Blues-metal legends AC/DC announced today that they will release a new album, titled Rock or Bust, on December 2. The 11-track disc was recorded right here in Vancouver last spring, with Brendan O’Brien producing and Langley's Mike Fraser mixing.
As reported here in July, the new AC/DC disc will be the first one in the band's illustrious career to not include the rhythm-guitar stylings of Malcolm Young, who has fallen ill. The group broached the subject of Young's absence on its website today:
Earlier this year AC/DC released a statement explaining that due to illness, Malcolm would be taking a break from the band. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning to the band. AC/DC will undertake a world tour in support of ‘Rock or Bust’ in 2015. Stevie Young, nephew of founding members Angus and Malcolm Young, plays rhythm guitar on 'Rock or Bust' and will accompany the band on tour.
So there you have it. Malcolm Young is not in AC/DC anymore. And that's very sad. Although often lost in the shadow of his maniacal, SG-shredding brother Angus, Malcolm provided an integral part of the band's sound, obviously. I got to interview him once at a Vancouver hotel back in '83 on the Flick of the Switch tour, and he seemed like a helluva nice chap to boot.
So the big question is: will nephew Stevie be able to fill his musical boots? And, just as importantly, will the killer onstage vibe between the band members that's been so solid for over 40 years remain intact?
I'm gonna say yes.
Remember what happened that other time AC/DC lost a key member--legendary vocalist Bon Scott? They came back gangbusters with the Back in Black album. Ya gotta believe that the Aussie earbusters can overcome this latest adversity.
The future of raunchy rock depends on it.