04/20/14 by Rennie Detore
The recent news of AC/DC member Malcom Young taking time away from the band due to an undisclosed illness has the hard rock community questioning whether the iconic band is about to embark on retirement and call it a career after more than 40 years in the spotlight.
Remaining band members, including Malcom's brother and renowned guitarist Angus Young, are quick to dismiss rumors of the band calling it quits, despite the 61 year old Malcom leaving temporarily to take care of personal matters.
But even though the band is telling anyone who will listen that they're not going anywhere, any time soon, there's no guarantee that the band will ever release any new music or tour the world once again.
That thought isn't exactly what hardcore music fans want to hear, but it certainly could happen given the age of the band members and Malcom's situation specifically.
You know you love AC/DC, the music, the showmanship and the true talent of a band that changed singers but never really lost its love for music and broad audience that made them successful. Whether this is the end of the line for AC/DC is debatable, but their legacy never will be, and here's why.
1. Survived tragedy: Often this is the storyline that defines whether a band is poised for rock god status or will simply become an afterthought. When tragedy strikes a band, they ultimately reach a cross roads of sorts. Do they pack it in? Do they move on and only sound and perform like a shell of themselves? In the case of AC/DC, they did neither, and one could argue when front man Bon Scott died in 1980 after creating and cultivating the AC/DC attitude alongside the other members, the band somehow managed to not only pick up the pieces but pound out commercial success in light of Scott's untimely drug overdose that year. The band hired Brian Johnson and released "Back in Black" that same year, and all that album did was sell 50 million copies worldwide since its release 34 years ago.
2. Angus, Angus, Angus: The guitar legend ranks right up there with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen as far as being the face of their respective groups and devising scorching and memorable guitar rifts that are immediately identifiable. No one is going to argue that Angus was pure talent personified, but he also exuded charisma and ferocity on stage that made his act timeless. The school boy uniform look also became synonymous with his performances as well.
3. Sound quality: No, this has nothing to do with the quality of their instruments or how much talent the band collectively has but rather the fact that AC/DC really never changed their sound, intensity or fervor for the sake of radio play. "Back and Black" was a commercial success but never really felt like the proverbial "sell out" album in the same vein as Metallica and the "Black Album." Metallica caught flack for changing their sound and succumbing to a more radio friendly mold to make money. AC/DC pretty much stayed true to the origins of their sound, and fans spoke louder than any radio executive when it came to making the band wildly popular regardless of lyrics or how heavy the music was.
Whether Malcom and company return to form and regain their swagger and moxie that made them rich and famous still is yet to be determined. If AC/DC is done, the band won't have any regrets and doesn't have to apologize for saying so long to a career that spanned four decades and produced 200 million album sales.
Knowing AC/DC, however, you can probably assume that going quietly into retirement hardly is their style, and they'll have at least one more swan song as a salutation to a sensational career and much deserved fan base that never waivered.
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