AC/DC 'Power Up': How did Malcolm Young die? Here's how the seventeenth album is a tribute to him
Formed in 1973, AC/DC is one of the most iconic rock bands ever to walk on earth. With 16 full-length studio albums, several top awards and recognitions, and extensive world-tours to their name, AC/DC has always been unstoppable. However, the band’s co-founder Malcolm Young died in 2017, which slowed down the music-making process of the veteran rockers. Cut to 2020, the iconic rock and roll band has got everybody excited as their brand new album titled ‘Power Up’ (also stylized as PWR/UP) will hit the Internet on November 13, 2020, after a gap of six years.
‘Power Up’ is a follow-up to their 2014 album ‘Rock or Bust’ and in a piece of good news, the new album has allowed the comeback of the original line-up i.e. Angus Young [lead guitar], Brian Johnson [lead vocals], Cliff Williams [bass guitar], Phil Rudd [drums], and Stevie Young [rhythm guitar] following the death of their beloved member Malcolm in 2017.
The band originally is the brainchild of late Malcolm Young, when he was 20-years-old and his younger brother Angus Young. Just like other bands, AC/DC was no stranger to controversies like drug abuse, change in line-ups, and personal tragedies which ultimately slowed down their music-making process. Their last album came in 2014 after which they went on world tours stretching from one to two years. Fans were pretty sure, they were done for good and probably won’t release any new music but to everyone’s surprise, AC/DC is indeed dropping their new project which Angus Young said is a tribute to his late brother Malcolm.
How did Malcolm Young die?
Malcolm Young was one of the most integral members of the band until he passed away in November 2017 at the age of 64 after a lengthy battle with dementia. According to the BBC, his family in a statement had said, “Young will be remembered for his powerful rhythm guitar riffs that were instrumental in propelling the Sydney heavy rock group to stardom. Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”
Angus and Malcolm Young were credited as co-writers on every song the band recorded between their 1975 debut ‘High Voltage’ through 2014’s ‘Rock or Bust,’ as published by the BBC. Malcolm’s family had first confirmed he was suffering from dementia in 2014. At the time of his death, Angus’ statement was released on the band’s official website which read, “Malcolm’s enormous dedication and commitment made him the driving force behind the band who always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted” adding that “as his brother, it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
AC/DC’s tribute to Malcolm Young
Sitting in an interview with NME magazine, Angus spoke about Malcolm's death and asserted, “His death was a huge blow to us. But I still think he’s there when I’m playing. It sounds funny, but I can still feel him communicating with me when I’m playing guitar. Speaking about the group’s return, Angus Young told NME, “We got together in 2018 and we worked on a lot of ideas that Malcolm [Young] and me had done through the years.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Angus Young described the new record, which is a special tribute to his late brother Malcolm Young. “This record is pretty much a dedication to Malcolm, my brother. It’s a tribute for him like 'Back in Black' was a tribute to Bon Scott.” Scott, who was one of the earlier members of AC/DC, died in 1980, which led the band to recruit vocalist Brian Johnson.