AC/DC, formed in Sydney, Australia, in 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, is one of the most influential rock bands in music history. The band has released a total of 17 studio albums, several of which have achieved significant commercial success globally. Known for their hard rock and heavy metal music, AC/DC has undergone numerous lineup changes over the years. Despite these changes, they have maintained a consistent presence in the music industry, with their albums frequently charting and achieving multi-platinum status. The band’s legacy includes numerous awards and accolades, reflecting their impact on rock music.
Angus Young, a co-founder of AC/DC, is renowned for his energetic performances and schoolboy-uniform stage attire. Joining the band at its inception in 1973, Angus has been a constant member and is the lead guitarist. He has played on all of AC/DC’s albums, contributing significantly to the band’s distinctive sound. His guitar riffs and solos are central to the band’s hits, including “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell.” Outside AC/DC, Angus is known almost exclusively for his work with the band, embodying its identity and sound.
Malcolm Young, another co-founder and brother of Angus Young, was a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist for AC/DC. His tenure spanned from the band’s formation in 1973 until 2014, when he retired due to health issues. Malcolm’s rhythm guitar work formed the backbone of AC/DC’s sound, and he contributed to all albums up to and including “Rock or Bust.” He was also a key songwriter, shaping much of the band’s material. Malcolm’s influence extended beyond his guitar work, as he was integral in maintaining the band’s direction and style.
Bon Scott joined AC/DC in 1974 as the lead vocalist and quickly became a defining element of the band’s sound. His tenure with the band lasted until his untimely death in 1980. Scott’s unique voice and charismatic stage presence were critical to the success of early AC/DC albums like “High Voltage,” “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” and “Highway to Hell.” Before AC/DC, Scott performed with several other bands, including Fraternity and The Valentines, showcasing his versatile musical talent.
Brian Johnson replaced Bon Scott as the lead vocalist in 1980, shortly after Scott’s death. His first album with the band, “Back in Black,” is one of the best-selling albums of all time. Johnson’s powerful, gritty voice became a signature of AC/DC’s later sound. He remained with the band until 2016 when hearing issues forced him to stop touring, though he returned for the 2020 album “Power Up.” Outside AC/DC, Johnson has been involved in car racing and television, hosting a show about cars and racing.
Cliff Williams took over as the bassist for AC/DC in 1977, debuting on the album “Powerage.” His solid and straightforward bass playing style provided a steady foundation for the band’s sound. Williams was part of the lineup for many of AC/DC’s most successful albums, including “Back in Black” and “For Those About to Rock We Salute You.” He announced his retirement from the band in 2016 but returned for the recording of “Power Up” in 2020.
Phil Rudd, known for his straightforward and effective drumming style, first joined AC/DC in 1975. He played on many of the band’s most successful albums, including “Highway to Hell” and “Back in Black,” before leaving in 1983. Rudd rejoined the band in 1994 for the album “Ballbreaker” and continued with them until legal and health issues led to his departure in 2015. Rudd has also released solo work, including the album “Head Job” in 2014.
Chris Slade joined AC/DC as a drummer in 1989 after Phil Rudd’s departure. He contributed to the album “The Razors Edge,” which includes the hit “Thunderstruck.” Slade’s tenure with the band lasted until 1994, and he returned in 2015 to fill in for Rudd, touring with the band until 2016. Outside of AC/DC, Slade has an extensive career, having played with bands like Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and The Firm.
Simon Wright was the drummer for AC/DC from 1983 to 1989. Joining the band after Phil Rudd’s departure, Wright played on the albums “Fly on the Wall” and “Blow Up Your Video.” His drumming style was more technical compared to Rudd’s straightforward approach. After leaving AC/DC, Wright played with several other bands, including Dio and Rhino Bucket.
Mark Evans was the bassist for AC/DC from 1975 until 1977. He played on several early albums, including “T.N.T.” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” His tenure with the band was brief but occurred during a crucial period of their early development. After leaving AC/DC, Evans continued his career with various other music projects and bands.
Dave Evans was the original lead vocalist for AC/DC before Bon Scott. He performed with the band in its early days but was with them for a short period, contributing to the single “Can I Sit Next to You, Girl.” After parting ways with AC/DC, Evans pursued a solo career and performed with other bands, maintaining a presence in the rock music scene.
Stevie Young, the nephew of Angus and Malcolm Young, joined AC/DC as the rhythm guitarist in 2014, replacing his uncle Malcolm. He first played with the band temporarily in 1988 during the “Blow Up Your Video” tour. Stevie’s playing style closely resembles Malcolm’s, providing continuity to the band’s sound. He played on the “Rock or Bust” album and continued with the band for “Power Up” in 2020.