AC/DC are one of the most iconic rock bands of all time, but the band have gone through some trials and tribulations in the last few years after a relatively steady run since Brian Johnson took over as lead singer following Bon Scott’s death for Back in Black in 1980. Here are 10 reasons why they need to retire the AC/DC brand, in no particular order.
1. They’ve Had An Incredible Career
Up until the band’s turbulent last few years, the band had a legendary run. The original Bon Scott years, finding new life with Brian Johnson, AC/DC managed to be relevant to multiple generations, even scoring a huge late career hit with Black Ice in 2008. There is nothing left for them to accomplish.
2. Malcolm Young’s Retirement
Malcolm Young’s retirement due to dementia was the first major blow to AC/DC, with the guitarist retiring prior to Rock or Bust. While other members came and went since 1973, Malcolm and Angus were always the constants in AC/DC, outside of a short hiatus Malcolm took from the group in 1988.
3. Phil Rudd’s Exit
Phil Rudd’s legal troubles led to his exit from AC/DC early on during the Rock or Bust promotional cycle. While Chris Slade has returned to the fold and done an admirable job, Rudd brought a certain power and feel to the band’s rhythm section that is hard to duplicate.
4. Brian Johnson Leaving
Brian Johnson’s sudden exit from AC/DC due to hearing problems earlier this year stunned fans, with many thinking the band was done with him being forced to stop touring.
5. Rock or Bust Was A Fitting Final Album
Rock or Bust may not have been AC/DC’s great album, but the album still featured the majority of AC/DC’s Back in Black lineup. Trucking magazine published a praising review by Andy Stewart in which he wrote, “Short, but definitely sweet, this long-awaited new album from Australia’s biggest band contains a raft of excellent riffs, signature screeching and rock ’n roll boogie-woogie rhythms that are all but impossible not to tap your feet along to.” As well, Charles Pitter of Popmatters commented that the album had “a keen focus on catchy choruses and riffs for those who are inclined to practice righteous, gnarly air guitar.
6. Brian Johnson Seemed Open To AC/DC Retiring
Brian Johnson told Morning Sun a year ago that sometimes you need to know when to call it quits.
“Y’know, retirement is like anything,” Brian Johnson told the Morning Sun. “A good footballer, a good ice hockey player, they don’t want to retire, but unfortunately sometimes there’s a time when you have to call it quits.
7. More Angus Young Collaboration Opportunities
With the AC/DC machine and the expectations attached to it being put to bed, Angus Young would have a lot more free time to collaborate with other artists, and help mentor a new generation of rock stars.
8. Cliff Williams’ Retirement
Bassist Cliff Williams’ presence on this year’s tour following Brian Johnson’s exit was the one thing keeping AC/DC from seemingly turning into ‘Angus Young and Friends.’ Williams has been with the band since 1977, and he provided stability during the band’s turbulent Rock or Bust tour. Williams’ retirement would leave Angus Young as the band’s only member who has been in the band longer than 3 years.
9. The Axl Rose Tour Has Been Great
Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose taking over for Brian Johnson at first left AC/DC fans divided, but his performances this year have blown away fans. The AC/DC brand could go out on a high note if the band retires following Cliff Williams’ decision to do the same.
10. Axl and Angus Could Form A New Band
Despite this article supporting the idea of the AC/DC brand being retired, there is no reason that Axl Rose and Angus Young shouldn’t form a new band. The new band could not only perform old AC/DC classics, but there could also be an emphasis on new material that wouldn’t have to follow the AC/DC template. With Axl Rose’s lack of artistic output in the last 24 years (one full album of original material), doing a band with a new name would be a great chance to hear more music from him, and to let Angus keep doing what he does best.