10 Reasons AC/DC Need To Retire

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

  • Bill Veris

    Axl Rose was good and I am glad that fans got use to him as an AC/DC temp. These top 10 ideas are really good and think a lot of people can relate to. #7 was the best reason. Start up a clinic and inspire younger ones and keep a good thing going. No need to tour the planet every year just because your Angus Young and do your hearing in like Brian Johnson! They definitely should retire no question.

    • Katie

      Yeah, #7 is the best reason, with #1 coming in a close second.
      Can you imagine any Angus Young collaboration? Wow…
      They have had an incredible run. They are the reason I play the drums. Period.

      • Bill Veris

        Thanks for your comment. Awesome they inspired you to play drums. 🙂

  • Billy

    If Angus will be the only long-stander left than i agree to shut it down. At that point, you can’t charge much for tickets since it really would be a cover band at that point. It’s like if Kim was the only one left in Soungarden and still tried to keep it going. Both Kim and Angus are terrific guitar players but they alone wouldn’t be able to keep it afloat.

  • I’m a big Axl fan, but I don’t see the point to Axl fronting two bands. Axl should take a cue from the sound Duff and Slash created with Velvet Revolver and just stick to new guns material that’s actually rock. Heck, I’d rather hear a new studio album from the full classic GNR lineup than anything else. Get Izzy to just go in and make a record, he doesn’t even have to tour. Adler would do it in a second. Then let AC/DC do whatever. Rock is dying and it sucks, so why have the same singer front two legendary bands? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense beyond the current AC/DC tour.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    Guns & Concent.

  • Keith.

    I don’t know, having just seen ’em in Atlanta, I prefer they continue. Sound great on all the old Bon Scott stuff, better than we’ve heard in probably 30 years.

  • dakotablue

    Well, Jerry Cantrell told Angus it is possible to go on without your iconic lead singer (not that he didn’t know that two times over already). Some bands are unimaginable without the key singer, though, like Led Zep. Also even before George Harrison died the Beatles could never have gotten together without John and made it seem right. Of course Nirvana was done when Kurt was. Angus just has to ask himself how long fans will pay to see his four guitar riffs with different singers and back-up, and how much longer he wants to play the old hits. Bowie retired his.

  • Billy

    it is pretty sad, but fairly accurate.

  • David

    I am selfish and want more AC/DC. Rock or bust is a fantastic album. Clearly they can still write great songs! Please don’t retire guys.