Brian Johnson, Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams return to AC/DC

Band shares reunited lineup image

After more than a year of speculation, AC/DC has confirmed that singer Brian Johnson, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams have returned to the band. Fans who signed up to their Power Up newsletter via their website or are following on social channels received an image this morning (Wed, Sept 30th) featuring the reunited lineup with Angus Young on lead guitar and Stevie Young on rhythm guitar with the caption, “Are you ready? #PWRUP ⚡

As of press time, that’s all the band has shared with other parts of their site still covered with caution tape graphics. “Power Up” could be the title of a new song, album, tour (when it’s safe to resume), or a combination of all three. They have yet to reveal new music plans. However, a new music announcement is likely imminent as fresh images of the band with Johnson, Rudd and Williams in the lineup appeared briefly on AC/DC’s official website before being removed. The images were reportedly accidentally leaked from a video shoot earlier this year in the Netherlands.

Last year, Johnson was spotted with bassist Cliff Williams at a Vancouver studio where it’s believed the band was recording the follow up to 2014’s Rock or Bust. Johnson, Rudd and guitarists Angus and Stevie Young were photographed outside Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios early last year. Online reports had suggested that Angus Young will dedicate the new project to his late brother and founding rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, who passed away in late 2017 at the age of 64 due to a “dilapidating illness.” Rock or Bust was the first project without founding member Malcolm Young.

AC/DC was rumored to announce a 2019-2020 tour last summer, but the announcement never happened. Tokepa, KS radio station V100 said at the time that a reliable source close to the “AC/DC camp” confirmed the announcement and that Johnson was “working with the band” again.

In 2015, Rudd was forced to sit out the band’s Rock or Bust Tour and promotional appearances for Rock or Bust following legal charges for drug possession and threatening to kill in his native New Zealand. Rudd was required to stay close to home for court and was not able to travel. Rudd had already completed drumming duties for the project before the charges were filed.

Johnson left in the midst of the Rock or Bust Tour due to hearing issues. He was replaced by Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose in 2016.

At the conclusion of the Rock or Bust tour in September 2016, Williams had planned to retire. “It’s time for me to step out, and that’s all. Not because we’ve lost Mal[colm Young], Phil [Rudd] or Brian [Johnson]. I mean, everything changes when something happens like that. When Bon [Scott] died, it changed then. You know, everything changes, so it’s not that,” he shared in a video at the time.

More details as they become available.