Angus Young’s Only Wish From Brian Johnson For AC/DC Songs

When the Young Brothers recruited Brian Johnson after Bon Scott’s untimely death in 1980, it felt to the band that they were back on track, having repossessed the energy the old AC/DC had. That’s how Johnson recalled the time he auditioned for the rockers while trying to prove he was the right person for Scott’s job.

‘Back In Black’ was a turning point for the act, proving they could still rock, even without Bon, and their new frontman, Brian, was the right fit. Still, Johnson faced numerous accusations from fans and critics of imitating his predecessor over the years, though it might be safe to say that after more than 4o years of fronting the Aussie act, he’d formed a style of his own.

In fact, Johnson established such a legacy that whenever someone starts singing an AC/DC song with a high-pitched voice, any average rock fan might go, ‘Oh, they’re trying to imitate Brian Johnson.’ So, when Guitar World asked Angus Young in 2011 whether he and Malcolm would try and imitate Johnson’s vocals while writing tracks to see how they might sound, the guitarist quickly denied it, simply answering no.

The Brothers would ring Brian if they ever needed to hear what their lyrics might sound like, and his main role was to ‘yodel.’ The frontman was accompanying Angus during the interview, so he also had a few things to say on the matter, jokingly suggesting that the Youngs never tried to sing like him since they were afraid of looking like him. Thus, they would never try imitating him.

Young on whether he and Malcolm tried to imitate Brian while writing:

“You mean try to imitate Brian? No. At that point, we usually just ring up Brian and say, ‘Hey, we need you to come and yodel.'”

Brian continued:

“If they try to imitate me, they might end up looking like me. They wouldn’t want that to happen.”

Then when the host asked who could do the best impression of Johnson, Angus Young jokingly explained the best way to imitate the frontman’s singing was to get a truck and drop it on your foot, and rest assured, you’d be screaming in high pitches like Brian.

The frontman, however, had actually an answer to the question, recalling how a woman accompanying them while the act was recording ‘The Razor’s Edge’ in Vancouver had imitated his vocals almost without a fault. So, that was a close call.

Angus explained how to imitate Johnson the best with the following:

“What you do is, you get a truck, and you drop it on your foot.”

Johnson’s words on how a woman made the best impression on him stated:

“There are some good copy bands out there, you know. But the best imitation I’ve ever seen was by a chick, believe it or not, while we were in Vancouver recording ‘The Razor’s Edge.’ And she was pretty good.”

It’s evident that the rocker went from where fans and critics accused him of imitating Bon Scott to where he’d become a singer people tried to imitate or hold themselves back while performing so as not to sound like him. Brian’s signature vocals even had Angus and Malcolm refrain from trying to sing in high pitches since they didn’t want people to think they were copying the frontman.