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AC/DC to Release New Album as Guitarist Malcolm Young Retires

‘Rock or Bust,’ the highly anticipated new studio album from AC/DC, will be released December 2, 2014, along with a world tour. ‘Play Ball’ will be the first released song, and will debut this weekend! However, they’ll be without founding member Malcolm Young. He has officially left the band due to increasingly poor health. This will be the first in the group’s 41-year history not to feature founder member Malcolm Young.

It was reported in April that founder member Malcolm Young would step down from the rock group due to ill health. Rumours had circulated that the band itself might be forced to call it quits, but a statement published on AC/DC’s Facebook page on April 16 said instead that Young would take a break from the group after four decades as a member. He was replaced in recording sessions by his nephew Stevie. The younger guitarist will take part in the Aussie giants’ 2015 world tour in his uncle’s place.

Malcolm Young Retires

Malcolm Young Retires (photo credit ACDC.com)

A press release issued by the band’s label states:
“Earlier this year AC/DC released a statement explaining that due to illness, Malcolm would be taking a break from the band. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning to the band.”

Titled ‘Rock Or Bust’, the album is to be released on December 1 on Columbia Records. The 11-track LP is the group’s first new album in six years, following 2008’s ‘Black Ice’. It was recorded in Spring 2014 at Warehouse Studio in Vancouver with producer Brendan O’Brien and mixed by Mike Fraser. Columbia records say in a statement: “Rock Or Bust follows the immensely successful Black Ice album, which debuted at number 1 in 31 countries upon release in 2008, and has gone on to sell nearly 8 million copies worldwide.

The first track from the album, Play Ball, is to be revealed on September 27 on US TV channel TBS, in association with Major League Baseball. Frontman Brian Johnson previously said he toyed with the idea of calling the album ‘Man Down’ in reference to Young’s absence, “But it’s a bit negative and it was probably just straight from the heart. I like that.”

AC/DC biographer Jessie Fink earlier this year reported it was likely Malcolm’s absence would become permanent. He said: “The important thing is we all let Mal be and hope he can recover. We should all expect that Stevie is in the band now.” Speaking of the new material he added: “I’m hearing on very reliable authority it’s up there with Black Ice, or even better – so Stevie must be a good replacement for Mal.”