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News November 25, 2020

AC/DC, always at the top when everything has gone to pot [Op-Ed]

AC/DC, always at the top when everything has gone to pot [Op-Ed]

When everything is coming unstuck, when the world needs a hero, AC/DC is always there, looking down from the top of the charts.

Australia’s very own rock gods have hunkered down at the summit of sales leaderboards around the globe with ‘Power Up,’ their 17th and latest album.

In their homeland, Akka Dakka bag their sixth No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

It’s a similar story in the U.S. where the set debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and in the U.K. AC/DC replace another ARIA Hall of Famer, Kylie Minogue, to blast to the top of the leaderboard.

In Britain, Angus Young and Co. didn’t just go to No. 1. They crushed it. Midway through the chart week, ‘Power Up’ was outselling the rest of the Top 5 combined.

Its 62,000 combined sales is the biggest first-week tally for any album in the U.K. this year.

This, of course, is no ordinary year.

AC/DC… as they were



A plague is sweeping across Europe and the United States. A lame duck president and his rogues gallery of enablers are doing their darnedest to bin America’s centuries-old democracy.

Millions are sick, or unemployed. Or both.

It’s so bad, no one is talking about Brexit.

That’s when AC/DC are at their dominant best.

AC/DC last went to No. 1 in the U.K. and U.S. back in 2008 with ‘Black Ice,’ an album that erupted as the world was tanking in a global financial crisis and both countries were teetering on the brink of recession.

In the U.K., ‘Black Ice’ was the first AC/DC album to hit No. 1 for 28 years.

Their previous leader? The mighty, post-Bon Scott LP ‘Back In Black,’ released in 1980 “just as inflation had reached 20% and unemployment inched towards 2 million,” the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis later observed.

Released on Friday the 13th, Power Up was a gift. No one saw it coming. After 2014’s Rock Or Bust, AC/DC appeared to be done. Frontman Brian Johnson stepped away on doctor’s orders due to hearing-loss issues, drummer Phil Rudd entered into rehab for substance abuse. Founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young passed away.

They’re a band unchanged by style, unmoved by fashion. Damaged but not broken, their timing, impeccable.

They learned every trick on the highway to hell. Johnson admits as much.

“I think we waited until the world hit a misery level,” he told Zane Lowe on Apple Music, “a limit of misery with this thing, and just said, ‘Right, time to cheer it up.’”

When the world has gone to pot, expect to see AC/DC at the top.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.

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