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The history of AC/DC: Angus and Malcolm Young’s hard rock style

This slider presentation shows the trajectory of the mythical hard rock band AC/DC in a timeline. Swipe to check out this timeline:

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The history of AC/DC: a summary

AC/DC started in 1973 in Australia, by brothers and guitarists Angus Young and Malcolm Young. The two of them were joined by a series of itinerant musicians and recorded a demo in order to establish a stable line-up. They accomplished this in 1974, with the addition of Bon Scott on vocals, Mark Evans on bass, and Phil Rudd on drums.

In 1975 they recorded their debut album, High Voltage, which was only released in Australia at that time. Towards the end of that same year they published their second album, TNT.

Since 1976 AC/DC began releasing their albums internationally, with a reissue of High Voltage that serves as a compendium between the first two albums. That same year they released their third album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. It was followed by Let there be Rock in 1977.

In 1978, bassist Mark Evans was fired because he was not fully engaged with the project and could not achieve the sound that the Young brothers wanted. His replacement was bass player Cliff Williams. That same year AC/DC released 1978 the album Powerage.

In 1979,  the band released the legendary album Highway to Hell. With it AC/DC achieved their first big hit record.

On February 19, 1980, vocalist Bon Scott died because of an accident caused by his alcoholism. The band decided to continue with a new singer: Brian Johnson. As a result, that same year, 1980, they released one of their most acclaimed albums: Back in Black..

In 1981 the band released For Those About to Rock (We salute you). In 1983, Flick of the Switch came out.

After this, in 1983, drummer Phil Rudd left the band and was replaced by Simon Wright. With him they recorded two albums: Fly on the Wall (1986) and Blow up your Video (1988). In 1989, Rudd was replaced with Chris Slade, with whom AC/DC recorded the renowned The Razor’s Edge in 1990.

In 1995, with Phil Rudd again on drums, AC/DC released Ballbreaker. It was followed by Stiff Upper Lip (2000) and Black Ice (2008).

By 2014 guitarist Malcolm Young’s deteriorating health forced him to leave the band. His replacement was Stevie Young, who participated in the recording of the album Rock or Bust, that same year.

On November 18, 2017, Malcolm Young finally passed away. In 2018 AC/DC was still active on tour but with problems with their member lineup. Chris Slade replaced Phil Rudd and even Axl Rose had to be invited in to replace singer Brian Johnson, absent due to health problems. By that time also Cliff Williams had decided that this would be his last participation in the band.

Anyways, the lineup with Angus Young, Stevie Young, Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams, and Phil Rudd carried on. In 2018, AC/DC confirmed that they were working on their last album. It features guitar riffs that the Angus brothers had been working on previous to Malcolm’s death. The last AC/DC album, Power Up, was released in 2020.

AC/DC discography

This list includes AC/DC’s studio discography. Since 1976, all their albums have been released internationally, but Australian pressings often differ from those of other countries, as they may have a different album cover art and even different track list.

  • 1975: High Voltage (Australia)
  • 1975: TNT (Australia)
  • 1976: High Voltage (internacional)
  • 1976: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  • 1977: Let There Be Rock
  • 1978: Powerage
  • 1979: Highway to Hell
  • 1980: Back in Black
  • 1981: For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
  • 1983: Flick of the Switch
  • 1985: Fly on the Wall
  • 1988: Blow up your Video
  • 1990: The Razor´sEdge
  • 1995: Ballbreaker
  • 2000: Stiff Upper Lip
  • 2008: Black Ice
  • 2014: Rock or Bust
  • 2020: Power Up

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