Why AC/DC Kept ‘Power Up’ on the Shelf for Over Two Years
AC/DC finished their latest album some two years before Power Up was finally released, according to engineer Mike Fraser.
The buzz about a new AC/DC project began when singer Brian Johnson and drummer Phil Rudd were seen outside a Vancouver recording studio.
“I think that was July, August 2018," Fraser told Brave Words. "Then [producer] Brendan [O’Brien] and I went down to L.A. and mixed for about three, four weeks, and then they sat on it for a little bit. Then Brendan and Angus [Young] got together and did some more editing and a couple of other remix things. So, I’m not exactly sure when it was over, but my guess would be October 2018.”
Fraser noted that the newly reunited group intended to work "quietly," as they assessed their situation.
"Brian … was fresh back in the band after his hearing stuff, and they didn’t know how that was going to work," Fraser said. "[Bassist] Cliff [Williams] had said he wanted to retire; [Phil] had his problems, so putting that all together, it must have been a logistic nightmare. And I think they wanted to keep it under wraps, and if it worked out it would give the fans a great surprise present. … I think they were kind of disappointed that it got leaked. But they’re a huge monster band, so how could it not?”
Fraser admitted that he started to question the ultimate timeline, given the album's lengthy delay: “It was two years since we recorded it, and you start wondering, with the pandemic going on and the record in the can, is it going to see the light of day this year? So, it was pretty cool to see that little glimmer of hope. It was like, ‘Yeah! Here we go!'"
But Johnson said some magic remained, noting that the spirit of late guitarist Malcom Young was most evident on "Through the Mists of Time" from Power Up. “Whenever I hear it," Johnson said in a recent interview with the Independent, "I still get goose bumps.”
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