Hells Bells (song)

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"Hells Bells"
One of artworks for continental European releases
Single by AC/DC
from the album Back in Black
B-side "What Do You Do for Money Honey"
Released 31 October 1980
Format 7 inch
Recorded Spring 1980 at Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 5:12
Label Atlantic Records
Writer(s) Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson
Producer(s) Robert John "Mutt" Lange
AC/DC singles chronology
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"Hells Bells"
"Back in Black"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Hells Bells" is the first track of Australian hard rock band AC/DC's first album without Bon Scott, Back in Black. "Hells Bells" is the second single from Back in Black, released in the fall of 1980. The song also appears on Who Made Who, AC/DC's 1986 soundtrack to the Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive and on both versions of 1992's AC/DC Live.


The song begins with the slow tolling of a bell, followed by an intro played by Angus Young, with Malcolm Young then joining to create the classic Back in Black double-guitar sound, followed by Phil Rudd on drums and Cliff Williams on bass.

The bell used in the song was a 2,000-pound cast bronze bell made by John Taylor Bellfounders in Loughborough, and is a replica of the Denison Bell. The AC/DC logo and "Hells Bell" are engraved on the bell. The band first attempted to record the Denison Bell at the Carillon Tower and War Museum in Leicestershire, England for the song, but this proved insufficient due to the disruption of pigeons nesting in the bell tower.[2]


Charts and certifications[edit]

In baseball[edit]

The song was used as the entrance music for former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Trevor Hoffman at home games from 1998–2010, thrilling the crowd as he emerged.[10][11] The San Diego Padres' usage of "Hells Bells" for Hoffman was a forerunner in the heavy metal theme songs for closers used throughout MLB stadiums.[12][13] San Jose Mercury News and ESPN.com wrote that the song should be honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.[14][15] At Hoffman's number retirement ceremony, Brian Johnson paid tribute in a video to Hoffman for "rocking the mound".[16][17]


  1. ^ Ertegün, Ahmet (2001). "What'd I Say?": The Atlantic Story: 50 Years of Music. Welcome Rain Publisher. p. 546. ISBN 978-1-56649-048-1. Back In Black includes one of their best known songs, 'You Shook Me All Night Long' (#35 Pop), and hard rock classics 'Hells Bells', 'Back In Black' (#37 Pop) and 'Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution'. 
  2. ^ "Loughborough Carillon > Issue No. 13". Carillon Chimes. Leicestershire, England. November 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Le Détail par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "AC/DC" from the artist drop-down menu. Retrieved 20 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – AC/DC – Hells Bells". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Back in Black – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "Austriancharts.at – AC/DC – Hells Bells" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Lescharts.com – AC/DC – Hells Bells" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Canadian single certifications – AC/DC – Hells Bells". Music Canada. 
  9. ^ "American single certifications – AC/DC – Hell's Bells". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  10. ^ Capozzi, Joe (11 January 2011). "Hell's Bells — Trevor Hoffman, who started his career with Florida Marlins, bound for Hall after retirement". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011. I'll never forget games I've covered at Petco Park when Hoffman trotted in from the bullpen to pitch the ninth inning to the ear-shattering sounds of AC/DC's Hell's Bells — perhaps some of the loudest, most electrifying crowd noise I've ever heard. 
  11. ^ Center, Bill (26 September 2006). "Story of Hells Bells anthem, etc.". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 26 September 2006. 
  12. ^ Engber, Daniel (14 April 2006). "Hear My Song, Fear My Fastball". Slate. Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011. The closer songs of the early '90s tended to mix a cranky bravado with the threat of mental instability—don't mess with me, I'm so mean and crazy. 
  13. ^ Tarantino, Anthony (19 April 2004). "For whom the bell tolls". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 28 January 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2011. Since using the idea, the Padres have become a forerunner in the closer-theme explosion. 
  14. ^ Daly, Kaitee (28 July 2010). "John Fogerty's 'Centerfield' sparks a list". ESPN.com. p. 2. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Peterson, Gary (19 March 2011). "Peterson: Baseball Hall of Fame should honor AC/DC". San Jose Mercury News. p. C-2. Archived from the original on 20 March 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  16. ^ Hayes, Dan (21 August 2011). "PADRES NOTES: Hoffman ceremony filled with surprises". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2014. 
  17. ^ Sullivan, Tim (21 August 2011). "Grand gesture is prime Trevor Time for good reason". U-T San Diego. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2014.