AC/DC Perform Live Together in ‘Realize’ Video

Fans were no doubt thrilled when Angus Young was able to reassemble the living members of AC/DC‘s long running lineup for a new album, but it even gets driven home further when you see them rocking out in person. It’s a simple but effective approach the band provides in the performance-based new video for their song “Realize.”

The clip is shot in black-and-white in a white-hued studio with assorted cameras attached to microphones and instruments. There’s a fish-eye look on certain shots and for the most part it looks like the band is playing in a white void, that is minus the wall of black Marshall amps that turns up at times in the clip.

As an AC/DC fan, it’s a welcome site seeing Brian Johnson delivering his distinctive vocals again and something that many wondered if it would ever happen again after the singer stepped away from the group due to hearing issues a few years back. But after working with a company on a new hearing device, the AC/DC belter is back delivering vocals as strong as ever.

Johnson isn’t the only returning member to the lineup with bassist Cliff Williams picking up his instrument after retiring at the end of the Rock or Bust touring. Drummer Phil Rudd has also reclaimed his spot behind the kit after legal issues kept him from touring during the Rock or Bust cycle. Guitarist Stevie Young was the lone holdover alongside Angus Young from the Rock or Bust run, handling guitar duties after taking over from late guitarist Malcolm Young.

“Realize” is the opening cut from the well-received AC/DC album Power Up that arrived late last fall. The record, the band’s first in six years, shot to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart. Both the singles “Shot in the Dark” and “Demon Fire” helped to bolster the early success of the record.

AC/DC, “Realize”

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Watch the New Video for AC/DC’s ‘Realize’

AC/DC have unveiled a new video for the song “Realize.”

The track, which kicks off the band’s latest album, Power Up, had been released as the second single in November, just a few days before the arrival of the LP.

You can watch the video, shot entirely in black and white, below.

Although it appears to be the quintet performing on a soundstage, the five members were filmed in separate locations, with co-director Clemens Habicht editing the individual clips together. The band’s creative director, Josh Cheuse, is also listed as a co-director.

“Realize” made UCR’s list of the Best Rock Songs of 2020, where it was noted that Angus Young runs “wild over the verses with increasingly unhinged bursts of jangled rhythm guitar while Brian Johnson leads AC/DC through surprisingly lush and expansive chorus vocals.”

Speaking to France’s Heavy1 TV, Young recalled writing “Realize” with his late brother Malcolm. “We spent a fair bit of time on it,” he said. “It was another strong idea that he had. For me, I knew how much he really liked it. I remember when we originally were writing it, the effort that he put in and how he built it up. The thing is, I remember we had the music side of it together, how we wanted to do it. And he gave me his hook idea, the chorus, When the gave me the verse idea, of how he wanted the lyric, he sang it to me roughly. And I heard it, and it stuck in my head all day. And I just kind of thought, How clever is he? He just comes up with something. It was one of those things where I kept repeating it and repeating it in my head.”

Young continued: “Sometimes I used to think, ‘I don’t know where he pulls these ideas from.’ 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. … 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.”

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AC/DC’s Angus Young Hasn’t Written Music With Axl Rose

Angus Young clarified that he hasn’t written new music with Axl Rose.

The Guns N’ Roses frontman temporarily joined as AC/DC‘s live singer in 2016 after Brian Johnson‘s hearing issues forced him to exit the remaining dates of their Rock or Bust World Tour. But despite a few vague hints suggesting Rose and Young might link up on some songs, the guitarist confirmed to Rolling Stone that no collaboration occurred.

“Nothing really came out solid,” Young said. “I know that he has a lot of things he’s involved in. I don’t even know if you would say it was music. But he had a lot of things that he was involved in.”

Asked directly if they wrote any tracks, he added, “No, no. That never happened.”

In a June 2016 Q&A session in London, Rose enthused about working with Young, and his comments led to wide fan speculation.

“I feel protective; I feel I do not want to let this guy down – more than almost anybody I’ve ever known – and I don’t know why,” the singer said. “And he’s very responsive to me. And they said they hadn’t seen him this happy, they hadn’t seen him moving around [this much]. In between songs, he’s playing other stuff [that has inspired potential new song ideas]. So that’s kind of a neat thing between musicians.”

Even if the duo never wrote any songs, Rose was instrumental in keeping AC/DC moving forward during a tough time — and four years after his live assist, the band (with Johnson) released their 17th studio LP, Power Up.

“Axl Rose contacted us [about filling in onstage],” Young told Rolling Stone. “I’ll be forever grateful for him for doing that. He was very pro about doing it. He really gave a great performance.”

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September 2020: AC/DC’s Awesome Return, Fleetwood Mac Go Viral

With the coronavirus pandemic lockdown in its fourth month, word of a brand new album from AC/DC was the best news we could possibly get in September 2020.

After a few years when it seemed like they would call it quits, AC/DC regrouped with the quintet that made Rock or Bust for Power Up. The record had been rumored as far back as summer 2018, when some of its members were spotted outside a Vancouver studio. But the project was kept under wraps until the official announcement at the end of September.

Fleetwood Mac also received an unexpected surprise that month, with a surge in popularity thanks to a viral video that used their 1977 hit “Dreams.” Bruce Springsteen also announced a new LP. And a pair of classic rockers thought it was odd their songs were being played at President Donald Trump‘s campaign rallies, while Van Morrison began protesting the lockdown in song.

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AC/DC Announce Return With ‘Power Up’

In the last days of September, AC/DC confirmed rumors that first surfaced two years earlier. They announced that Brian Johnson, Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd were back in the band with a new album, Power Up, their first since Malcolm Young‘s 2017 deathPower Up consists of songs that Malcolm and Angus Young wrote years ago, including the singles “Shot in the Dark,” “Realize” and “Demon Fire.” Angus revealed that the record represented just the tip of the iceberg of what he and his late brother had stockpiled. Johnson, who left the band toward the end of the Rock or Bust tour due to issues with his hearing, was able to return thanks to an experimental procedure. Williams said it was a bad case of vertigo that made him retire, and Rudd convinced Angus Young that his substance-abuse issues were behind him when they saw each other at Malcolm’s funeral. The guitarist also praised his nephew Stevie for maintaining Malcolm’s high standard as the band’s rhythm guitarist.

Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” Becomes a Hit Again With TikTok Video

One of the most whimsical rock stories of 2020 took place when Nathan Apodaca posted a TikTok video of himself skateboarding and drinking juice to the strains of Fleetwood Mac‘s classic “Dreams.” The success of the clip led to sales and streams of the 1977 single, more than doubling their usual numbers. Apodaca received an endorsement from the band, which retweeted the clip and added, “We love this!” It inspired dozens of copycats; even Mick Fleetwood got in on the act. Stevie Nicks made her own version, lacing up a pair of roller skates while seated at a piano and singing along with the Rumours No. 1 hit.

Bruce Springsteen Goes Back to E Street

Six years after his last album with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen announced the October release of Letter to You. He had convened his longtime collaborators in his New Jersey home studio in November 2019 and cut the entire record live in the studio in four days. Springsteen wrote much of the material on a guitar given to him by a fan following a performance of Springsteen on Broadway; the LP’s themes, including the second single “Ghosts,” deal with mortality and aging. He also included new versions of three unreleased songs from the early ’70s that he rediscovered while working on a second volume of his 1998 box set Tracks.

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Rockers Question President Trump’s Music Choices

The use of classic rock at President Donald Trump’s campaign stops continued to draw attention from artists, but this time it was with bemusement instead of threats of legal action. John Fogerty noted that playing his Creedence Clearwater Revival classic “Fortunate Son” was “confounding” since the song rails against “people of privilege …  or people that had a position could use that to avoid the draft. … It seems like he is probably the Fortunate Son.” Eric Burdon of the Animals thought Trump’s playing of “House of the Rising Sun” was appropriate: “A tale of sin and misery set in a brothel suits him so perfectly!” he wrote. “Far more appropriate for this time in our history might be ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place.’” Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, on the other hand, repeated his support for Trump. “All the politicians have had skeletons in the closet,” he said, “but I think that Trump is the strongest leader that we’ve got on the table.”

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Van Morrison Releases Anti-Lockdown Songs

While most musicians were doing their part to encourage social distancing in the COVID-19 era, Van Morrison bucked the trend. After calling for the music industry to “fight the pseudo-science” and restart full-capacity shows, Morrison promised three songs that claim scientists make up “crooked facts” and refer to authorities who enforce lockdown rules as “fascist bullies.” The first, “Born to Be Free,” arrived toward the end of the month; the second, “Stand and Deliver,” featured guitar work by Eric Clapton, who backed Morrison in a statement accompanying the track. Robin Swann, the health minister of Morrison’s native Northern Ireland, said Morrison’s actions went “further than disappointment,” calling them “dangerous” and “going way beyond raising questions.” A third song hasn’t been released yet.

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26 of the Most Watched Rock + Metal Videos in 2020

With so much YouTube content released in 2020, you might be wondering which popular rock and metal videos were the most watched.

Loudwire contributor Ryan J. Downey has compiled a list of over 500 rock and metal Youtube videos and their view counts via his Stream N’ Destroy newsletter, so you can investigate just that!

While this is an unscientific sampling of some of the most popular hard rock, metal and adjacent subgenre music videos released in 2020, it will give you a pretty good idea of the most popular videos published on YouTube this year.

In cases where there is more than one video for a particular song (official music video + official audio track + lyric video, etc.), Downey chose the most popular version and included that one only. He also included older tracks (remasters, live versions) so long as the video was uploaded in 2020; however, he didn’t include reaction videos, commentary videos, interviews or anything that isn’t just a straight-up song.

For more stats like this sign up for his newsletter, which is full of hard rock and metal industry news, here.

Head below to see 25 of the Most Watched Popular Rock + Metal Videos in 2020.

  • 25

    Disturbed, “Hold On to Memories”

    Over 6.8 million views at time of publishing.

  • 24

    Sixx: A.M. Presents Artists for Recovery, “Maybe It’s Time”

    ft. Corey Taylor, Joe Elliott, Brantley Gilbert, Ivan Moody, Slash

    Nearly 7 million views at time of publishing.

  • 23

    Avenged Sevenfold, “Set Me Free”

    Over 7.4 million views at time of publishing.

  • 22

    Ozzy Osbourne ft. Elton John, “Ordinary Man”

    Over 8.3 million views at time of publishing.

  • 21

    System of a Down, “Protect the Land”

    Over 8.7 million views at time of publishing.

  • 20

    Lindemann, “Ach so gern”

    Over 8.8 million views at time of publishing.

  • 19

    Breaking Benjamin ft. Scooter Ward, “Far Away”

    Nearly 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 18

    AC/DC, “Back in Black / Highway to Hell (Live)”

    Over 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 17

    Sabaton, “The Red Baron”

    Over 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 16

    Danny Carey, “Pneuma” by TOOL

    Performed live in Boston, MA – posted by Vic Firth

    Over 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 15

    Ozzy Osbourne, “Straight to Hell”

    Over 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 14

    Breaking Benjamin ft. Lacey Sturm, “Dear Agony (Aurora Version)”

    Over 9 million views at time of publishing.

  • 13

    Bring Me the Horizon, “Teardrops”

    Nearly 10 million views at time of publishing.

  • 12

    The Hu, “Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order”

    Over 10 million views at time of publishing.

  • 11

    Bring Me the Horizon with YUNGBLUD, “Obey”

    Over 11 million views at time of publishing.

  • 10

    Lamb of God, “Memento Mori”

    Over 11 million views at time of publishing.

  • 9

    In This Moment , “The In-Between”

    Over 11 million views at time of publishing.

  • 8

    Sabaton, “The Attack of the Dead Men”

    Over 14 million views at time of publishing.

  • 7

    Falling in Reverse, “The Drug in Me Is Reimagined”

    Over 15 million views at time of publishing.

  • 6

    Five Finger Death Punch, “A Little Bit Off”

    Nearly 17 million views at time of publishing.

  • 27

    Machine Gun Kelly ft. Halsey – “forget me too”

    Over 17 million views at time of publishing

  • 5

    AC/DC, “Shot in the Dark”

    Over 18 million views at time of publishing.

  • 4

    ‘Paradise City,’ Season One Teaser

    Nearly 18 million views at time of publishing.

  • 3

    Bring Me the Horizon, “Parasite Eve”

    Over 19 million views at time of publishing.

  • 2

    Steven Tyler, Slash + Train – “Dream On”

    Performed live at the 2014 Howard Stern Birthday Bash

    Over 20 million views at time of publishing.

  • 1

    Slipknot, “Nero Forte”

    Over 26 million views at time of publishing.

  • 1

    Machine Gun Kelly, “Bloody Valentine”

    Over 56 million views at time of publishing.

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AC/DC Continuing With Axl Rose ‘Never Really Came Up’

Angus Young said the idea of AC/DC continuing with Axl Rose after the Rock or Bust tour “never really came up.” The Guns N’ Roses singer was brought in after Brian Johnson’s hearing problems forced him off the road in 2016. When the tour was completed, rumors began circulating that Rose would remain a member of the band.

In a new interview with Total Guitar, Young said “that never really came up. Axl was really very generous, and he helped us out to get through our touring side at a difficult spot. He had contacted us and said he could help if it didn’t interfere with his own commitments of what he was going. … He wanted to come in and try songs that he himself liked, and he was suggesting songs I hadn’t played in a long time. I’m definitely grateful that he volunteered, and that had helped us finish off our commitment. But he has his own life.”

At the tour’s completion, Young and his nephew Stevie were the only remaining members of the band who’d started the Rock or Bust project: In addition to Johnson’s departure, bassist Cliff Williams retired and drummer Phil Rudd was replaced after some legal issues.

“At that point, you’re at the great unknown,” Young explained. “We didn’t know what would happen. You’re in a bit of a case of limbo. But at the time you just go, ‘I’m committed to getting through this, and then after that I’ll concentrate on what comes.”

The three members all returned for the band’s new album Power Up, which will be released on Nov. 13. With touring possibilities still up in the air, Young reflected: “I’ve been doing this most of my life, since I was in my teens. So it’s very hard to think of something other than when it comes to making music. I’ve always said if I do anything music-wise, I can only do it the AC/DC way. Even if I wasn’t in AC/DC, I think it would probably still sound like AC/DC.”

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AC/DC Hope ‘Power Up’ Will Inspire Kids to Pick Up the Guitar

AC/DC‘s reunion was probably one of the best things to happen to rock fans this year. Their upcoming album Power Up will be out Nov. 13, and Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams told Loudwire Nights they want two things to come from its release — for it to make people smile, and for it to make kids want to pick up a guitar.

While there were a few big rock releases in 2020 so far, only one made it to the top of the Billboard 200, and it was by an artist who originally became known to the public as a rapper — Machine Gun Kelly. Though Williams admitted he’s never heard of the musician before, his pop-punk album Tickets to My Downfall debuted at No. 1 on the chart upon its release in late September.

But why haven’t other rock albums achieved that same feat this year, when we’ve seen releases from previously chart-topping artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam and Deftones? What is different about the younger generations of rock artists and fans alike?

“I think they got swallowed up by the mainstream. Mainstream music, by that I mean social media, the ‘norm,'” Johnson explained. “AC/DC started in the mind of Malcolm Young many years ago when he was sitting at home in Australia, and the only music you could hear was this soft, gentle music. And he just went, ‘Everything’s too nice, I wanna do something about this.'”

“Being in rock ‘n’ roll… it’s never been the genre that people ever listen to, they never took it seriously. And I think it’s time that stops because it is a very serious statement of music, and it has been for so long,” the singer continued. “I think now and again, you get big bursts of rock ‘n’ roll, and then you get people coming up and making silly statements like, ‘Hey man, rock ‘n’ roll is dead.'”

The frontman hopes that people in younger generations, who may not have grown up with AC/DC, will listen to Power Up and decide that they want to go out and get a guitar and learn to play.

Listen to the full interview above.

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