The long shadow of AC/DC’s late-guitarist Malcolm Young hangs over the band’s upcoming Power Up album, which is set for release on November 13th. Brother Angus Young created the songs for the new set using the unfinished musical ideas and demos he and Malcolm had recorded over the years. Angus spoke about how he connected with an ailing Malcolm during his final days suffering from health issues and dementia, telling NME, “I’d play him a bit of guitar, and he was happy whenever we were doing that. One of the last records I ever played him was the Rolling Stones when they were doing a lot of old blues tracks (2016’s Blue And Lonesome) and he just thought it was great.” Frontman Brian Johnson explained that Malcolm Young served as almost a musical North Star for AC/DC: “He was uncompromising in his ethic. If it wasn’t rock n’ roll, Malcolm didn’t care for it. He’s left us — but he’s still there! In the studio and in everything he did. We’re all very aware of that. When your target is to pay tribute to Malcolm, you just really want to do well and you don’t want to let anyone down.”

Johnson went on to say about the soon-to-be released Power Up, “Instead of looking at dancers on TikTok, I’m hoping this album will make young kids go out and buy a guitar. It would just be great to get more young rock bands out there, writing their own songs and getting up there on stage.”

FAST FACTS

  • Malcolm Young, who co-founded AC/DC with brother Angus Young in 1973, died on November 18th, 2017 at the age of 64 after suffering from dementia and 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.
  • In addition to Angus and their sister, Malcolm is survived by his wife O’Linda, son Ross, daughter Cara, son-in-law Josh, and three grandchildren.

CHECK IT OUT: The Rolling Stones with Angus & Malcolm Young on July 30th, 2003 performing “Rock Me Baby” live in Toronto: