By Joe Bonomo
Published in 1979, AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" was once the notorious final album recorded with singer Bon Scott, who died of alcohol poisoning in London in February of 1980. formally chalked as much as "Death through Misadventure," Scott's death has eternally secured the album's attractiveness as a partying primer and a bible for deadly habit, branding the album with the joys chaos of alcoholic extra and its turn facet, early dying. the simplest songs on "Highway To Hell" in attaining Sonic Platonism, translating rock &roll's transcendent beliefs in stomping, dual-guitar and eighth-note bass riffing, a Paleolithic drum mattress, and insanely, recklessly abnormal yet enjoyable vocals. Joe Bonomo moves a three-chord essay at the strength of formative years, the sturdiness of rock &roll fandom, and the transformative homes of reminiscence. Why does "Highway To Hell" topic to somebody past non-ironic youngsters? mixing interviews, research, and memoir with a fan's viewpoint, "Highway To Hell" dramatizes and celebrates a undying album that one critic stated makes "disaster sound just like the most sensible enjoyable within the world."
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Extra info for AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series)
He’s spitting out declarations of easy living and season tickets on one-way rides. He doesn’t want to be asked • 28 • A C / D C ’ S H I G H WAY T O H E L L anything or to be bothered by anyone, but he doesn’t sound obnoxious or precious, he sounds, well, sincere. And damn appealing. A half-grin crawls onto his face and now onto yours, and it’s there for good. Here’s the kicker: it’s party time, he’s going down, and — as the guitar strikes a new chord and the rhythm guitar and bass join in conﬁdently on the left and the middle — his friends are gonna be there, too.
On November 10, its twelfth week on the charts, Highway to Hell reached number 17, the highest spot that the album would attain, destined forever to stare up the backsides of, among others, Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall, Kenny Rogers’ Kenny, Foreigner’s Head Games, and — in what must’ve galled Bon Scott — Barry Manilow’s One Voice. After four weeks, something funny happened: the title track stalled brieﬂy on the “Hot 100” singles chart at number 69. That likely gave the guys a dirty chuckle and went a long way to diminishing the Manilow affront.
It’s hardly feminist stuff, but it’s amusing and refreshing to hear a bemused Bon • 42 • A C / D C ’ S H I G H WAY T O H E L L admitting to disgusted no’s rather than lustful yes’s. And the song grooves and rocks, simply and powerfully, with Rudd’s punch-line snare shots and a solo made insane by Angus’ pick runs up and down the neck of his Gibson, mocking Bon’s romantic nosedives and growing frustrations. ) After the band slams the song home, Bon lets loose a blurt of mock-anguish, a cackle only he could come up with, probably drunk and weaving in the sound booth, getting off on the riotous story with which he’d just implicated himself, cracking up his bandmates who miraculously refrain from guffawing on-mike.
AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series) by Joe Bonomo