Like A Stiff Breeze

After the release of Bonfire and the promotional campaign all around the world, each member of the band went back home. In the early months of 1998, Malcolm and Angus began to work on the songs for the next album. The band had decided not to work under pressure and take the time to compose, rehearse, and record without taking care of any precise schedule. The release of the album was often announced but always delayed until the first months of year 2000.

Once again Brian Johnson did not participate to the songwriting. He kept himself busy anyway by producing the first album of a band from Saratosa, Florida called Neurotica. On the album, titled “Seed”, Brian Johnson not only worked on the production but he also co-wrote and sang backing vocals on one of the songs, “Deadly Sin”.

In addition to his work as a producer, Brian joined Cliff Williams on March 28, 1998, to take part at a benefit performance for the Opera House in Saratosa. Brian and Cliff along with Jesse Dupree and Billy Leverty jammed on several rock classics among which “Back In Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

On May 26 the Australia Post released a collection of 12 stamps to celebrate the first 20 years of Australian Rock 'N' Roll. Each stamp was associated with an Australian hit song, including “It’s A Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)” by AC/DC and “Friday On My Mind” by the Easybeats. The songs were reportedly chosen by rock historian Glenn A. Baker, who said that the tracks honored had to be performed, produced, and recorded in Australia.

During that pre-recording period, the band received some famous awards at the ceremonies of which AC/DC band members were present. In August 1998 Angus Young and Brian Johnson attended the Kerrang! Awards in London where they were presented with the "Hall Of Fame" award for the band. On March 16, 1999 Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams were in New York City at Roseland Ballroom to receive AC/DC's first Diamond award from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for their album “Back In Black”, which achieved sales of over 10 Million copies in the United States.

The band started the recording sessions for their next album on July 17, 1999. The recording took place at Brian Adams' Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada. Until October 15, 1999 when the recording sessions ended, 17 new songs were recorded but only 12 of them were to appear on the album. The 5 remaining tracks were not finished. George Young who last worked with the band on the “Blow Up Your Video” album produced the record, but it was the first time he worked on an AC/DC album without Harry Vanda. Mixed in the last months of 1999 by Mike Fraser, the album, titled “Stiff Upper Lip”, was released on February 25, 2000 in Europe and a few days later in the rest of the world. The album turned out to be a success. It charted at number 1 in Argentina, Austria, Germany, Finland, and Sweden, number 2 in France, Switzerland, and Spain, number 3 in Australia, number 5 in Canada, Portugal, and Czech Republic, number 6 in Norway and Hungary, number 7 in the US, number 12 in the UK, number 10 in Belgium, number 19 in Denmark, and number 22 in Italy.

The promotion of the album began in the United States where the band appeared in several radio and TV shows like on MTV where they played two song live in front of a small crowd, namely “Stiff Upper Lip” and “Back In Black”, on K-ROCK radio station where Angus, Malcolm and Brian performed an acoustic version of “You Shook Me All Night Long” or on NBC in “Saturday Night Live” where the band played “Stiff Upper Lip” and “You Shook Me All Night Long”.