Today’s birthday wishes go out to Angus Young of AC/DC, and though he is now 56 years old, the guy really is forever young. It isn’t just because of his trademark school boy uniform (though that’s certainly a big help), but it’s also because of his lively concert performances and almost juvenile take (in the best way possible) on rock and roll.
AC/DC formed way back in 1973 when he was only 18 years old, and Young has been the group’s lead guitarist since its inception. They instantly became huge in their native Australia, and it was mainly because of Young’s incredible approach to music. He took blues riffs and melted them down, bent them in half, twisted them around and knocked them back out again with an incredible balance of power and grace. Those riffs helped turn giant slabs of proto-metal like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Highway to Hell,” “Let There Be Rock” and “Back in Black” into huge hits and genre staples.
Though they’ve been playing music together for nearly 40 years, AC/DC remain an incredible presence in rock and roll. Their last studio album, 2008’s Black Ice, was a big seller, and their accompanying world tour was extremely well-received. A lot of that has to do with Young’s remarkable guitar work and manic energy (he still bounds around the stage like a crazed animal, still kicking and spinning better than any other rock star walking). AC/DC sort of had some lost years in there, but albums like 1995’s Ballbreaker and 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip have some gems — including “Satellite Blues,” which comes from the latter album.