AC/DC have confirmed the release of 17th studio album Rock Or Bust on December 1 – and they’ve revealed mainman Malcolm Young won’t return to the band.
He bowed out earlier this year as a result of an unspecified illness, and was replaced in recording sessions by his nephew Stevie. The younger guitarist will take part in the Aussie giants’ 2015 world tour in his uncle’s place.
Columbia records say in a statement: “Rock Or Bust follows the immensely successful Black Ice album, which debuted at number 1 in 31 countries upon release in 2008, and has gone on to sell nearly 8 million copies worldwide.
“Rock or Bust finds AC/DC once again working with producer Brendan O’Brien and mixer Mike Fraser. It’s the first album in the band’s 41-year history without Malcolm Young. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm’s condition, he will not be returning to the band.
“Stevie, nephew of founding members Angus and Malcolm, plays rhythm guitar on Rock or Bust and will accompany the band on tour.”
The first track from the album, Play Ball, is to be revealed on September 27 on US TV channel TBS, in association with Major League Baseball.
AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink earlier this year reported it was likely Malcolm’s absence would become permanent. He said: “The important thing is we all let Mal be and hope he can recover. We should all expect that Stevie is in the band now.” Speaking of the new material he added: “I’m hearing on very reliable authority it’s up there with Black Ice, or even better – so Stevie must be a good replacement for Mal.”