Power Up (sometimes shortened as PWR/UP and stylized as PWRϟUP) is the seventeenth studio album by Australian rock band AC/DC released in Australia and the sixteenth to be released internationally. Issued November 13, 2020, Power Up marks the return of vocalist Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams, all of whom left AC/DC before, during, or after the supporting tour for their previous album Rock or Bust (2014). This is also the band’s first album since the death of co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young in 2017 and serves as a tribute to him, according to his brother Angus.
Following the 2014 album Rock or Bust, the group embarked on a seventeen-month world tour. Prior to the tour, drummer Phil Rudd was charged with attempting to procure murder, threatening to kill, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of cannabis. For the tour, Rudd was replaced by Chris Slade who had also previously played with AC/DC on their 1990 album The Razors Edge, several years after Rudd first left the band. Mentions of Rudd were also scrubbed from the band’s website as well. By 2016, lead singer Brian Johnson had started to suffer hearing loss, which he attributed not to 36 years of touring, but to his love of racecars. This caused the final ten dates of the Rock or Bust tour to be rescheduled. Ultimately, he was replaced with Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose for the remaining dates. On 8 July, 2016, bassist Cliff Williams announced that he would be retiring from the band once the tour was finished, citing health issues as reasons for retiring, and calling AC/DC a “changed animal”.
Two years later, rumor’s began circulating that AC/DC were working on their seventeenth studio album, with Johnson, Rudd, and Williams having returned to the group. Johnson, Rudd, Angus Young and Stevie Young were photographed in August of 2018 at Warehouse Studio, a recording studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada owned by fellow musician Bryan Adams, suggesting the band were working where they had recorded their three previous albums.
Later confirmed, it was also stated that the album had been recorded there over a six-week period in August and September 2018 with producer Brendan O’Brien (who also worked on 2008’s Black Ice and 2014’s Rock Or Bust) with some tweaking having followed in early 2019.
Every track is credited to Angus and Malcolm Young as Angus raided the AC/DC vault of unreleased songs to record the album.
Power Up is the first album since 1985’s Fly on the Wall to not include a track containing the word “rock” in the title. It’s also the first album since 1988’s Blow Up Your Video to not include a title track.
1. “Realize” 3:37
2. “Rejection” 4:06
3. “Shot in the Dark” 3:06
4. “Through the Mists of Time” 3:32
5. “Kick You When You’re Down” 3:10
6. “Witch’s Spell” 3:42
7. “Demon Fire” 3:30
8. “Wild Reputation” 2:54
9. “No Man’s Land” 3:39
10. “Systems Down” 3:12
11. “Money Shot” 3:05
12. “Code Red” 3:31
Angus Young – lead guitar
Brian Johnson – lead vocals
Phil Rudd – drums
Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals
Stevie Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals