Though they had seemingly been teasing a new tune called Demon Fire last week, the second slice of AC/DC’s upcoming album POWER UP has just landed – and it is in fact the record’s opening track, Realize.
The song follows lead single Shot In The Dark, and arrives just two days before the release of POWER UP. Of course, album number 17 features the newly-reunited line-up of lead guitarist Angus Young and rhythm guitarist Stevie Young, frontman Brian Johnson, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd, with the LP serving as a tribute to the late, great Malcolm Young.
“I know Mal’s not with us anymore, but he’s there with us in spirit,” says Angus. “This band was his baby, his life. He was always one [to say], ‘You keep going.’ His big line always, every now and again, he’d go, ‘If you’re a musician, it’s a bit like being on the Titanic. The band goes down with the ship.’ That’s how he viewed it.”
Malcolm is credited as a writer on POWER UP – though his actual guitar playing won’t be heard.
“I know a lot of people have been saying, ‘Did Malcolm actually play, is it his instrument on the new album?’” Angus ponders. “I chose not to do that because I felt Malcolm himself wouldn’t like me trying to splice his guitar work.”
He added of their prior creative process: “Malcolm and myself, a lot of what we had done through the years, we’d make notes with the tracks. Some might be a little bit rough here and there, and I polished them up. In other cases, Malcolm might have done just a small bit and then I would do the next verse. The bulk of the contribution of Mal is mainly musical.”
Last week, Brian revealed that his wish for POWER UP is that it inspires a new generation of kids to pick up the guitar.
“This album, I just want kids to listen to it, we all do, and just go out and say, ‘I wanna buy a guitar, I wanna be in a band,’” he enthuses. “I think we’ve accomplished something if that happens.
“Being in rock’n’roll… it’s never been the genre that people ever listen to, they never took it seriously,” he continues. “And I think it’s time that stops because it is a very serious statement of music, and it has been for so long. I think now and again, you get big bursts of rock’n’roll, and then you get people coming up and making silly statements like, ‘Hey man, rock’n’roll is dead.’”
Listen to Realize below:
Angus Young says he was “just sitting on the throne, more or less” when he came up with the premise of AC/DC’s classic 1979 single Highway To Hell.
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