A Tribute To The AC/DC Songwriter George Young (1946-2017)


“Without his help and guidance, there would not have been AC/DC,” said the band in an official statement. Essentially, the band owed a huge debt to songwriter George Young and may not have made it without him.

Along with co-writer Harry Vanda, George Young produced the first five AC/DC albums. This started with High Voltage in 1975 and went to Powerage in 1978. Young also helped with the live album, If You Want Blood You’ve Got It.

George Young was the older brother of Angus and Malcolm. While writing for AC/DC, he also performed with Easybeats.

AC/DC Songwriter George Young, Rest In Peace

George Young (R) | Photo Easybeats

According to Uncut Magazine, Young “first made his name as rhythm guitarist for The Easybeats, the quintet he co-founded in Sydney in 1964. Sparking the kind of fan hysteria that drew comparisons to Beatlemania, the band enjoyed a succession of national hits as Young and vocalist Stevie Wright emerged as chief songwriters.”

In the end, it was Young’s partnership with guitarist Vanda that launched AC/DC into international fame. Thanks to songs like “Friday On My Mind,” the classic rock band was eventually covered by Bowie and Springsteen.

The writing duo continued to work together for years to come. But Young isn’t the only songwriter we lost in 2017.

Other Iconic Songwriters Lost In 2017

Jerry Ross | Photo Soultracks

Last year, in addition to George Young, we also lost songwriters from jazz, folk, bluegrass, rock, and more. Phil Miller, Mick Softley, Mike Carr, Cedell Davis, Tom Paley, and Eamonn Campbell all passed away last year.

Icon Jerry Ross also passed away in 2017. Known for his like “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” Ross helped ignite the careers of Diana Ross & The Supremes, as well as The Temptations.

Hip singer Gord Downie, jazz saxophonist Lou Gare, guitarist Alvin Deguzman, sound pioneer Bunny Sigler, and fiddle player Smoke Dawson also died. All of these songwriting legends were often overlooked in life but will always be remembered.

Thanks to the dedicated work from icons like George Young, bands like AC/DC will always be remembered for classic rock.

What is your favorite AC/DC song from the 1970s?

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