Why Brian Johnson Stopped Contributing To AC/DC’s Lyrics

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All music bands have their unique way of a songwriting process. Writing music with anyone else also brings many struggles since everyone has their own style in writing and playing music. Some bands have a primary songwriter, while others carry out this process as a team. When looking from the outside, songwriting can be an intimidating pursuit. Some bands might make it look easy by writing in minutes, whereas it may take weeks or months to complete the songs in some other cases.

Considering the situation in AC/DC, Malcolm Young, who died in 2017, was the driving force behind most of the band’s hit works like ‘Highway to Hell,’ ‘Hells Bells’ and ‘Back in Black.’ He wasn’t alone in the making of these songs, though. Songwriting credits have been shared among the band members starting from their debut album. Until ‘Back in Black,’ Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott wrote the AC/DC songs together. Later on, their new lead singer Brian Johnson joined the songwriting process along with the Young brothers. However, Johnson stopped contributing to the lyrics at some point, and let’s see why.

Why Did Brian Johnson Stop Writing AC/DC’s Lyrics?

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Following AC/DC original singer Bon Scott’s death in 1980, the band decided to hire Brian Johnson as their new lead vocalist. They thought that Johnson’s style fit the group’s music. As soon as he joined the band, the singer started to contribute to the songwriting process. AC/DC’s seventh studio album, ‘Back in Black,‘ was the first record to feature Brian Johnson. He and the Young brothers wrote all tracks of the album.

Johnson was also given credit for the following albums, ‘For Those About to Rock,’ ‘Flick of the Switch,’ ‘Fly on the Wall,’ and ‘Blow Up Your Video.’ However, he pulled himself back from writing lyrics at this point. The next album, ‘The Razors Edge,’ released in 1990, included only Angus and Malcolm Young as the primary songwriters.

When a fan asked Brian Johnson why he stopped writing lyrics for AC/DC’s material during a radio interview, the singer explained that he wanted to get rid of the pressure of coming up with good lyrics that would contribute to the band’s success. It wasn’t always an enjoyable process for him since he felt stressed most of the time. Thus, he felt relieved when the Young brothers took over the task of songwriting, beginning with the ‘The Razors Edge’ album.