AC/DC
Highway to Hell


5.0
classic

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
November 12th, 2010 | 99 replies | 5,925 views


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In the matter of best AC/DC album, there really is no discussion.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

It is a glory for the legacy of a rock star to die young. On February 19, 1980, Bon Scott choked on his own vomit after a night of heavy drinking. He was 33 years old. Scott joined the immortals; he became legendary as the voice that led the world’s most successful hard rock band of all time to fame. Bon was key in creating the truehearted rock ‘n roll image of AC/DC, and died just when the band was hitting its peak. Back in Black may have sold more copies, but do not doubt for a second this wasn’t partly because of Scott’s fate. Every fan of the band with his brains in the right place will tell you this: Scott-era AC/DC is the only AC/DC that really matters, and it is the singer’s last recording with the boys that culminates everything the band stands for: Highway to Hell.

The title track, no doubt the most popular AC/DC song made with Scott, if not most popular AC/DC song in general in some places, is of course legendary in itself. The opening guitar riff, which’ immediate recognisability is only rivalled by the likes of Smoke on the Water, Iron Man and Whole Lotta Love, the way that drum beat just comes in, and then, the man of the hour yelps out those famous lines, and AC/DC starts rocking the way they do it best: hard. Highway to Hell is a rock anthem unmatched by very few, and it couldn’t have been right if it didn’t lead into AC/DC’s finest display of honest, badass RAWK.

Highway to Hell truly does rock the hardest of AC/DC’s earlier records. Producer John 'Mutt' Lange, collaborating with the band on their two subsequent records as well, added a lot of energy by turning up Phil Rudd’s drum presence and adding some more volume to Scott’s lead vocals and the charismatic repeat backing choruses that are a signature of the group, which adds a nice extra bit of charisma to classics as Girls Got Rhythm, Walk All Over You, Touch Too Much and Night Prowler. Whereas Angus Young, always more the face of the band than its lead singer, had a notably bigger presence on previous records, the new production makes this an album where he is as big an influence on the sound as Scott. Despite this, the schoolboy devil is still very much where he belongs: all over the place, burning down his guitar with the power of the mighty riff.

Essentially, Highway to Hell is just another AC/DC record. The difference is: AC/DC have never sounded more anthemic, loud and confident. It’s not going to change your mind about them; people love or hate AC/DC. There is no middle road. For those who say aye to 40 minutes of high-octane hard rock that wishes to do nothing more than to take you along and blast you away, this band salutes you. This record is ready, again and again, to teach you what rock really means. Is it good enough to warrant a classic rating? Hell yes it is.

High Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs:

Highway to Hell
Girls Got Rhythm
Touch Too Much
Shot Down in Flames
Night Prowler


Highway to Hell’s AC/DC was:

- Ronald Belford ‘Bon’ Scott ~ Lead Vocals (R.I.P.)
- Angus McKinnon Young ~ Lead Guitar
- Malcolm Mitchell Young ~ Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Clifford Williams ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Philip Hugh Rudd ~ Drums




Bon Scott: born July 9 1946, Kirriemuir, Scotland – died February 19, 1980, London, England.

REST IN PEACE



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4.1
excellent
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oh no u didn't

yes I surely did

RIP BON SCOTT

seifer
November 12th 2010



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha AC/DC just love them cuz of angus

ReturnToRock
November 12th 2010



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well done, sir. We approve.

SCREAMorphine
November 12th 2010



1751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Another great review, pos for sure

Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

So I thought Pedro. I'd never thought I'd ever 5 this. And yet I did, just doesn't let down anywhere.

Thank you SCREAM.

seifer
November 12th 2010



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmm how come u listening to this only now nag?

Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Wut, of course I heard it a long time ago already. I only just 5'd it yesterday since it's only now I realize how good it really is. Had to make up my mind before posting.

seifer
November 12th 2010



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well as long as u acknowledge the sheer awesomeness of angus it doesn't matter

ReturnToRock
November 12th 2010



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well to be honest, it does have a few fillers...in that regard High Voltage is objectively stronger, as evidenced by my ratings for both.

Emotionally, though....it's gotta be this one.

Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Well you know, not every track can be a Highway to Hell, Girls Got Rhythm or Shot Down in Flames.

ReturnToRock
November 12th 2010



3448 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, but Love Hungry Man, Beating Around The Bush, and Get It Hot are a bit too much. Voltage only had She's Got Balls.

AnotherBrick
November 12th 2010



9770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

How the hell aren't you a contributor?

Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, but Love Hungry Man, Beating Around The Bush, and Get It Hot are a bit too much. Voltage only had She's Got Balls.


You did hit the weakest tracks, I still find them great for the album though. When taken out of context they're in no way as good. That's something I think I can only say about this AC/DC album.

I'm just not going to comment on that anymore Brick.

BigHans
November 12th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I remember the day I bought this on cassette in the early 90's. The only track that can even be considered average is Get It Hot. The rest are all fucking stellar, particularly Night Prowler and Touch Too Much. Album fucking slays, the best AC/DC album, and one of the best rock albums of all time.

Great job on the discog Nag.

LepreCon
November 12th 2010



3852 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I don't think even I like this album more than you do! Pos'd

Digging: Overkill - White Devil Armory

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2010



15571 Comments


How the hell aren't you a contributor?

Because Sputnik focuses on new releases and Nagrarok focuses on old releases. It's actually kind of unfortunate because Nagra is one of the best reviewers here.

Anyway, as an avid AC/DC hater, I still think this album is pretty good.

Digging: The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream

BigHans
November 12th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Brick how can you call yourself an AC/DC fan? All of your ratings are 3 and lower.

Nagrarok
November 12th 2010



8170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Right on Hans, Night Prowler is so great. I believe Brick believes it is possible to call yourself a fan by liking songs and not albums.

Thanks Sowing, I may never got contributor but it's always nice to hear my reviews are appreciated, because I often have the feeling I repeat myself.

It does only happen rarely, doesn't it Conor?

BigHans
November 12th 2010



26455 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Bon Scott died two days before I was born. Thats fucked up man.

Gyromania
November 12th 2010



15461 Comments


Loved reading this review, Nag. A very well-deserved pos.

As far as AC/DC goes: I like them well enough, but they're not a band I usually find myself listening to. Still, great stuff for parties and nostalgia (Tony Hawk).



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