HIGHWAY TO HELL
Released on July 27, 1979 (Albert, Atlantic)
Chart Position #17
01. Highway To Hell
02. Girls Got Rhythm
03. Walk All Over You
04. Touch Too Much
05. Beating Around The Bush
06. Shot Down In Flames
07. Get It Hot
08. If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)
09. Love Hungry Man
10. Night Prowler
Bon Scott – vocals
Angus Young – lead guitar
Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar
Cliff Williams – bass
Phil Rudd – drums
Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange.
Highway To Hell is AC/DC‘s (the Bon Scott era) Magnum Opus. The departure of Harry Vanda and George Young allowed Robert “Mutt” Lange to step in as producer and become a major contribution to the brilliance of Highway.
The title track is one of AC/DC‘s signature songs, and it is an indication of what’s to be expected from the nine remaining tracks. “Girls Got Rhythm” is driven by a shit-hot riff and sleazy lyrics delivered perfectly by Bon Scott. “Walk All Over You” is full of attitude, class and riffage — with the whole rhythm section singing the chorus in an almost tribal fashion. “Touch Too Much” continues Bon Scott‘s obsession with large women (see “Whole Lotta Rosie”), and is still a fan favorite to this day. “Beating Around The Bush” is based on the riff in “Oh Well” by Fleetwood Mac, but it is turned up to 11 and played with more conviction than Peter Green‘s original.
The next song, “Shot Down In Flames”, tells the story of something every man goes through in his life — rejection, while “Get It Hot” and “Love Hungry Man” are both loud, slick songs that drip with sex. “If You Want Blood (You Got It)” is a tribute to the band’s rigorous touring schedule — where they would do literally anything to please, as shown in the live album of the same name. The final track “Night Prowler” will forever be associated with the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, the Texas madman who brutally murdered 19 people in LA and San Francisco. Ramirez was known to be a big fan of AC/DC, and he had nocturnal killing habits similar to those described in the song, although the track itself is actually about sneaking into your girlfriend’s room at night! Adding to the eeriness of this track is the fact it was the last track Bon sang on, his final words being “Shazboz, Na non, Na non”, from the TV sitcom Mork And Mindy.
As a whole, Highway To Hell is ten songs of pure gold. I can’t think of any better way for Bon Scott to leave his legacy behind than on one of the greatest albums of all time. “Have a drink on me”, Bon.
www.acdc.com – www.myspace.com/acdc
Reviewed by Dan O’Connor for Sleaze Roxx, June 2011