A recent post by Guns N’ Roses’ tour manager has ignited speculation that Axl Rose is set to take over the role of Brian Johnson completely, recording vocals on the new album by AC/DC.
Two days ago, Guns N’ Roses’ tour manager Del James took to Instagram to share an image of the Atlantic Records letter which announced the release of AC/DC’s 1978 album Powerage.
Of course, with the band’s dedicated fan base, many have assumed that this is just James showing off a bit of memorabilia, however others think this might be a cryptic indicator of big things to come, especially since it begins with the line “in just a couple of weeks, you’ll be receiving a brand new AC/DC LP.”
Yes, following rumours for quite some time that Axl Rose is set to record a new album with AC/DC, this post appears to be confirming the news for many.
Back in February, AC/DC biographer Murray Engleheart confirmed on Facebook that the band are set to enter the studio with the Guns N’ Roses frontman. “Speculate all you want but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: AC/DC will continue with Axl on vocals – new album, touring, the whole nine yards,” Engleheart explained.
“What was a massive gamble by Angus turned out to be an equally enormous triumph that has set the scene for the future.”
This announcement was all but confirmed in March, when Rose Tattoo vocalist Angry Anderson said in an interview that a conversation with Angus Young saw the guitarist reveal a new album with Rose was in the works.
“I was talking to Angus earlier last year when we were doing the encores and we were opening for Guns ‘n’ Roses but Angus and I were asked to do the encores and I said to him ‘What are you going to do?’ and he said ‘Mate I’m writing a new album,'” said Angry Anderson.
“I thought “Cool” so I asked him who was in the band and he said ‘Axl.'”
However, this news has been met with differing opinions as to whether or not it’s actually a good idea. Original AC/DC vocalist Dave Evans said back in 2017 that as the only remaining original member, Angus Young needs to record an album in order to “make it legitimate”, and seemingly cement Axl Rose’s place in the band.
On the other side of things, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen isn’t too keen on the idea, saying that if the band were to continue with Axl Rose, they should drop the AC/DC name.
“It kind of loses its appeal. It becomes karaoke; it becomes something else, and it’s lost its integrity, really,” said Collen at the time. “I wouldn’t do that, personally, if I was Angus.”
“I thought Axl Rose [did] a great job, by the way. I thought he [did] amazing when he stood in for Brian Johnson. I thought he was amazing, actually. Full power to him — he’s done really, really good stuff.”
Axl Rose joined AC/DC back in 2016, following the departure of longtime frontman Brian Johnson, who had been suffering from worsening hearing loss. While many were skeptical at the time, Rose’s appearances with the band were well-received, with many fans wondering if the group should indeed record a follow-up to 2014’s Rock Or Bust.
Whether or not we’ll actually see an album with Axl/DC remains to be seen, but at the very least, rumours are rife, and opinions are decided, so we’ll have to sit and wait for a while.