What You Need To Know - November 5, 2020

AC/DC's Power Up - What You Need To Know
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

AC/DC's Power Up - What You Need To Know

It's been an eventful few years for the iconic Australian stadium rockers, but they have regrouped and have a new album, Power Up, which drops today (November 13th). Here is everything you need to know about it...


A little background...

Back in 2014, a few months before the release of the band's last studio album, Rock Or Bust, the group, which had enjoyed the same line-up since 1994, was thrown into flux when it was announced that founding member Malcolm Young would be leaving the band to receive treatment for dementia. He sadly died in 2017. 

To complete the album, Malcolm's nephew, Stevie Young, replaced him in the studio and subsequently joined the band on a permanent basis for the planned world tour in support of Rock Or Bust. 

Then, days before the album dropped, drummer Phil Rudd was charged with attempting to procure a murder, threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of cannabis, following a police raid on his home.

The charges of attempting to procure a murder were withdrawn the following day, but the other charges remained, leaving him grounded in the band's native Australia.

In the end, the following year, Rudd pleaded guilty to drug charges and threatening to kill a former assistant. He was sentenced to eight months of home detention and was replaced by drummer Chris Slade for the Rock or Bust tour.

The band headed out for the tour, which would eventually take them across three continents with 88 shows and a gross of $221 million. But, just before the final 10 dates, disaster struck again when frontman Brian Johnson was ordered to stop touring immediately after a doctor ordered it amid ongoing hearing difficulties, which could have led to the singer losing his hearing.

Rather than cancel, the band drafted in Guns N'Roses frontman Axl Rose, with whom they did a further 22 shows.

In the midst of all that, longtime bassist Cliff Williams indicated he was leaving the band in an interview, citing all the changes in the line-up.

The tour ended, the band went on hiatus and a long break. There was speculation that it might well be the last action from the band.

But then, at the end of September, AC/DC updated their social media accounts with a short video clip depicting an illumination of neon light in the shape of the band's lightning bolt logo.

Hours later, a statement was issued confirming the return of Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams to the band, alongside Angus and Stevie Young and a new album on the way. And here, we go... 


Who's producing it?

For this record, Brendan O'Brien, who has overseen the band's past two records, is back in charge. He oversaw the sessions in Vancouver.


Any special guests?

Nope. Just the band itself. 


What does it sound like? 

The album is the band's first without any input from Malcolm Young and has been made in tribute to him. 

The songs, which are all written by the sadly departed Young and his younger brother Angus, come from an extensive catalogue of unreleased songs, most of which were written in the sessions for 2008's Black Ice. 

You know the score. Big riffs, Johnson's powerhouse vocals and driving melodies. It's a tried and tested formula, but one that is so, so effective. 


Does it deliver?

Absolutely. Who knows if there will be another new record from this rock juggernaut? We should enjoy them while we get the chance...


AC/DC's new album, Power Up, is out now and available here in hmv's online store. 

Power Up (hmv Exclusive) Opaque Red Vinyl
Power Up (hmv Exclusive) Opaque Red Vinyl AC/DC