The opening track and single from the Australian rock behemoths’ multi-platinum selling album of the same name, ‘Highway To Hell’ was released back in 1979, becoming an instant hard rock favourite. AC/DC’s signature song was written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young and the late Bon Scott, the hard-living, Scottish-born frontman who died of alcohol poisoning the following year. An ode to the band’s gruelling tour schedule and partying lifestyle, the now instantly recognisable lead riff of the song has since been credited to Scott. It is Scott also who provides the shrieking lead vocals which serve to complement Angus Young’s grinding lead riff and Phil Rudd’s thumping percussion lines. ‘Highway to Hell’ was produced by long-time AC/DC associate Mutt Lange, and ushered in the emergence of their double-guitar sound they later perfected on their most successful album Back in Black, recorded and released after the death of Scott. Notably the song was added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” list. It has since been covered live or on record by the likes of Angry Samoans, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and, erm… Maroon 5.
Available on: AC/DC Highway To Hell (Atlantic, 1979).