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Australian hard-rock/heavy-metal band AC/DC features knickers-clad guitarist Angus Young, who became as famous for mooning audiences regularly as for his gritty blues-based lead guitar and songs about sex, drinking and damnation. AC/DC's raucous image, constant touring and raw, juvenile, yet amusing lyrics in songs like "Big Balls" and "The Jack" helped make them one of the top hard-rock bands in history. The group has remained a major concert draw, and its albums consistently go platinum despite never having had a Top 20 single in the U.S.

The Young brothers moved with their family from Scotland to Sydney in 1963. In 1973 they formed the first version of AC/DC, adding vocalist Bon Scott in early 1974, followed by drummer Philip Rudd and bassist Mark Evans later that year. Their first four albums were produced by ex-Easybeats Harry Vanda and George Young, Angus' older brother. The group had gained a solid reputation in their homeland early on, but it wasn't until 1979 with the platinum Highway to Hell (Number 17, 1979) that they became a presence on the American charts.

Within months of AC/DC's American success, vocalist Scott died from choking on his own vomit after an all-night drinking binge. Two months later he was replaced by ex-Geordie vocalist Brian Johnson, and less than four months after that, Back in Black began a yearlong run on the U.S. chart, peaking at Number Four (1980), selling more than 21 million copies to date and featuring the double-entendre-ridden "You Shook Me All Night Long." Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, a 1981 reissue of a 1976 Australian LP, went to Number Three in the U.S., followed by For Those About to Rock, We Salute You, the group's first and, to date, only U.S. Number One LP, in late 1981. The less spectacular showings of the gold albums Flick of the Switch (Number 15, 1983) and Fly on the Wall (Number 32, 1985) gave way to the multiplatinum Who Made Who (the soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive) and The Razors Edge (Number Two, 1990). The latter contains the group's closest thing to a hit chart single, "Moneytalks" (Number 23, 1991). (The ubiquity of many AC/DC songs, notably those from Back in Black, is merely history catching up.)

In January 1991, three fans were crushed to death at an AC/DC show in Salt Lake City, Utah. In late 1992, the group paid the families of the three deceased teenagers an undisclosed sum, following an out-of-court settlement. Other parties to the settlement included the convention center, the concert's promoter and the company in charge of security.

AC/DC laid low until 1995, when the Rick Rubin-produced Ballbreaker (which also marked the return of drummer Phil Rudd) entered the charts at Number Four. The bulk of the five-CD box set Bonfire, released in 1997, was made up of live tracks recorded in 1977 and 1979, as well as of a remastered version of Back in Black. It marked the first time AC/DC had released material featuring Bon Scott since the singer's death. With older brother George Young (who had worked on such early AC/DC albums as Let There Be Rock and Powerage) back on board as producer, Stiff Upper Lip (Number Seven, 2000) confirmed AC/DC's status as one of the most enduringly popular hard-rock bands on the planet.

Wisely sticking to its time-tested formula of no-frills riffing, the band followed the record's release with extensive touring, during which Angus Young wore, as always, a schoolboy uniform. (That outfit has become such a part of rock legend that it was included in Rock Style, an exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, which opened in 1999.) Always a reliable live act, AC/DC once more bought out the big guns literally, since the band's stage act included cannons that went off during "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)." The band is set to release its fifteenth studio album, Black Ice, in October 2008, followed by a world tour.

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