The year 2013 will be an important one for Australian rockers AC/DC. Die hard fans are aware that it stands as a major milestone for the group, putting four decades in the rear-view mirror since they first called themselves a band. The hard-rocking group may also be working on plans to celebrate their upcoming ruby anniversary in a way that will rival the success of their last album, Black Ice, and the nearly two-year world tour that followed. Considering the fact that the Black Ice tour was the third highest-grossing concert tour of all time, it will literally be a hard act to follow.
Guitarist Angus Young reportedly told the UK’s Sun newspaper that he and his band mates were thinking about how they could better the Black Ice tour, and sounded confident when he stated that they were not yet sure how they would do it, but they would. They will, of course, have to conjure up another blockbuster album like Black Ice to use as a launch pad.
I don’t count myself among the doubters, no matter the enormity of the task that AC/DC may be taking on. Visitors to this site prove over and over again that AC/DC is a force to be reckoned with, and along with the likes of Rush and Van Halen, seem to draw the lion’s share of readers. Drawing on my own personal experience, it’s easy for me to understand AC/DC’s appeal, although I’ve never considered myself a big fan of heavy metal. I realize some may put Rush or Van Halen in that same category, but for me “heavy metal” has always defined artists like Ozzy, Judas Priest and AC/DC, among others.
Despite what I said about most groups that satisfy my personal definition of heavy metal, there’s something about AC/DC that just makes me want to keep on listening. I have never given much thought to the reason for that, but having just done so, one word comes to mind. Solid. Maybe it’s the arrangements, the musicianship or the mixing and engineering, but there’s something about that signature AC/DC sound that’s just about as solid is it gets.
As for the timetable on a new album, Young says that the group hopes to get it done “within the next couple of years.” With the 40th anniversary looming in 2013, it’s a good bet that estimate will be on target. What lies beyond is not clear, but it is certain that AC/DC is not yet entertaining any thoughts of retirement.
During a recent interview with lead singer Brian Johnson to talk about the release of the group’s new concert DVD, Live at the River Plate, Rolling Stone asked when they might consider retiring. Johnson replied, “You just keep going as long as you think you’ve got something. And hopefully other people like it too. When the beast doesn’t need feeding any more.”
Like so many of their contemporaries who are still rocking into their late fifties and early sixties, the AC/DC lads may be slowing down just a bit but they seem determined to stay fit enough to keep creating and performing for their dedicated fans. Angus Young is said to have had some problems with his legs during the Black Ice tour, but reports that his discomfort evaporated when he was on stage. Johnson acknowledges that touring is “physical” and that, “You don’t have time to recuperate on the road so you have to keep yourself fit, go to the gym every other day.”
With “the beast” showing no sign of being satiated yet, it likely that fans can look forward to a great anniversary celebration with some of the best hard rockers in the industry. A little older and a little slower perhaps, but still able to rock? You bet.