He continued: “Sometimes I used to think, ‘I don’t know where he pulls these ideas from.’ His great gift was… For him, a song wasn’t a combination of riffs and hooks and that. For him, he just had a kind of natural gift… Whenever he created a song, the parts would all come together — lyrics, music, and even kind of the dynamic of it… So it was a never a case with the two of us [where we] just settled for the chords you first hit or something; you went through all the different angles with him. And even with a song, a song with us never really… Say you were doing it at that tempo or a different way, sometimes we may even go back to another route and go, ‘Okay, try it from another perspective.’
“With this one, though, he had it just so clear, and it stuck with me,” Angus added. “He was gonna get a mic and just put his rough voice, ’cause you can do that some time. And I said, ‘Mal, if it’s for me, you don’t need to. I’ve got it here [points to his head]. [Laughs]”
“Power Up” is a tribute to Malcolm, who died in 2017 from effects of dementia at age 64. Malcolm is credited as a writer on all 12 tracks on “Power Up”, along with Angus.
In December 2014, Malcolm revealed he had dementia which forced him to retire from AC/DC. His nephew Stevie Young stepped into Malcolm‘s position.
Angus later said that he realized during the recording of the band’s 2008 album “Black Ice” that his brother’s faculties were impaired.
Malcolm died in November 2017 after failing health for several years.
Hundreds of mourners gathered for his funeral in Sydney, Australia, including Angus and other members of the Young family, along with Johnson, AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams.
Malcolm was remembered as a “humble man” and “musical mastermind,” with friend David Albert saying in his eulogy that Malcolm‘s impact on the music industry was nothing short of momentous. Young’s beloved Gretsch guitar, “The Beast,” rested on his coffin during the service.
“Power Up” was recorded over a six-week period in August and September 2018 at Warehouse Studios in Vancouver with producer Brendan O’Brien, who also worked 2008’s “Black Ice” and 2014’s “Rock Or Bust”.