‘ARE YOU READY?’: AC/DC announces reunion 40 years after ‘Back in Black,’ reveals first new music
In a cryptic message posted to the group’s social media accounts on Wednesday, the hard rock band announced that five of its longtime members will be reuniting for something called “PWRUP.”
“ARE YOU READY?” the caption reads, along with a photo of Angus Young, Phil Rudd, Stevie Young, Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams. The musicians haven’t released new music together since AC/DC’s 2014 album “Rock or Bust.”
According to the announcement, the reunion will see Angus Young on lead guitar, Rudd on drums, Stevie Young on rhythm guitar, Johnson on lead vocals and Williams on bass guitar.
The announcement did not offer a release date or any more specifics. USA TODAY has reached out to a representative for the band for details.
On Thursday morning, AC/DC issued a snippet from “Shot in the Dark,” the band’s first new music to be released with the reunited lineup. The 30-second clip features Young’s chunky guitar riffs and Johnson’s equally famous wail. It’s AC/DC’s distinctive sound, which should come as a welcome surprise to fans.
Rudd exited the band’s Rock or Bust world tour in 2015 after pleading guilty to drug possession and threatening to kill a former employee, and Williams announced his retirement when the tour finished in 2016. Axl Rose replaced Johnson on the road that same year after doctors advised him to stop touring immediately or risk total hearing loss.
“I am not a quitter and I like to finish what I start, nevertheless, the doctors made it clear to me and my bandmates that I had no choice but to stop performing on stage for the remaining shows and possibly beyond,” Johnson said in a statement issued in April 2016. “That was the darkest day of my professional life.
“I wish to assure our fans that I am not retiring. My doctors have told me that I can continue to record in studios and I intend to do that.”
The reunion announcement comes almost three years after the death of Malcolm Young, who helped form the band in Sydney with his brother Angus in 1973, and 40 years after the release of the band’s “Back in Black,” the band’s breakthrough and one of the best-selling albums of all time, with 25 million units sold.
Malcolm Young was the band’s rhythm guitarist until 2014, when his health began to decline due to dementia, the symptoms of which began appearing while the group was making its 2008 album “Black Ice.”
AC/DC’s first singer, Bon Scott, died of acute alcohol poisoning in 1980. A year later, the group hit No. 1 in the U.S. with 1981 album “For Those About to Rock We Salute You.”
Contributing: Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, and Wade Tatangelo, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune