Tuesday, December 2, 2014

highway to hell

AC/DC took their lethal brand of hard rockin' backseat rhythm on a one way ride all the way down to the promised land.  After varying degrees of success with their previous five albums ('High Voltage', 'T.N.T.', 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap', 'Let There Be Rock', and 'Powerage'), the band decided to record for the first time outside of their native Australia.   'Highway to Hell' was done in London with Bon Scott on lead vocals;  Angus Young on lead guitar;  Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar and backing vocals;  Cliff Williams on bass guitar and backing vocals;  and Phil Rudd on drums.   The recording was done at Roundhouse Studios and mixing at Basing Street Studios with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange and engineers Mark Dearnley and Tony Platt.   

The result is a more refined sound that maintains the band's raw energy.  Angus Young would reflect:    "I think it's great...Fuck, yeah. We spent a lot more time on this one. A lot more people are listening to the band than what they've ever done before...They get me and they strap me to a seat and then say, 'Go play.'...I don't know too much about the technical side of guitar; I never bothered with it. If you know too much, it all becomes complex and then you start dissecting and analyzing. I just like thinking of it as good clean fun, you know? The only times I pick up a guitar is when I feel like playing rather than six hours a day practice...We pick up riffs and things on the road, you might come across somethin' and it sticks in your head. We don't just walk in and go, 'Well, we've got nothing, what are we gonna do? All sit around and twiddle our thumbs. We always have a good idea...The band has gone a long way...The band has a lot of rawness; it progressed, but it hasn't lost its feeling...A lot of people take us wrong; people criticize us because they say we can't play. It's a lot of bullshit...I hate bands that go above people's heads, you know? You know, musically they're trying to put shit on an audience and that's what they are doing. They're not going with 'em, they're going against 'em."   

Bon Scott:   "When we record everybody thinks like one mind. Everybody gives suggestions and says, 'Why don't we try this?'...Our music hasn't changed...No matter how long you play rock and roll for, the songs might change, just as long as the balls is always there...Shit, man, we could play fuckin' anything, jazz, whatever. But we choose to do what we do. Anybody who criticizes that is themselves, they're thinking wrong, we're not thinking wrong, they are...What's a punk band?"

'Highway to Hell'  was their first album to chart in several countries, going to number fifty-seven in Switzerland, forty-six in New Zealand, forty in Canada, thirty-eight in Austria, thirty-seven in Norway, twenty-four in Sweden, seventeen in the US, thirteen in Australia, eight in the UK, and number two in France.  It would be the band's final album with lead singer Bon Scott, who would be found dead in a car after a night of drinking in London in February of 1980.  


"Highway to Hell" was a euphemism used by Angus to describe life on the road.  It also was a reference to Canning Highway in Australia and its deadly intersection near the Raffles Hotel, a local rock hangout. 

Living easy, living free
Season ticket on a one-way ride
Asking nothing, leave me be
Taking everything in my stride
Don't need reason, don't need rhyme
Ain't nothing I would rather do
Going down, party time
My friends are gonna be there too

I'm on the highway to hell

No stop signs, speed limit
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Like a wheel, gonna spin it
Nobody's gonna mess me round
Hey Satan, payed my dues
Playing in a rocking band
Hey momma, look at me
I'm on my way to the promised land

I'm on the highway to hell
(Don't stop me)

And I'm going down, all the way down
I'm on the highway to hell


'Highway to Hell' 
full album:



All songs written and composed by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott.

Side One
1. "Highway to Hell"   3:29
2. "Girls Got Rhythm"   3:24
3. "Walk All Over You"   5:11
4. "Touch Too Much"   4:28
5. "Beating Around the Bush"   3:57
Side Two
1. "Shot Down in Flames"   3:23
2. "Get It Hot"   2:35
3. "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"   4:38
4. "Love Hungry Man"   4:18
5. "Night Prowler"   6:18

 live at the Pavillon de Paris, France, on 9th December 1979

[0:00 Intro] 
0:12 - Live Wire 
6:52 - Shot Down in Flames 
10:44 - Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be 
15:42 - Sin City 
22:16 - Interview 
22:53 - Walk All over You 
26:31 - Interview 
28:12 - Bad Boy Boogie 
42:42 - The Jack 
49:06 - Interview 
51:39 - Highway to Hell 
55:13 - Girls Got Rhythm 
59:27 - High Voltage 
1:06:55 - Interview 
1:11:00 - Whole Lotta Rosie 
1:16:40 - Rocker 
1:27:02 - Let There Be Rock 
[1:35:00 Outro]

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