20 Years Ago: AC/DC Pay Tribute With ‘Bonfire’ Box Set
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On Nov. 18, 1997, AC/DC paid tribute to their late singer Bon Scott with the release of the Bonfire box set. The five-CD collection featured live material and alternate takes from the maniacal singer’s tenure in the band.
Scott was one of the most distinctive vocalists in hard rock history, as well as one of its most energetic frontmen. Unfortunately, he was also a self-destructive alcoholic whose legendary drinking ended up taking his life on Feb. 19, 1980, at the age of 33.
His AC/DC bandmates moved on without him, paying tribute to him with their record-breaking 1980 album Back in Black, for which they recruited singer Brian Johnson. But fans of the group’s original lineup clamored for more from Scott, and the group obliged with the release of large Bonfire collection. (The title was apparently chosen by Scott himself; the liner notes explain that when angered he would often — and mostly jokingly — threaten to go solo and release an album by that name.)
Disc one comprised the entirety of Live From the Atlantic Studios, featuring live versions of classics like “Live Wire,” “High Voltage” and “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Two additional discs featured the entire Let There Be Rock movie, which captured the group in a 1979 concert in Paris during the Highway to Hell tour.
Disc four was titled Volts and contained alternate versions and outtakes of such classic hard rock tracks as “Dirty Eyes” (which became “Whole Lotta Rosie”), “Touch Too Much” and an early version of “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It).” The package concluded with a remastered version of “Back in Black,” which many fans felt missed the point since Scott ostensibly inspired the album, but did not perform on it.
The box set also included a poster, a backstage pass, key ring and other extras, as well as a large booklet of liner notes and rare photos from before Scott’s death.