Hells Bells (song)

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"Hells Bells"
Artwork for one of the continental European releases
Single by AC/DC
from the album Back in Black
B-side"What Do You Do for Money Honey"
Released31 October 1980
Format7 inch
RecordedSpring 1980 at Compass Point Studios in The Bahamas
GenreHard rock[1]
LabelAtlantic Records
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
AC/DC singles chronology
"You Shook Me All Night Long"
"Hells Bells"
"Back in Black"
Audio sample
Music video
"Hells Bells" on YouTube

"Hells Bells" is the first track of Back in Black, the seventh studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC and their comeback album after the death of lead singer Bon Scott. "Hells Bells" is the second single from Back in Black, released on 31 October 1980. The song also appears on Who Made Who, AC/DC's 1986 soundtrack to the Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive and on both versions of 1992's AC/DC Live.


The song begins with a bell slowly tolling four times, after which Angus Young starts playing the song's main riff. Malcolm Young then joins in, followed by Phil Rudd on drums and Cliff Williams on bass. The bell tolls a total of 13 times during the song's introduction.

A 2,000-pound (910 kg) cast bronze bell, made by John Taylor Bellfounders in Loughborough, Leicestershire, was used on the track. It is a replica of the Denison Bell in the Carillon Tower at the Loughborough War Museum. The band first attempted to record the actual Denison Bell, but that proved problematic due to disruptions by pigeons nesting in the tower. The AC/DC logo and the words "Hell's Bell" are engraved on the replica.[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 to 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] The 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 20 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 24 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 20 June 2009. 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 4 August 2010. 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. 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 6 September 2012. 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 28 September 2011. Retrieved 5 June 2014.