Friday, July 27, 1979

AC/DC released Highway to Hell

First posted 9/4/2010; updated 9/7/2020.

Highway to Hell


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Released: July 27, 1979

Peak: 17 US, 8 UK, 40 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 15.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: hard rock/heavy metal

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Highway to Hell (9/1/79, #47 US, #14 UK, #29 AR)
  2. Girls Got Rhythm
  3. Walk All Over You
  4. Touch Too Much (2/2/90, #29 UK)
  5. Beating Around the Bush
  6. Shot Down in Flames
  7. Get It Hot
  8. If You Want Blood, You’ve Got It
  9. Love Hungry Man
  10. Night Prowler

Total Running Time: 41:40

The Players:

  • Bon Scott (vocals)
  • Angus Young (guitar)
  • Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Cliff Williams (bass)
  • Phil Rudd (drums)


4.167 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


About the Album:

Highway to Hell is the final album recorded with “Bon Scott, AC/DC’s original lead singer who died just months after this album was released. Scott had a rusty, raspy, scream of a voice, like he might break into a coughing fit at any moment.” DC “He had the perfect instrument for such wild-living anthems” DC and “provided the group with a fair share of its signature sleaze;” STE “Scott literally partied himself to death, dying of alcohol poisoning after a night of drinking, a rock & roll fatality that took no imagination to predict.” STE

“In light of his passing, it’s hard not to see Highway to Hell as a last testament of sorts, being that it was his last work and all, and if Scott was going to go out in a blaze of glory” STE this collection of “crunchy, hook-heavy metal classics” DC was “certainly was the way to do it. This is a veritable rogue’s gallery of deviance, from cheerfully clumsy sex talk and drinking anthems to general outlandish behavior. It’s tempting to say that Scott might have been prescient about his end – or to see the title track as ominous in the wake of his death – trying to spill it all out on paper, but it’s more accurate to say that the ride had just gotten very fast and very wild for AC/DC, and he was simply flying high.” STE

“After all, it wasn’t just Scott who reached a new peak on Highway to Hell; so did the Young brothers, crafting their monster riffs into full-fledged, undeniable songs. This is their best set of songs yet, from the incessant, intoxicating boogie of Girls Got Rhythm to If You Want Blood (You've Got It).” STE There’s also “Get It Hot which is more roadhouse rock than metal” DC

“Some of the credit should also go to Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, who gives the album a precision and magnitude that…[earlier albums] lacked in their grimy charm.” STEHighway to Hell was the first AC/DC album not produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.” WK “Filtered through Mutt’s mixing board, AC/DC has never sounded so enormous, and they’ve never had such great songs, and they had never delivered an album as singularly bone-crunching or classic as this until now.” STE

“The change proved to be fortuitous, and the album was the band’s biggest yet.” WK “This would be the first solid success that AC/DC would achieve in the U.S.” WK “and it propelled AC/DC into the top ranks of hard rock acts” WK as Highway to Hell became the band’s “first album to break the U.S. top 100, eventually reaching #17.” WK “Lange would go on to produce the band’s next two albums and biggest sellers, Back in Black and For Those About to Rock We Salute You.” WK

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