AC/DC's mammoth power-chord roar became one of the most influential hard rock sounds of the '70s. In its own way, it was a reaction against the pompous art rock and lumbering arena rock of the early '70s. AC/DC's rock was minimalist -- no matter how huge and bludgeoning the guitar chords were, there was a clear sense of space and restraint. Combined with Bon Scott's larynx-shredding vocals, the band spawned countless imitators over the next two decades.
AC/DC was formed in 1973 in Australia by guitarist Malcolm Young after his band, the Velvet Underground, collapsed (Young's band has no relation to the seminal American group). With his younger brother Angus as lead guitarist, the band played some gigs around Sydney. Angus was only 15-years-old at the time and his sister suggested that he should wear his school uniform on-stage; the look became the band's visual trademark. While still in Sydney, the original lineup (featuring singer Dave Evans) cut a single called "Can I Sit Next to You," with ex-Easybeats Harry Vanda and George Young (Malcolm and Angus' older brother) producing.
The band moved to Melbourne the following year, where drummer Phil Rudd (formerly of the Coloured Balls) and bassist Mark Evans joined the band. The band's chauffeur, Bon Scott, became their lead vocalist when their singer, Dave Evans, refused to go on-stage.
Previously, Scott had been vocalist for the Australian prog rock bands Fraternity and the Valentines. More importantly, he helped cement the group's image as brutes -- he had several convictions on minor criminal offenses and was rejected by the Australian Army for being "socially maladjusted." And AC/DC was socially maladjusted. Throughout their career they favored crude double entendres and violent imagery, all spiked with a mischievous sense of fun.
The group released two albums -- High...