"Back in Black" is a song by AC/DC (written mostly by Malcolm Young with co-writer Angus Young), appearing as the first track on side two their 1980 album, Back in Black. Known for its opening guitar riff, the song was AC/DC's tribute to their former singer Bon Scott. It peaked in the U.S. at #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1981 and was #51 on Billboard's Top Tracks chart, which debuted in March 1981. "Back in Black" received the RIAA's Master Ringtone Sales Award (Gold and Platinum) in 2006 and reached 2x Platinum status in 2007.
The song was ranked #4 by VH1 on their list of the 40 Greatest Metal Songs . It was also ranked #187 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
A number of artists have sampled "Back in Black" without permission from the copyright holders.
In 1984 the Beastie Boys sampled "Back in Black" without permission for their song "Rock Hard". In 1999, when they wished to include it on an upcoming CD compilation release, they sought permission but AC/DC refused. Mike D of the Beastie Boys quoted Malcolm Young's reason for refusing as: "'Nothing against you guys, but we just don't endorse sampling.'" Back In Black was also sampled in the 2003 song "Work It" by Nelly.
Art Brut usually begin their song "Formed a Band" with the intro to "Back In Black" when they play it live. A recorded version of this can be found on their 2006 "Nag Nag Nag Nag" EP. Eminem released a version of his hit, "My Name Is", with "Back In Black" as the bassline.
Two live versions of the song later appeared on both versions of the album Live, as well as the Australian tour edition of Stiff Upper Lip. It has been covered by bands such as The Hives, Steriogram, Living Colour, Foo Fighters with Jack Black, Travis and Colombian pop singer Shakira. Other versions include:
1984 Beastie Boys, sampled without permission on "Rock Hard"
1986 Boogie Down Productions, sampled without permission on "Dope Beat"
1995 Kid Rock, demo with no vocals he scratch over the riff and added a hip hop beat to it, he also covers it in concert usually just the riff in the middle of Devil Without A Cause but he will cover it fully occasionally.
2001 Hayseed Dixie, on A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC
2003 Living Colour, on Collideøscope
2003 Back in Baroque... The String Tribute to AC/DC
2004 Shakira, on Live & Off the Record
2004 Six Feet Under, on Graveyard Classics 2
2005 Wing, on Wing sings AC/DC
2006 Art Brut, sampled without permission on a live recording of "Formed A Band"
Unknown The Hives on an unreleased track found on the Internet [source: wikipedia.org]