AC/DC New Album, Guitarist Malcolm Young Departs

Courtesy of WENN via
Courtesy of WENN via

Hard rockers AC/DC have announced that they will be releasing their first album in six years (their seventeenth ever) and the first ever without founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, entitled Rock or Bust on December 2nd. The new album will have a track list of eleven new songs, from which the single “Play Ball” will be previewed on September 27th on Turner Sports as part of the network’s Major League Baseball Postseason campaign. In a statement, Columbia Records said, “Rock Or Bust follows the immensely successful Black Ice album, which debuted at number 1 in 31 countries upon release in 2008, and has gone on to sell nearly 8 million copies worldwide.”

Unfortunately, the release of this LP also meets with Malcolm’s departure from the band due to health concerns. Earlier in the year, the band had said an illness was preventing the guitarist from playing with them. Now he will be departing permanently, “due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition,” according to a vague press release. The Columbia Records statement went on to say that, “Rock or Bust finds AC/DC once again working with producer Brendan O’Brien and mixer Mike Fraser. It’s the first album in the band’s 41-year history without Malcolm Young. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning to the band.”

Produced by Brendan O’Brien and mixed by Mike Fraser (both of whom also did AC/DC’s Black Ice album in 2008), Rock or Bust was recorded spring of 2014 at Vancouver’s Warehouse Studio. Malcolm did not record guitar on Rock or Bust, but instead, his and Angus Young’s nephew, Stevie Young, recorded rhythm guitar on the album, and he will also tour in place of Malcolm in support of the record in 2015. “We miss Malcolm, obviously,” frontman Brian Johnson told Classic Rock in July. “He’s a fighter. He’s in [the] hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again…. Stevie, Malcolm’s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure he was rooting for us.”