Realize

Songfacts®:

  • The second single released from Power Up, "Realize" features increasingly frantic bursts of staccato rhythm guitar and similar rhythm that recalls AC/DC's 1990 hit "Thunderstruck."
  • Lyrically, this finds singer Brian Johnson vowing to make listener "realize" that AC/DC have the power to produce music that sends a "chill up and down your spine." An alternative interpretation is he is addressing a girl asking her if she realizes he's "got the power to electrify, make or break, or satisfy."
  • Angus Young and his late brother Malcolm, who died in 2017, wrote the songs on Power Up in the period leading up to 2008's Black Ice. "A lot of them were ideas we had that we knew were good AC/DC ideas at the time, but we just never got around to getting them on record," Angus told Ultimate Classic Rock. "Malcolm and me had a lot of years when the two of us would just be in a little studio, just working away all the time... and in that period we'd so much stuff. When we went to do Black Ice, it was a case of you've got a few boxes of your ideas... [and] we only got [into] box one."
  • Speaking with France's Heavy1 TV, Angus recalled the song originated with an idea that Malcolm had that he really liked and spent a fair time building up.

    "I remember we had the music side of it together, how we wanted to do it" he said. "And he gave me his hook idea, the chorus. When he gave me the verse idea, of how he wanted the lyric, he sang it to me roughly. And I heard it, and it stuck in my head all day. And I just kind of thought, how clever is he? He just comes up with something. It was one of those things where I kept repeating it and repeating it in my head."
  • According to Angus Young, AC/DC nailed the recording of this song "in only a couple of takes."
  • The Power Up album title came from one of this song's lyrics:

    I've got the power to hypnotize
    Make a play, mesmerize


    Angus Young explained to Triple M radio in Australia that he "went through everything" to find a suitable name for the record. Then he noticed the word "power" connects with the band's name, AC/DC.

    "We always looked at ourselves as that of power, electric power," he said. "So I just wanted another, if you could say, okay, what could you call AC/DC, and you say they're power. And I just thought something positive: power up. When we get on a stage, we plug in the guitars and everything powers up when we're out there."
  • Power Up hit the #1 spot in 18 countries, including in the US where it sold over 117,000 copies in the first week, and in Germany where it achieved the biggest first week sales for an international act in four years.
  • Filmed in black and white through a fisheye lens, the no-frills music video showcases AC/DC performing on a soundstage. The five members were actually filmed in separate locations because of the COVID pandemic, with co-director Clemens Habicht (Tame Impala, Liars) piecing the individual clips together. The band's creative director, Josh Cheuse, is also listed as a co-director.

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