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Malcolm Young believed Bon Scott was underrated

Malcolm Young


Malcolm Young believed Bon Scott was underrated

Formed by the brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in the early 70s in Australia, AC/DC had many different line-ups when they started but the band really took shape when the late legendary vocalist Bon Scott joined them in 1974. His powerful voice and smart lyrics were the perfect combination to the powerful riffs, rhythm and guitar solos fired by the guitars conducted by the brothers.


His journey with the band was tragically short since he passed away in 1980 at the age of 33 after only six years on the road with them. Although his era in the band is widely celebrated and recognized since his death, the band’s guitarist Malcolm Young didn’t agree much with that. He believed that Scott never got the recognition he deserved when he was alive.

Malcolm Young believed Bon Scott was underrated

Although AC/DC sold even more records after Brian Johnson became their vocalist, mainly due to the success of the album “Back In Black”, which is one of the best-selling of all time, they still continued to perform tracks from Scott’s era. There are also many fans who prefer that first era of the group.

In an interview with Mark Blake in 1992, Malcolm talked about the recording of “Highway to Hell” Scott’s final album with the band released in 1979. The guitarist recalled that the label was desperate for the band to become more accessible to the radio. The reason was obvious: because that would give them more exposure and they could sell more records. Although they didn’t want to change their sound, the producer Mutt Lange was the right person to help. He was important to find a way to keep their sound and also please the record company.

The result was “Highway To Hell”, which didn’t please the religious people at the time, but pleased the critics. “If certain people had got their way, though, it wouldn’t have been called Highway To Hell. Because the bible belt was very strong in America at the time. They made a fuss once the record came out. But even though we were under pressure, we stuck to our guns.”

He continued:

“After Highway To Hell, some of the critics started to realize that Bon did have a talent. Then, when he died, everyone was suddenly saying what a great performer he’d been. These were the same guys that two years before had been saying we’d do much better with a singer that didn’t scream all the time. They were saying we should ditch Bon and get someone like David Coverdale! What hurt me more than anything was that Bon never got the recognition due to him when he was alive,” Malcolm Young said.

Malcolm Young was already mentioned by the late legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen as the heart and soul of AC/DC. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 64 after years struggling with Dementia.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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