AC/DC fans received both good news and bad news this week: a new album is on the horizon but without original rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young in the fold.
According to the band's official site, the album "Rock Or Bust" will come out Dec. 2 and is the follow-up to 2008's "Black Ice." The 11-track album, produced by Brendan O'Brien and mixed by Mike Fraser, was recorded earlier this year at Vancouver's Warehouse Studio.
However, the band also announced that Malcolm Young would not be returning to the group for a 2015 world tour on account of his undisclosed illness. "'Rock or Bust' is the first AC/DC album in the band's 41-year history without founding member Malcolm Young on the recordings," the band said in a statement. "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."
Stepping in for Malcolm Young on a 2015 world tour will be Stevie Young, Malcolm and lead guitarist Angus Young's nephew. Fans will hear a "sneak peek" of the song "Play Ball" during the upcoming Major League Baseball playoffs on Turner Sports. There's no word as to when or where the band's world tour would begin. The tour behind "Black Ice" boasted over 160 dates. The band also released a live CD and DVD entitled "Live At River Plate" from the trek.
News of Young's health situation arose in April when an Australian entertainment journalist tweeted he had information on the guitarist and speculated the band might call it quits.
The news was criticized by author and music journalist Jesse Fink who felt the scoop was an invasion of the musician and band's privacy. The rampant speculation led to the group releasing a statement saying Young was "taking a break from the band due to ill health." In August, Fink told a Boston radio station it was highly unlikely Young would return to the group.
Fink, who wrote The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, tweeted the following on Sept. 24 on hearing the official statement:
Stevie Young previously played with AC/DC during a portion of their 1988 world tour behind the album "Blow Up Your Video." At the time, Stevie was filling in for Malcolm Young who was dealing with alcohol problems.