Two weeks ago, AC/DC released “Shot In The Dark”, the first single from the band’s long-awaited comeback album, “Power Up”, which is due on November 13. The follow-up to 2014’s “Rock Or Bust” features AC/DC‘s reunited lineup of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar). Johnson and Williams both left in 2016 for health reasons; and Rudd was sidelined in 2015 with various legal issues.
In a new interview with El Pirata of Spain’s RockFM classic rock radio station, Angus spoke about the contribution to “Power Up” of his late brother, founding AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who died in 2017 from effects of dementia at age 64. Malcolm is credited as a writer on all 12 tracks on “Power Up”.
Angus said: “I know a lot of people have been saying, did Malcolm actually play, is it his instrument on the new album? I chose not to do that because I felt Malcolm himself wouldn’t like me trying to splice his guitar work.
“Malcolm and myself, a lot of what we had done through the years, we’d make notes with the tracks,” he continued. “Some might be a little bit rough here and there, and I polished them up. In other cases, Malcolm might have done just a small bit and then I would do the next verse. The bulk of the contribution of Mal is mainly musical.”
Angus also expressed his gratitude to GUNS N’ ROSES vocalist Axl Rose, who filled in for Johnson on tours in Europe and North America in 2016 after doctors told Brian he faced a total loss of hearing if he did not stop touring immediately.
“On our last tour, when Brian had his hearing problem, with the deafness in his ears, for us at the time, we had some dates and shows that we were committed to doing,” Angus told RockFM. “And it was a case of, ‘We’ll get through those shows. But how do we go about that?’ And Axl Rose, he had said to us, he had got a message to us, if he could help us in any way finish those commitments, if it didn’t interfere with what his own project was, he would help us get through that. So with Axl, he participated with helping us get through that tour, and that’s something we’ll always be grateful for, ’cause he’d done a really good job. So everyone appreciates that he did that.”
“Power Up” will be available in multiple configurations, including digital, CD, and deluxe versions. The limited edition, one-of-a-kind deluxe “Power Up” box is the ultimate fan package. Hit the button on the side of the box and watch the flashing neon AC/DC logo light up while the opening bars of “Shot In The Dark” blast out of the built-in speaker. Inside the box is the full CD package in a soft-pack with a 20-page booklet that features exclusive photos and USB charging cable allowing the box to remain powered up and on display. The vinyl LP will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a gatefold jacket. Limited-edition variants of the LP will be available at select retailers nationwide, as well as the band’s online store. The album will be available on all digital platforms.
Malcolm, who co-founded AC/DC with Angus in 1973, died three years ago after suffering from failing health for several years. His condition forced him to leave the band in 2014, with his nephew Stevie Young stepping into Malcolm‘s position.