The Lives of Brian The Lives of Brian

The Lives of Brian

    • 4.5 • 35 Ratings
    • $16.99

    • $16.99

Publisher Description

One of SPIN'S Best Music Memoirs of 2022!

Brian Johnson’s memoir from growing up in a small town to starting his own band to ultimately replacing Bon Scott, the lead singer of one of the world biggest rock acts, AC/DC. They would record their first album together, the iconic Back in Black, which would become the biggest selling rock album of all time.

Brian Johnson was born to a steelworker and WWII veteran father and an Italian mother, growing up in New Castle Upon Tyne, England, a working-class town. He was musically inclined and sang with the church choir. By the early ’70s he performed with the glam rock band Geordie, and they had a couple hits, but it was tough going. So tough that by 1976, they disbanded and Brian turned to a blue-collar life.

Then 1980 changed everything. Bon Scott, the lead singer and lyricist of the Australian rock band AC/DC died at 33. The band auditioned singers, among them Johnson, whom Scott himself had seen perform and raved about. Within days, Johnson was in a studio with the band, working with founding members Angus and Malcolm Young, Cliff Williams, and Phil Rudd, along with producer Mutt Lange.

When the album, Back in Black, was released in July—a mere three months after Johnson had joined the band—it exploded, going on to sell 50 million copies worldwide, and triggering a years-long worldwide tour. It has been declared “the biggest selling hard rock album ever made” and “the best-selling heavy-metal album in history.”

The band toured the world for a full year to support the album, changing the face of rock music—and Brian Johnson’s life—forever.

Biographies & Memoirs
Brian Johnson
hr min
October 25

Customer Reviews

Eningine head ,

The Lives if Brian

Just an absolutely wonderful insight to an inspirational rock n roll icon!
Well done !

b0ssanova ,

Doesn’t talk a lot about ac/dc after back in black.

Not a bad book at all, but I was hoping to hear more about ac/dc days. Instead it was more about his earlier bands and his younger years. It talks about his audition for ac/dc and touches on making the back in black album and that’s about it.

indianinDFW ,

Great story if less than comprehensive

Brian Johnson is a great singer who’s also led an interesting life, which resulted in him improbably becoming the lead singer of AC/DC - he was literally plucked out of obscurity in his 30s.

He’s is a wonderful storyteller and seems like a good guy who rarely has a bad word for anyone. He’s definitely the kind of guy you’d like to have a few drinks with while listening to his stories. In fact, that’s kind of what listening to him narrate his book feels like. He is entertaining and has a great memory.

The only knock on this book, and it’s kind of a big one, is that other than the prologue and epilogue, this book could have come out in 1982 rather than 2022. It basically takes you up to the Back in Black tour. The prologue and epilogue address his hearing issues, Malcolm’s death, and their last release briefly, but otherwise, you’ll learn far more about Brian’s life before AC/DC than in it. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t have any bad words for anyone, especially those in AC/DC (or maybe a really strong NDA).

It would have been nice to understand how their other records were made, how the tours went, the ups and downs of their career, the changes in roles and relationships within the band, how everything impacted the band personally, etc. There literally has to be a whole book covering all the things he left out. It doesn’t make this book bad, just incomplete, that’s why it didn’t get 5 stars.

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