AC/DC’s Back in Black album turned 40 on July 25, and to pay tribute to the landmark record on its birthday, Consequence of Sound and Gibson gathered electric guitar players and other musicians from across the music world for Back in Black 40th Anniversary: A Virtual Celebration.
The stream ran live on Consequence of Sound’s social media, YouTube and Twitch channels.
Among the many artists who appeared for the virtual event included Slash, who testified to the importance of Back in Black in his own development as a guitarist.
“The first time I ever heard it was at my friend's house,” he said. “This was 1980 and this was a crucial point in rock ’n’ roll at that time, because all my favorite bands had either disbanded or members had died.
“And there was a lot of new music, but nothing really turned me on that much. I was familiar with Highway to Hell and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and I was into those two records. But I didn't know Bon Scott had died, I didn't know they had a new singer.
“Then all of a sudden Back In Black came out, and it was like a battle cry for rock ’n’ roll and heavy metal at that time. It was a killer record from start to finish."
Slash continued, “I think one of my favorite songs on the record was Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution. And then even to this day one of my favorite guitar solos of all time is in Hells Bells. So that particular record, it was pivotal for me. I just started to play guitar and it was the first really great rock ‘n’ roll band to come along in a while.”
The stream also featured artists ranging from Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider and Sebastian Bach to REO Speedwagon's Dave Amato and Alice In Chains’ William DuVall.
Trivium frontman Matt Heafy performed a solo acoustic version of Hells Bells, while guitarist Emily Wolfe demonstrated why she loves Angus Young’s lead work in Let Me Put My Love Into You.
“Every phrase is a response to the previous phrase,” she said while playing the solo. “To me it’s like watching a movie.”
Among the other highlights included Airbourne’s Joel O’Keefe teaching how to play Shoot to Thrill, a Jared James Nichols guitar tutorial and a Twitch cover of You Shook Me All Night Long.
Said Lamb of God’s Mark Morton, “Back in Black is testimony to how much you can do with just a few chords. Because those songs are classics and they’re great but they don’t need all those notes and that flash. There’s just that groove and those chord progressions and that voice.”
You can check out Back in Black 40th Anniversary: A Virtual Celebration in full above.