Following a high-octane release just over a week ago, AC/DC has taken over the No. 1 spot in 18 countries and counting with its brand-new album. "Power Up". The list of topped charts includes the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, selling over 117,000 copies in the first week.
"Power Up" marks AC/DC's sixth No. 1 album in Australia where the band is the only Australian group in history to have had a No. 1 album across five decades: "Back In Black" (1980s), "Ballbreaker Live" (1990s), "Black Ice" (2000s), "Rock Or Bust" (2010s) and "Power Up" (2020s). The album also holds Germany's biggest first week of 2020 and the biggest first week for an international act in four years, as well as being the U.K.'s fastest-selling album of 2020 and the biggest first week of the year.
"Power Up" is the fastest-selling album of 2020 in at least three of its biggest markets — U.S., Australia and the U.K. — where it debuted at No. 1. In the U.K., it opened with first-week sales of 62,000. 52,955 units of these were on a physical format (CD, vinyl, cassette).
"Power Up" features AC/DC's 2020 lineup of Brian Johnson (vocals), Phil Rudd (drums), Cliff Williams (bass), Angus Young (guitar) and Stevie Young (guitar). The LP 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".
"What I like about Brendan is that he keeps you working when you're doing a project with him," Angus told Rolling Stone. "He's talented himself. He knows his bass and his guitar and a bit of drums. And piano. He covers the spectrum for what we can do musically. It's very good because you’re working with a musician, since he can apply that musical knowledge."
Although AC/DC originally planned on releasing "Power Up" earlier this year, the pandemic forced the band to reconsider.
"We were hoping to get the album out before all this happened," Angus said. "They were getting ideas together for packaging and video promo things. And then that virus thing came along. It kind of put everyone on hold."
"Power Up" is available in multiple configurations, including digital, CD, and deluxe versions. The limited edition, one-of-a-kind deluxe "Power Up" box is the ultimate fan package. Hit the button on the side of the box and watch the flashing neon AC/DC logo light up while the opening bars of "Shot In The Dark" blast out of the built-in speaker. Inside the box is the full CD package in a soft-pack with a 20-page booklet that features exclusive photos and USB charging cable allowing the box to remain powered up and on display. The vinyl LP was pressed on 180-gram vinyl and housed in a gatefold jacket. Limited-edition variants of the LP are available at select retailers nationwide, as well as the band's online store.
Photo credit: Josh Cheuse