AC/DC – Highway to Hell: Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums

Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :

Artist : AC/DC
Album : Highway To Hell
Released : July 27, 1979
M.M. Album Rating : 5/5 (One Of The Holy Grails Of Hard Rock Music)

February 19, 1980
The Loss Of The Great Bon Scott :

One of the darkest days in music history. Thirty Seven years ago today the music world learned that one of the greatest, most important, now most influential and legendary lead singers, and Frontmen of all time Bon Scott of the Australian rock band AC/DC was dead. At the age of thirty three he was gone after a night of heavy drinking, trying to clear his mind for what would be a very busy couple of weeks ahead. Falling asleep in a friends car, he would choke on his own vomit with no one there to assist him. By the time he was found the next morning it would be too late to save him. Just like that he was gone, and his bandmates were left to go on without their fearless leader, and soul of the band.

It was nothing surprising for Bon to go out for a night of drinking, especially on this night. Just a few days earlier he had spent a few hours listening to some of the new music his bandmates Malcolm, and Angus Young had been writing. On this particular day they played Bon the instrumental tracks for two songs that would eventually become “Have A Drink On Me” and ” Let Me Put My Love Into You”. At the time though, they had no titles. The Young brothers had told Bon they would be ready for him in a few days to write words for the new music. That day would never come, and we would never know the words Bon would write for the album that would eventually become “Back In Black” with new singer Brian Johnson as a tribute to him just a few months after his death.

One thing Bon did know before he died was he would have to top the best music, and album the band had made to that point. The album “Highway To Hell” released just over seven months before Bon had died was not only the best AC/DC album made to that point, but one of the greatest albums in any genre of music. On the previous album “Powerage” Bon had written the best lyrics of his life, but the Young brothers didn’t write the overall great music to match it. Highway To Hell though would be a completely different story. The whole band as writers and musicians truly would hit their peak, and also bring in a producer worthy of handling the material. Production genius Robert “Mutt” Lange would bring out the power of AC/DC like never before.

On the last album of his life Bon shows why he has become so legendary. His lyrics are funny, sexy, sarcastic, and even downright chilling at times. The record rocks from start to finish, with Malcolm and Angus playing some of their greatest guitar even to this date. There is no reason to mention any particular song, because they are all equally just as strong. The very last song though is a perfect example of everything Bon was. The song “Night Prowler” will give you chills as Bon describes his every move, but in the end the very last words we ever hear from him on a record are “Shazbot Na-Nu Na-Nu” from the Mork and Mindy television show. Proving that no matter what he was talking about, he never took himself too seriously.

To this day everytime I hear the “Back In Black” album it makes me wonder how that incredible music would’ve sounded with Bon’s voice, and lyrics. No disrespect to Brian Johnson,who I respect immensely, but he’s not Bon. So it makes me somewhat sad. But then I think about Highway To Hell, and I’m thankful. Thankful that we did get a legendary record from Bon Scott before he died. To many people, including yours truly this, not Back In Black was the band’s finest overall moment. Today Bon’s legacy is stronger than ever. Thanks to an album like Highway To Hell, he will never, ever be forgotten.

–Jesse

TRACKS:

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

Side One
1. “Highway to Hell” 3:28
2. “Girls Got Rhythm” 3:23
3. “Walk All Over You” 5:10
4. “Touch Too Much” 4:27
5. “Beating Around the Bush” 3:56

Side Two
1. “Shot Down in Flames” 3:22
2. “Get It Hot” 2:34
3. “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” 4:37
4. “Love Hungry Man” 4:17
5. “Night Prowler” 6:17

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