For decades AC / DC have defended their crown as the most tenacious band. They have championed the planet as a meat-and-potato rock messiah, sticking to the same three-chord groove since their first album, despite losing lead singer Bon Scott in 1980, Johnson for more than a decade with severe hearing loss, drummer Phil Rudd leaving the band in 2015 to deal with arrests and legal issues, and co-founder and composer Malcolm Young dying in 2017 after a battle with early-onset dementia. Since then, the band has not taken their reliable brand of rock n roll to the next level, but with this album, which, as the title suggests, is crowned by persistent adherence, they have come up with one of their most consistent outings in the full length of their career.
Power marks AC / DC’s first album with its surviving classical line-up since 2008 “s Black Ice, and the old machine is back in full swing. You can’t help feeling that the band is nearing their 50th birthday, and this album will probably be their coda. As expected from the band other than “AC / DC” at this point, it would be interesting to use this review to convince you that Power is AC / DC’s “first album of stripped-down acoustic ballads, but you’ll be more likely to believe me when I tell you that this time it comes with a Zeppelin-like title like” The Mist. “.
I don’t want to say that this is a breathtaking album, but the line “Highway to Hell is where rock lets its dirty deeds be done dirt cheap” taps into the energy and excitement of the album and reminds us why we fell in love with the band from the beginning. The album opener “Realize” is the place where we get the addictive, body-moving, toe-tapping groove that AC / DC is famous for. The tracks are loud, fast, dirty and urgent, and their riffs and grooves are in the golden age of the 70s and 80s.
The band’s 17th studio album, The Power, appears as an antidote to malaise and a triumphant declaration of rock ‘n roll that knows no time and no age. The album features the return of classic members Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams, who were touring their last tour in 2016 and current guitarist Angus Young. All 12 new songs on the new record were written by AC / DC founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young and died in 2017 with Angus drawing on Malcolm and his vast pool of untapped ideas accumulated over the decades.
In 2014, founding guitarist Malcolm Young was forced to leave the band due to dementia while drummer Phil Rudd was arrested and charged with drug possession and making death threats. Guitarist Stevie Young rounded out the line-up, replacing the late, great Malcolm Young, who shared songwriting credits on all of the album’s songs. Malcolm Young died in 2017, leaving his younger brother Angus as the only active founding member of the band – he of the sparkling solos and iconic schoolboy uniforms.
The nominees for the band were Australian rock greats Jimmy Barnes, John Swan, Stevie Wright and D. George Young of the Vanda Band and the Easybeats of the 1960s. But it was Mutt Lange who recommended Brian Johnson to everyone else: it was Bon Scott, the lead singer of the British Glam Band Geordie and the owner of the vocal Register Cat in the Heat. Johnson, then 32, was living in Newcastle, northern England with his parents and ran his own shop repairing vinyl roofs on classic cars when he received the call to meet AC DC.
In 1979 AC / DC made the jump from Working Men – the Australian hard rock band that opened up to arena tours by the likes of Cheap Trick and UFO – to real Headliners. In 1980 they hired Brian Johnson to replace the late Bon Scott and achieved the worldwide smash Black, which came just five months after Scott’s death. The turmoil of recent years feels like it could have been the end of her 50-year career.
On the one hand, AC / DC mourned their late singer Bon Scott, and on the other, they launched a reboot with new frontman Brian Johnson that became their trademark, as did the twin guitars of Angus and Malcolm Young. Highway to Hell, their seventh album five years later went platinum in the US, in large part thanks to the producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, whose kitchen sink ethos would shape the sound of rock radio for the next decade. In 1980 they released Black Out Loud in the wake of The Committed Tapes.
Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young died in 2017, followed by his younger brother George, who co-produced a number of rock-or-bust albums. He was diagnosed with dementia and replaced by the band’s nephew, Stevie Young. AC / DC drummer Phil Rudd was sentenced not only to house arrest but also to drug offences and death threats.
Bulletproof in his 50s, AC / DC was the last man standing, the band he founded, rhythm guitarist and co-founder Malcolm Young. His brother Angus Young described the power of devotion to his brother as a “black homage” to the late Bon Scott in the 1980s, and he rummaged through AC / DC archives for riffs and songs recorded during Young’s stiff upper lip sessions that the band had never used. Former DC alums such as bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd return to pay tribute to Malcolm and the band’s iconic voice, as did Brian Johnson.
Angus Malcolm’s nephew Stevie Young stepped in on the rhythm guitar on their last tour. Frontman Brian Johnson left the tour due to deafness and a special hearing aid but continues to sing with the band while Young plays rhythm guitar. Rudd played consistently in the Angus Young Schoolboy outfit and fits the bill perfectly.
Opener “Realize” is a classic starting banger, built around one or two riffs that Brian Johnson, who recently reinstated after quitting the tour due to hearing problems, shrieks in sight.