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, creating a wall of sound.
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.
^Ertegün, Ahmet (2001). "What'd I Say?": The Atlantic Story: 50 Years of Music. Welcome Rain Publisher. p. 546. ISBN978-1-56649-048-1. 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'.
^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.
^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.