|Birth name||Brian Francis Johnson|
|Born||5 October 1947|
Dunston, County Durham, England
Brian Francis Johnson (born 5 October 1947) is an English singer and songwriter. In 1980, after the death of Bon Scott, he became the third lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC. He and the rest of the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. In March 2016, he stepped down from touring on the Rock or Bust World Tour due to hearing problems. He stated in an interview that he "had a pretty good run" in AC/DC and implied that he might not be returning.On September 30, 2020, AC/DC officially confirmed that Johnson along with fellow bandmates Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams returned to record the band's 2020 album, Power Up , in August 2018.
Johnson was one of the founder members of the rock band Geordie formed in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1971. After a few hit singles, including UK Top 10 "All Because of You" (1973), the band split up in 1978. Following the death of Bon Scott on 19 February 1980, Johnson was asked to audition for AC/DC. Lead guitarist and co-founder Angus Young recalled, "I remember Bon playing me Little Richard, and then telling me the story of when he saw Brian singing [with Geordie]. [...] There's this guy up there screaming at the top of his lungs and then the next thing you know he hits the deck. He's on the floor, rolling around and screaming. I thought it was great, and then to top it off—you couldn't get a better encore—they came in and wheeled the guy off!" Johnson was diagnosed with appendicitis later that night, which was the cause of his writhing around on stage. The band agreed immediately that Johnson's performing style fit AC/DC's music. His first album with AC/DC, Back in Black , became the second-best-selling album of all time, according to most estimates. The Guardian ranked the successful transition to Johnson at No. 36 on their list of 50 key events in rock music history.
Johnson is known for his distinctive singing voice and strong Geordie accent.In July 2014, he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Northumbria University in the city of Newcastle in recognition of his significant contribution to the music industry.
Johnson was born on 5 October 1947 in Dunston, then in County Durham. He is the oldest of four siblings. His English father, Alan, was a coal miner and sergeant major in the British Army's Durham Light Infantrywho died in 1996. His Italian mother, Esther (née De Luca), was from Frascati. When he was young, Johnson performed in various shows with the Scouts, appeared in a play which aired on television, and joined a local church choir. He also served in the Territorial Army with the Parachute Regiment.
Johnson's first band was the Gobi Desert Canoe Club.He was also in a band called Fresh. From 1970, Johnson played with cabaret/club band the Jasper Hart Band, performing songs from the musical Hair as well as soft-rock/pop songs of the time. He and other members of the band went on to form Geordie.
His first and only solo single, "I Can't Forget You Now", he released also as a member of Geordie in January 1976 on the Red Bus label. In 1982, a compilation including ten of Geordie's 1973–1976 songs, was issued as Brian Johnson's solo album Strange Man on the MCA label. The U.S. 1989 CD Keep On Rocking, with re-recorded versions of the band's twelve known songs, was released under the name of Brian Johnson and Geordie as well as the Australian 1991 compilation CD Rockin' With The Boys 1972–1976.
Following Bon Scott's death, the remaining members of the band briefly considered quitting, before concluding that Scott would have wanted AC/DC to continue. Various candidates were considered for his successor, including ex-Back Street Crawler vocalist Terry Slesser and Slade's Noddy Holder, who declined, before selecting Johnson.AC/DC guitarist and co-founder Angus Young later recalled, "I remember the first time I had ever heard Brian's (Johnson) name was from Bon. Bon had mentioned that he had been in England once touring with a band and he had mentioned that Brian had been in a band called Geordie and Bon had said 'Brian Johnson, he was a great rock and roll singer in the style of Little Richard.' And that was Bon's big idol, Little Richard. I think when he saw Brian at that time, to Bon it was 'Well he's a guy that knows what rock and roll is all about.' He mentioned that to us in Australia. I suppose when we decided to continue, Brian was the first name that Malcolm and myself came up with, so we said we should see if we can find him." In March 1980 Johnson received a phone call inviting him to London to audition as the new vocalist for AC/DC. As a big AC/DC fan, he was happy to oblige. Malcolm remembers the day: "We were all sitting there going, Where's this guy Brian? He should have been here an hour ago. 'Oh him? He's downstairs playing pool with the roadies' – so we thought, well, at least he plays pool."
When someone fetched him to meet them, Malcolm recalls that Johnson, "had tears in his eyes. He was as sad about Bon as we were. Anyway, we said, Do you want to give it a go? And he said, 'I do "Whole Lotta Rosie" with Geordie,' and off he went. We went, this guy is cutting the mustard. Anything else you know? "Nutbush City Limits"? OK, we can knock that out, and he sang that great too. It put a little smile on our faces – for the first time since Bon. So we just started working with him then." Within days, Johnson was in the band, the news being made official on 1 April. A week after that he was sent a plane ticket to the Bahamas (their management's idea, partly for tax purposes and partly because there were no vacant studios in the UK) where he joined the Youngs, bassist Cliff Williams, drummer Phil Rudd and Highway to Hell producer Mutt Lange in Compass Point Studios. The result was the album Back in Black , which was released in July that year. It was a worldwide success and went on to become the second best-selling album of all time. In 1986, Johnson returned to Tyneside and appeared in the music video for "You Shook Me All Night Long", and the video received significant airplay on MTV.
The 1988 album Blow Up Your Video was the last AC/DC album to feature lyrics from Johnson. Starting with The Razors Edge in 1990, guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young have written all of AC/DC's material. When asked by a fan during a radio interview why he stopped contributing lyrics, he laughed, "I ran out of words" and went on to explain that during recording he did not always enjoy the pressure of having to come up with an album's worth of lyrics and was relieved when the Young brothers filled in during The Razors Edge. The band has since continued in that tradition for every album since.
A symbol of the working class in the north of England, Johnson customarily wears a newsboy cap on stage and frequently off.Johnson has occasionally worn baseball caps as well. His brother suggested that the singer wear the cap onstage to prevent sweat rolling off his thick, curly hair into his eyes while singing. "He said, 'Put it on, at least you'll be able to see what the bloody freak you're doing!' So I put it on and after three songs in the second set, I looked at him, put my thumbs up – 'This is brilliant!' He never did get that hat back."
In April 2016, during the Rock or Bust World Tour, AC/DC announced the departure of Johnson, citing hearing issues. As the band explained it, Johnson risked total hearing loss if he continued. Johnson stated that his hearing issues hadn't come from performing for 36 years with AC/DC, but from having forgotten to put ear plugs in during a race that left him with a punctured left ear drum. Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose was recruited to complete the remaining ten shows in North America and twelve shows in Europe.Johnson's last show with AC/DC was on 28 February 2016; at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. After departing AC/DC, he recorded a new song with comedian Jim Breuer called "Mr. Rock 'n' Roll". Johnson made a cameo appearance with rock band Muse on 31 August 2017, performing a rendition of "Back in Black" with the group.
In August 2018, rumours began circulating that Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd had rejoined AC/DC.According to members of the band Terrorizer, in January 2019 Johnson confirmed to them that he is back in AC/DC after getting "sick of denying it" and that he is working on a new album.
On 30 September 2020, AC/DC posted a photo on social media listing the band's new lineup, including Johnson on vocals, as well as a photo featuring, him, Angus, Cliff Williams, Phil Rudd and Stevie Young reunited.
Since April 2003, Johnson, who says "I love musical theatre, especially the classic stuff, like Rodgers and Hammerstein", [ citation needed ]has been working on a musical version of Helen of Troy with Sarasota Ballet choreographer, Robert de Warren. The musical is a Les Misérables -style musical with rousing anthems, tender ballads and minimal dialogue. He conceived the project with writers Ian La Frenais, Dick Clement, and Brendan Healy after seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats and being underwhelmed at what he saw.
Malcolm McDowell, who made his recording debut singing one of the songs for the soundtrack in Brian's studio, agreed to play Zeus. The Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan and Bruce Vilanch were also set to participate.In 2004, Johnson travelled to Greece to film an episode of the television series Goddess Odyssey in which he researched the Helen of Troy myth. It was released on DVD in July 2005 and contains music from the theatre production. Phil Carson, former chief executive of Atlantic Records, supported the project but it was never staged.
A car and racing enthusiast, Johnson currently enjoys racing his vintage race cars: a Royale RP-4 and a Pilbeam MP84, which he races in vintage and historic races throughout the United States. In 1997, Johnson recorded with the band Jackyl on their song "Locked and Loaded", and in 2002, wrote lyrics on the track "Kill the Sunshine" from their album Relentless . In the video game Call of Duty: Finest Hour , he voices Sergeant Starkey. He made a cameo appearance in the 2005 film Goal!where he appears as a Newcastle United fan in a bar in California watching a Newcastle game.
In 2006, he took part in car racing reality television series The Race , broadcast on Sky One in the UK. In 2007, Johnson and AC/DC bassist Cliff Williams took part in the Classic Rock Cares tour to raise funds for the John Entwistle Foundation, which is run by Entwistle's long-time friend and drummer Steve Luongo. [ citation needed ]They performed AC/DC songs as well as songs written by Johnson for the film Totally Baked .
On 26 July 2009, Johnson appeared as the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car on the BBC's Top Gear . His time of 1:45.9 tied him with Britain's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell and Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud for the second fastest time in the Chevrolet Lacetti, just 0.1 seconds behind Jay Kay.Johnson subsequently appeared in the premiere of Top Gear series 20 and was the first star to record a time in their new Vauxhall Astra test vehicle, recording a time of 1:45.1. In April 2015, Johnson stated it was a mistake for the BBC to sack Jeremy Clarkson after the Top Gear presenter punched a colleague: "I know Jeremy and I know the lads [Richard Hammond and James May] and it's [the punch] just totally out of character."
His autobiography Rockers and Rollers was published in 2000.He raced in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona on 29 and 30 January 2012. He finished 12th in the Daytona Prototype class, driving for 50+Predator/Alegra Racing, sharing the #50 RileyTech/BMW Daytona Prototype with Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Byron DeFoor, Jim Pace, and Carlos de Quesada. He competed in the 2012 Silverstone Classic Celebrity Challenge race. In 2013, Johnson appeared as a guest singer on two songs on Sting's album The Last Ship which features artists with roots in the northeast of England.
In May 2014, Quest broadcast Cars That Rock with Brian Johnson, a documentary series fronted by Johnson where he explores his favourite iconic motor cars. The first episode looks at the history of the Mini, with Johnson driving a big selection of the cars, including the car from the 1969 British caper film The Italian Job and the world's fastest Mini. It concludes with Johnson racing a Mini Cooper at Brands Hatch, and finishes with him stating he has bought the car he raced. As of 2016, the show can now be seen on the Velocity channel.[ citation needed ]
In April 2017, Sky Arts broadcast the first episode of Brian Johnson: A Life on the Road. Series 1 comprised six episodes, with Johnson meeting contemporaries in the music industry to talk about their musical upbringings and careers. Featured were Roger Daltrey (The Who), Lars Ulrich (Metallica), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Sting (The Police), Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin).
Johnson married his first wife, Carol, in 1968,and they have two daughters: Joanne (born 1968), and Kala (born 1973). They divorced during the writing of The Razors Edge album. He is now married to Brenda, and lives in Sarasota, Florida.
He is an avid supporter of Newcastle United FC, and was asked to invest in the club in the early 1980s after being invited to meet the board by club legend Jackie Milburn.
In September 2009, Johnson was diagnosed with Barrett syndrome,causing AC/DC to cancel several shows on their 2010 tour in support of Black Ice. However, doctors were able to prevent the disease from developing into cancer.
According to the Sunday Times Rich List of British millionaires in music, Johnson was worth £50 million in 2011.[ citation needed ]
On 9 July 2014, Johnson was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Northumbria University in recognition of his significant contribution to the music industry.In October 2014, he became a supporter of the Yorkshire Dementia Charity based in the village of Topcliffe.
|Hope You Like It||1973||Repertoire Records|
|Don't Be Fooled by the Name||1974||Repertoire Records|
|Save the World||1976||EMI|
|No Good Woman||1978||EMI|
|Title||Release date||Label||U.S. Album Sales||Worldwide sales|
|Back in Black||July 1980||Atlantic||25,000,000||50,000,000|
|For Those About to Rock||November 1981||Atlantic||4,000,000||7,000,000|
|Flick of the Switch||September 1983||Atlantic||1,000,000||4,000,000|
|Fly on the Wall||June 1985||Atlantic||1,000,000||4,200,000|
|Who Made Who||May 1986||Atlantic||5,000,000||10,000,000|
|Blow Up Your Video||January 1988||Atlantic||2,000,000||4,000,000|
|The Razors Edge||September 1990||Atco||5,000,000||12,000,000|
|Stiff Upper Lip||February 2000||Elektra||1,000,000||4,000,000|
|Black Ice||October 2008||Columbia||2,500,000||8,000,000|
|Rock or Bust||November 2014||Columbia||500,000||2,800,000|
|National Lampoon's Totally Baked: A Potumentary soundtrack||April 2007|
|2012||50+ Predator|| Byron DeFoor|
Carlos de Quesada
|Riley Mk. XI||DP||672||32nd||12th|
AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal, but the band themselves call it simply "rock and roll".
Back in Black is the seventh studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC. It was released on 25 July 1980 by Albert Productions and Atlantic Records. It is the band's first album to feature lead singer Brian Johnson, following the death of previous lead singer Bon Scott.
Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott was an Australian singer and songwriter, best known for being the lead vocalist and lyricist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1974 until his death in 1980.
Angus McKinnon Young is an Australian musician, best known as the co-founder, lead guitarist, songwriter and only constant original member of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. He is known for his energetic performances, schoolboy-uniform stage outfits and his own version of Chuck Berry's duckwalk. Young was ranked 24th in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 greatest guitarists of all-time list. In 2003, Young and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Flick of the Switch is a 1983 studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the band's eighth internationally released studio album, and the ninth to be released in their native Australia. The album was deemed a commercial disappointment after it failed to match the sales figures of the band's two previous releases, 1980's Back in Black and 1981's For Those About to Rock, and its release represented the beginning of the band's commercial decline. Despite this, opinions of Flick of the Switch have been quite positive in the years since its release, and the album has often been mentioned as one of the best releases of 1983. The third AC/DC album to feature lead vocalist Brian Johnson, the album is also the last to feature drummer Phil Rudd before his return on Ballbreaker (1995). The album was re-released in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series.
Phillip Hugh Norman Rudd is an Australian drummer, best known as the drummer of AC/DC. On the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans from AC/DC, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of the band. In 2003, he entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the other members of AC/DC. In 2014, Rudd released his first solo album, Head Job. Due to ongoing legal problems in New Zealand, where he is resident, Rudd was unable to join the band for the 2015 Rock or Bust World Tour and was replaced by Chris Slade. On 30 September 2020, AC/DC confirmed that Rudd would be rejoining the band for their comeback album Power Up.
"You Shook Me All Night Long" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, from the album Back in Black. The song also reappeared on their later album Who Made Who. It is AC/DC's first single with Brian Johnson as the lead singer, replacing Bon Scott who officially died of alcohol poisoning in February 1980, though there have been allegations he succumbed to a drug overdose combined with alcohol. It reached number 35 on the USA's Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1980. The single was re-released internationally in 1986, following the release of the album Who Made Who. The re-released single in 1986 contains the B-side(s): B1. "She's Got Balls" ; B2. "You Shook Me All Night Long".
T.N.T. is the second studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released only in Australia, on 1 December 1975.
Clifford Williams is an English musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist of the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. He started his professional music career in 1967 and had previously been in the English groups Home and Bandit. His first studio album with AC/DC was Powerage in 1978. Williams was inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of AC/DC in 2003. Williams announced his retirement from AC/DC in 2016, but returned for their 2020 comeback album Power Up along with band mates Brian Johnson and Phil Rudd. His side projects include benefit concerts.
Chris Slade is a Welsh musician, best known for playing for the Australian hard rock band AC/DC. He drummed for the band from 1989 to 1994, performing on their 1990 album The Razors Edge along with their first live album with singer Brian Johnson, AC/DC Live. He returned to the band in February 2015 to replace Phil Rudd for the "Rock or Bust World Tour". Slade has also played with Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Tom Jones, Toomorrow, The Firm, and Asia.
Geordie were a British rock band from Newcastle upon Tyne, most notably active in the 1970s.
"Jailbreak" is a song by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is the ninth and final track of their third Australian album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, released in September 1976. The song was not released in North America until 1984. It was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott.
"Big Gun" is a song by Australian rock band AC/DC. It was released as a single in 1993 and can be heard on the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Last Action Hero, as well as during reruns of the Savage Nation talk show as bumper music. It was later released on the 2009 box set Backtracks. It became the band's first No. 1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart in 1993.
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is the third studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's third LP released in Australia and second in Europe in 1976 but was not released in the United States until 1981, more than one year after lead singer Bon Scott's death.
Live at River Plate is a live album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC, released on 19 November 2012.
Rock or Bust is the sixteenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC, released on 28 November 2014. It is their fifteenth internationally released studio album and the sixteenth to be released in Australia. Rock or Bust is the group's first album to feature rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, replacing founding member Malcolm Young, who had retired from the band in 2014 due to health concerns and died in 2017.
Rock or Bust World Tour was a 2015–2016 concert tour by Australian rock band AC/DC, in support of their sixteenth studio album Rock or Bust (2014).
Power Up is the seventeenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC, released on 13 November 2020 through Columbia Records and Sony Music Australia. It is their sixteenth internationally released studio album and the seventeenth to be released in Australia. Power Up marks the return of vocalist Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams, all of whom left AC/DC before, during, or after the supporting tour for their previous album Rock or Bust (2014). This is also the band's first album since the death of co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young in 2017 and it serves as a tribute to him, according to his brother Angus. The album was generally well received by music critics and reached number one in 21 countries. It sold 1.4 million copies worldwide.