Angus Young shoots down rumours of Bon Scott singing on Back In Black demos

There aren’t any “secret” recordings of Scott singing Hells Bells, it seems.


Image: Fin Costello / Getty

Angus Young has addressed rumours surrounding the writing of the 1980 AC/DC album Back In Black, and the involvement of the band’s first singer Bon Scott, who died before its release.

There were rumours that Scott performed vocals on early versions of the album’s demos, however, Young has said that Scott has “never really got the chance” to contribute to the record before his death, in a new interview with Paste.

Young was asked about whether there were any “top secret” recordings of Scott singing Back In Black songs, to which he replied: “There’s never been one. Bon never really got the chance. At the time, me and Malcolm were writing songs, which became the songs for Back In Black.

“We were in London in a rehearsal room, and Bon had come down, too. And what used to happen was, me and Malcolm would get together and get a drum kit, and Malcolm would get behind the drums sometimes, and I’d get on the guitar and just tap out a riff… we were working away, and it was on an intro which was actually what became the intro for Hells Bells. So Bon showed up, and Malcolm said, ‘Oh, great, Bon! You can get behind the kit.’”

“The other one was Have a Drink on Me, a riff Malcolm was playing around with. So we worked out the intro on that and how the song was gonna go. So he had Bon tapped to do a demo for that. So that was it, really.”

“If you were looking up what Bon had done, it was really just to help us with those demos on the drums. And he even said to us, as we were knocking off in the night time, ‘Look, we’ll hook up next week.’ He’d been working on some lyrics, and said, ‘We’ll hook up next week and maybe the three of us can just start going through stuff.’ But unfortunately, he passed before that.”

Scott died on 19 February 1980, with Brian Johnson being announced as his replacement six weeks later. Back In Black was released on 25 July 1980.

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