Iron Maiden to Metallica and Guns N’ Roses cite them as heroes.

Their masterpiece Back in Black is one of the highest certified albums ever in the UK. Anthems like “Hells Bells”, “You Shook Me All Night Long” and the title track remain ubiquitous rock radio staples. Angus Young’s schoolboy look made him one of Britain’s most iconic guitarists.

Now entering their fifth decade, AC/DC’s tireless touring and mammoth stadium concerts have etched them into Britain’s rock mythology. With endless hits and peerless hard rock pedigree, AC/DC remain Britain’s favourite Aussie rockers.

Conclusion: Quintessential Hard Rock Icons

With their no-frills, heads-down approach to high-octane rock music powered by immortal songs, AC/DC fully embodied the heart and soul of uncompromising hard rock for generations of UK fans.

While less flashy than prog rock or glam metal acts, AC/DC’s back-to-basics sound focussed on supercharged blues-inspired guitar riffs and gritty, intensity-filled vocals. Their songs exuded the propulsive energy and reckless spirit of rock and roll in its purest form.

Hits like “Highway to Hell” and “Hells Bells” were the perfect adrenaline-filled soundtrack for driving at full speed with the volume turned up. The sinewy guitars and Bon Scott’s rough-hewn delivery made AC/DC the musical encapsulation of living life hard, fast and loud.

Yet for all their decibel-busting bombast and party-hard sensibilities, AC/DC were also supremely talented musicians. Angus Young’s blistering solos demonstrated mastery of the guitar, while drummer Phil Rudd supplied pounding percussion as the engine room. Their songs may have sounded raucous, but were crafted with care.

Now entering their fifth decade, those unforgettable AC/DC riffs and anthems remain etched into the DNA of classic rock in Britain. Their albums, from Highway to Hell to Back in Black, are still ubiquitous on rock radio playlists and continue to soundtrack wild nights out.

AC/DC’s tireless touring over the years, climaxing in massive headlining stadium shows, further cemented their icon status in the UK. Seeing Angus Young solo in his schoolboy outfit while cannons fired on stage became a must-do concert experience.

While fashions changed, AC/DC remained constant in their dedication to hard-hitting, no-frills rock. In the process, they embodied the essence of rock and roll rebellion, attitude and excess to multiple generations of UK fans. It’s hard to imagine British rock history without them.

Almost 50 years since forming, AC/DC remain Britain’s favourite hard rock band extraordinaire, deservedly considered gods among UK rock fans. Their timeless anthems and electrifying concerts have cemented their standing as true icons who define uncompromising rock music.

🤞Don’t miss new stories!

We don’t spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info.