Flying Off The Top

It wasn't until the spring of 1985 that AC/DC regrouped to work on their new album at Mountain Studios near Montreux, Switzerland. Happy with the raw sound they'd achieved with “Flick Of The Switch”, Malcolm and Angus decided again to produce by themselves. It was around this time when Brian signed a solo deal with Red Bus Records. He was planning a solo project when time allowed. The new album, titled “Fly On The Wall”, was released on June 28. Despite the general critical thumbs-down, the album did reach No. 7 in the UK charts. The first single taken from the album, “Danger”, only made No. 48.

In addition to the album, there was a 28-minute long-form video titled “Fly On The Wall”, which featured five songs from the album. The concept was based around the band playing a gig in a small New York club full of shady characters.

The world tour following the album’s release began with another visit to the US. Unfortunately, their American tour was spoiled by something that had nothing to do with music. On August 31, 1985, Los Angeles police apprehended Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker" who had murdered at least a dozen people around the Los Angeles area. It turned out that Ramirez had been obsessed with the supposed "satanic" imagery featured on the “Highway To Hell” album, and particularly with the lyrics of “Night Prowler”. When the police caught up with him, they claimed he was wearing an AC/DC T-shirt and had left an AC/DC hat at the scene of one of his crimes.

As the consequence of the supposed connections to the “Night Stalker”, American parents, church leaders, and a certain part of the press reinforced their opposition to the band and called for widespread bans to be enforced.

But nothing the band could say could stop certain sectors of the public from mentally associating AC/DC with the actions of the serial killer. The Springfield City Council tried to prohibit an AC/DC concert in their town; only 5,000 kids turned up instead of the anticipated 8,000 and the band couldn't find any accommodation in Springfield. Later on in California, AC/DC's October 21 Pacific Amphitheater show was canceled.

In January 1986, AC/DC played 8 sold-out shows in the UK and 18 more around Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia until mid-February. On February 16, the band returned to London to start work on a video for their next single. During January, “Shake Your Foundations” had become their most successful single since “For Those About To Rock” when it reached No. 24 in the UK charts.

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