John Taylor & Co

Music Hells Bells AC/DC (morceau - 1980)
How could the John Taylor & Co. foundry in Loughborough, England, have any connection with a recording session in the Bahamas?
John Taylor Bellfounders
John Taylor Bellfounders - Wikimedia Commons photo by Ashley Dace

“Hell’s bells
Yeah, Hell’s bells
You got me ringing, Hell’s bells
My temperature’s high, Hell’s bells
You get the flame”.

Lyrics of Hell’s Bells by AC/DC

Direction the Bahamas

Barely a week after being hired by AC/DC in 1980, Brian Johnson flew to the Bahamas with the entire crew to Compass Point Studios to record the cult album Back in Black. More than 7,000 km separate them from the John Taylor & Co foundry in Loughborough.

Compass Point Studios

The production of Back in Black began a few months after the death of singer Bon Scott, as soon as Brian Johnson, the new head screamer, was recruited. A record with a historical success, that the Australian combo chose to record mostly in the Bahamas, in the Compass Point Studios. Set in a dream setting, this music recording mecca soon attracted the big names. The first record to be produced there was Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley, by Robert Palmer. Later, the Talking Heads, Dire Straits, The B-52’s and ABBA stopped by. Nevertheless, it is when AC/DC comes to record Back in Black in 1980 that the place starts to become really unavoidable. Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, U2, Roxy Music, Joe Cocker, Iron Maiden, Electric Light Orchestra or even Björk and Adele later rented his installations.

Read more

At this point, no one thinks they have to deal with a bell foundry in England. The musicians are focused on their new album which they want to be a rebirth, a new page after the sad death of Bon Scott. Brian Johnson is in charge of writing the songs while the Young brothers and their sidekicks record the instrumentals.

For Hell’s Bells, the young singer is out of inspiration. It was not until a violent storm with “rolling thunder”, “pouring rain”, a wind that looks “like a hurricane” that Brian Johnson grabbed his pen and wrote down the first lines of the song.

It rings a bell

Once the lyrics and riffs are in the can, Malcolm, Angus and Mutt have a brilliant idea. Start the piece with a bell sound. And then the album must open with this song. And the spirits are heating up, soon, the band members decide that they absolutely need a real bell stamped AC/DC to carry with them everywhere on tour. In addition, Brian will have to ring the bell with a heavy iron hammer, like Thor, the god of thunder. “Yeah guys, that’s a great, great idea” replied the singer, not thinking for a second that his companions are serious.

Back in England, Brian Johnson realized that Malcolm and Angus were not kidding. They really ordered a bell. Which must have the same sound as the Denison bell in the Carillon tower at the Loughborough War Museum. Sound engineer Tony Platt is even trying to capture the sound of the authentic bell for inclusion on the album while waiting for delivery. But the birds nesting in the tower fly away with each ring of the bell, ostensibly spoiling the recording. The gap between each ringing being too long, the birds do not fail to return to their posts to spoil the sound recording on multiple occasions. Tony Platt must resign himself to waiting for the real bell.

Honoring the John Taylor & Co. Foundry

The bell is not manufactured far away, as the John Taylor & Co foundry is also located in Loughborough. The band’s new instrument weighs a modest one ton, with an AC/DC logo and the name of the song engraved on the side. Despite its size, there is still a problem. The bell is smaller than its sister, which changes the sound somewhat. Tony Platt finds a way to slow down the tape and the sound matches perfectly. Symbolically, it is not Brian Johnson who rings the bell in the recording of the song, but the craftsman who made it.

Later, Brian Johnson learned that their bell was used by the foundry workers to ring the tea bell. But for all that, no one rang their bells.


The bell in Hell’s Bells rings 13 times.

John Taylor & Co

Founded in the 14th century, the John Taylor & Co. foundry can boast a certain longevity. An internationally known company.

In 1784, the foundry was taken over by the Taylor family. Established in Loughborough in 1839, the company moved to a building constructed in 1859 and still occupies its mythical premises.

John Taylor & Co made bells for churches all over the world. Examples of its work can be found in Australia, the United States, England, Ireland, France, Belgium, Singapore and Malta.

The foundry is also famous for making the bell for St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, weighing over 17 tons, and the bell used in the intro to AC/DC’s Hell’s Bells.

Go there
Thank you for respecting the privacy and tranquility of the occupants of this place whose address is taken from the public data available on the Internet. If you are the owner and want us to remove your address, please contact us at site [@] fantrippers.com

The Fantrippers Buying Board

SAN FRANCISCO map of the 100 most famous places (French Edition)

The San Francisco Fantrippers map, an original way to discover the Californian city! Through 100 pop culture places, walk its streets from another angle. Movies, TV shows, music, comics and novels, will allow you to spend a pleasant moment in The City by the Bay. With a folded size of 10 x 18 cm and an unfolded size of 60 x 54 cm, it slips easily into your pocket or bag for easy reference.

Fantrippers' opinion
Content quality

Interest for fans

Value for money

Discover all the places Hells Bells on our map

Facebook Twitter Instagram

By Damien Duarte

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Passionné par la culture pop depuis son enfance, ses références vont de Donald Duck à Batman en passant par Marty McFly. Fantripper dans l'âme, voyager sur les traces de Ghostbusters, James Bond ou des héros de romans comme Cotton Malone fait partie d'un séjour idéal et réussi !

Let's discuss this fanspot

Notify of

0 Commentaires
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments