Australian rock lords AC/DC are powering up with their newest album Power Up. Power Up is being released internationally on November 13, 2020. The album is the seventeenth studio released album by the band. It will also be the first album released since the death of their former guitarist, Malcolm Young, in 2017.
The band has reunited with the same star-studded roster that brought you Back in Black (with the exception of Stevie Young, who is now filling the shoes of the late Malcolm Young). They have recently released their newest single Shot in the Dark, which is very reminiscent of their 1979 hit single, Highway to Hell. The official video was released on Monday and was physical proof that the band had not lost their musical prowess.
The song starts off with a blues riff as the band walks onto a reflective black stage with some beautiful red lighting and their lit-up band logo. As soon as the groove kicks in, we can see the guitarist, Angus Young, sporting his iconic schoolboy wardrobe. He shuffles across the stage with his classic, red, Gibson SG guitar in hand. Angus Young strides off to the right with his signature duck walk that he adopted from guitar legend, Chuck Berry.
Vocalist Brian Johnson does not miss a beat. You would not know that the man had aged forty years since they released their hit album, Back in Black. Johnson is vocally sound and still brings the same edgy, rustic, and dynamic sound that fans fell in love with so long ago. Angus Young and Johnson have always been the face of AC/DC — it is no surprise that the two are so often on display in their new video.
AC/DC’s bass player, Cliff Williams, has been with the band since 1977. His first studio album with the band was Powerage, which released in 1978. He would add new layers to AC/DC with his back-up vocals and his solid rhythmic baselines. Cliff Williams seems to be back in form — adding vocal harmonies that compliment frontman Brian Johnson. You can see glimpses of Williams and his bass throughout the “Shot in the Dark” music video.
Phillip Rudd, the band’s drummer, started his tenure with the band in 1975. The band had just released their High Voltage album and Rudd and Co. were riding high on the success of their hit single T.N.T. The drummer would eventually part ways with the band in ‘83 after the death of former vocalist Bon Scott, who was a very close friend of Rudd. Phil Rudd would have the most off-and-on relationship with the band, but make no mistake about it — he was AC/DC.
Stevie Young is the supporting cast member that finally landed a starring role. For years, Young toured with the band but he was never technically had a solidified role in AC/DC (not until 2014). Stevie Young would occasionally fill in for Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist, who was often battling severe alcoholism. It wasn’t until Malcolm Young passed away that Stevie would cement himself as the rhythm guitarist (at least for now). Catch him on the stage in the beautiful wide shots along with all the other members.
Rest in Peace, Malcolm Young
Malcolm Young was a co-founder and the rhythm guitarist of AC/DC. Angus and Malcolm were the wheel’s that kept the band turning. They founded AC/DC back in 1973 and he stuck with it until 2014. Young was forced into early retirement due to health concerns — mainly dementia. The cofounder gave the remaining members his blessing and allowed them to continue thriving musically. Malcolm Young would later pass away on the 18th of November, 2017.
AC/DC released a teaser four weeks ago on their Instagram with the headline “ARE YOU READY? #PWRUP.” Fans were ecstatic by the news. This iteration of AC/DC had been on hiatus since 2014 when they released their album Rock or Bust. The reunion comes three years after the death of Malcolm Young (whom the album is dedicated to) and forty years since their Back in Black album release.
In an interview with Toni Gonzalez, frontman Brian Johnson admitted that the reunion could have been improbable. “Who would have thunk?” Johnson questioned. “But here we are and we’re pretty proud of it. Three years ago, it might not have been possible. But the bond in the band is so strong that some may say it’s inevitable, but the thing is we’re just happy that we’re here now,” he said. Three years prior to the reunion Malcolm Young had passed away. Three weeks prior to his passing, Angus’s eldest brother, George Young also passed away (though the cause of death was not reported). And Johnson also was forced to step down due to hearing loss. Luckily, everything would work itself out.
AC/DC is Powering Up their fans and allowing them to immortalize their initials with the electrifying neon lights. Following their album teaser on Instagram, the band would release a logo generator. The website allows fans to insert their first and last name, and the generator will create an image (using the initials) similar to the AC/DC logo. You can receive the letters in the squealer font, wrapped in red neon lights, with the iconic AC/DC thunderbolt between the initials.
Make sure to power up and check out the band’s new album, releasing on November 13, 2020.