AC/DC could make a return to playing live to support the release of their 17th studio album - despite the health problems that have dogged the band in their later years.

Their newly released album Power Up welcomes the return of singer Brian Johnson, who stepped aside in 2016 on doctor's orders due to hearing-loss issues, and sees drummer Phil Rudd reunite with the group after a stint in rehab.

It is the first album since 2014’s Rock or Bust, and comes through rumours of a split following after the death of Malcolm Young.

In 2016, Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Rose was brought in to fill in as frontman of AC/DC, because of Johnson's ill health so the band could complete the Rock or Bust tour.

Singer Brian Johnson, 73, and legendary guitarist Angus Young, 65,  spoke of plans to play live while revealing how the record was in fact set to arrive earlier in the year, with a tour set to follow.

But the prevalence of the Covid pandemic helped scupper these plans, and a decision was made to release the album now.

Brian Johnson gave a thumbs up when it was suggested that that the album was made to be played live.

Asked about the feeling about getting back to playing live and touring after the Covid crisis, Johnson said: "When we finished the rehearsals, we were all pretty high about how it had all gone. We talked of doing a few shows, take a few baby steps... and lets see how it goes.

"But we couldn't plan to make plans. This virus just travelled so quickly.

"We would love nothing more than to... just gotta...I'd love to hear the boys Power Up live. Just that few things and go ....errrm [pretends to sing].

AC/DC may not be on some lists of the greatest bands to be produced by Scotland - bu they have had official recognition in Holyrood.

Some do not realise that the band, who are generally recognised as one of the world's most successful rock acts, had its roots in Scotland.


Brothers Angus and Malcolm Young, the core of the band, and late front man Bon Scott were all born in Scotland.

In 2008, South of Scotland SNP MSP Christine Grahame lodged a motion at the Scottish Parliament that officially recognised the contribution the band has made to music, ahead of a performance at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

Young said of the album release: "They [the record company] were the ones giving the advice and they said, ‘We can do it now,'” he explained.

“Because originally we had geared up for it.... It was going to come out early, we had done all promo, video stuff for it, and as he said, we were even planning maybe if we do some shows, if it worked. We were geared up to go earlier, but the virus thing kicked in big time, and so it was a case of leaving it up to them.

He told Apple Music's Zane Lowe: “When they thought they had the clearance when putting into the production and getting CDs and whatnot, if they had all the tools to do that. And they said, ‘We should be able to do that.’ At this point, we were depending on them. And that’s when I said, ‘Well, if you believe you can do it, we’ll do our best to help you promote it.'”


Founding members Angus and the late Malcolm Young were born in Glasgow before the family, including six siblings, moved to Australia in 1963.

Former lead singer Bon Scott also emigrated to Australia and joined AC/DC in 1974. Born in Kirriemuir, where there is a memorial plaque in his honour, he died of alcohol poisoning in 1980, aged 33.

AC/DC were formed in 1973 and have sold more than 200 million records worldwide, with songs such as Highway to Hell, Back in Black and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You). 1980's first post-Bon Scott album Back in Black alone sold 22 million copies (50 million worldwide), and went on to become the second highest-selling album in history at one point.

When they played Glasgow in 1978 the whole band wore the Scotland national football strip as their concert took place just ahead of the World Cup finals in Argentina."

“I think we waited until the world hit a misery level,” Johnson said. "And [we] just said, ‘Right, time to cheer it up.’”

Power Up also marks the return of bassist Cliff Williams and has been cited as a tribute to co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young who died in 2017.