100 Greatest Guitarists

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Angus Young
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24. Angus Young

"I don't regard myself as a soloist," AC/DC's lead guitarist has said of his manic style. "It's a color; I put it in for excitement." Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell called him "the absolute god of blues-rock guitar." The approach that Angus Young and his rhythm-guitar-playing brother, Malcolm, developed in AC/DC's early years – high-speed pentatonic runs over thunderous power-chord licks – became a hard-rock tradition, and millions of guitarists the world over have his "Back in Black" and "Highway to Hell" licks imprinted on their brains. "Malcolm and Angus have done more with three chords than any other human being," said Slash. Angus Young's onstage persona –l schoolboy outfits, duckwalking like a pint-size Chuck Berry – is as colorful as his playing. "He's like Clark fucking Kent!" AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson told Rolling Stone in 2008. "He goes into a phone booth and comes out as the 14-year-old imp, ready to rock!"

Key Tracks: "Highway to Hell," "Bad Boy Boogie"

AC/DC and the Gospel of Rock & Roll

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