On 13 November 2020, rock legends AC/DC would make a comeback that no one expected with the release of the seventeenth studio album PWR/UP.
In an explosive return to form and lineup, the new album is a twelve-track shot of adrenaline and nostalgia as Brian Johnson takes up the frontman role and Malcolm Young, at least in the recordings, returns on rhythm guitar.
Of course, Malcolm passed away from the effects of dementia in 2017 but his death was the inspiration for the band to reconcile and reunite for their latest album. The album was centered around old unreleased songs from the AC/DC vault and each track is attributed as “written by Angus and Malcolm Young.”
Angus Young and Brian Johnson sat down with 60 Minutes Australia to promote the album, which created a touching moment of remembrance as Young talked about his brother’s battle with dementia.
“I think the hardest part was not so much him passing, because that was a kind of end, a relief,” said Angus. “I think the worst part is the decline — that’s the hard part. Because of how you knew him, and then to see that that was gone.”
Angus took a moment to collect himself and then continued with the extremely personal story of his time with his brother in his final years.
“I would say, even to the end, if I was there … he had a big smile. And for me, that always gave me a kind of joy,” said Angus chocking up.
“Even though he was in that state, that was always the joy of it. And he still got a great kick if I played him guitar. He would try to tap his foot. But he always knew I was there. So that was a big thing. I was with him towards the end.”
Brian Johnson was seemingly transported to the past during the interview as his head sunk down listening to Angus’ response. With a quick shake of the head, he snapped back to affirm the tragedy of watching his friend and fellow bandmate decline from the disease.
“Yeah, very emotional when he went. It’s all too soon, isn’t it? It’s too quick and too soon,” Johnson recalled.