When the Ballbreaker tour ended in New Zealand in November 1996, the band took some time off. In March 1997, the band began to think seriously about the making of the box set. Initially, the record company planned to release a 4 CD box set with the best songs taken from the band's whole career. However, during the last tour many fans asked the band to officially release some of the old live tapes recorded with Bon Scott. The idea seduced the band and they eventually decided to make a tribute to Bon Scott through this long awaited box set.
While work began on the content of the box set, the band didn't have any unreleased songs with Bon Scott, only demos recorded in the studio before the final take. The making of the box set was mainly a research project in order to find the master tapes of old studio recordings and live shows. Malcolm and Angus Young spent a lot of time in the studio listening to the tapes and selecting the songs where Bon was at the top of his condition. Their older brother George who participated in the production of the band’s first albums with Harry Vanda in the seventies helped them in this.
Finished in September 1997, the box set, entitled “Bonfire”, was released on November 14, 1997 in Europe and four days later in the United States. “Bonfire” was a title that Bon Scott used to joke about when he dreamt of being famous one day and make a solo album. The box set is made of 5 CD's including a live radio show recorded in 1977, one of last live performances with Bon Scott in 1979 on a double CD, a collection of unreleased demos and live songs with Bon Scott from 1977 to 1979 and the multi platinum album, Back In Black.
“Live From The Atlantic Studios” was recorded at the end of the 1977 American tour in New York. At that time their record company - Atlantic Records - used to organize live radio performances for the bands signed on their label in their famous recording studios in New York. The concert was released in 1978 as a very limited edition promotional record in order to be broadcasted by a few associate American radio stations. But this show was also to be released as the first AC/DC bootleg record entitled “110/220” and later on various other bootleg vinyl records and CD's. The sound quality of the original tapes was enhanced thanks to a new production made by George Young from the master tapes.
“Let There Be Rock - The Movie - Live In Paris” is the full soundtrack from the film “Let There Be Rock” released in 1980. This recording includes the complete concert recorded in Paris on December 9, 1979. It features the full version of the song “Walk All Over You” and the missing track “T.N.T.” that was dropped from the movie. The record even includes the movie introduction solo recorded by Angus Young during a sound check in Metz on December 6, 1979.
“Volts” presents 5 studio songs with Bon Scott that nobody had ever heard before. These songs, taken from the original studio tapes and produced by George Young, are in fact the first demo versions of songs published later on the “Let There Be Rock” and “Highway To Hell” albums. “Volts” also includes rare live recordings and ends with songs released on the first three AC/DC Australian albums.
“Back In Black” is the last record of the Bonfire box set, depending on the country where it is released (not all countries have this last CD included). As the band declared during the promotional interviews they gave all around the world, “Back In Black” was included in the box set because it was made as the band’s tribute to Bon Scott at the time of its release. Released in a double carton embossed sleeve with all the original components of the vinyl release, this edition of “Back In Black” is exclusive to Bonfire.
Bonfire also includes a 48-page booklet, a two sided-poster, AC/DC sticker, removable tattoo, guitar pick, and a key chain/bottle opener. The booklet includes rare black & white and color photos of the band, a brief AC/DC history by Australian journalist Murray Engleheart, various quotes from AC/DC band members and Bon Scott hand written lyrics.