AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series) by Joe Bonomo

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 by way of Misadventure," Scott's death has endlessly secured the album's recognition as a partying primer and a bible for deadly habit, branding the album with the thrill chaos of alcoholic extra and its turn part, 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 peculiar yet enjoyable vocals. Joe Bonomo moves a three-chord essay at the energy of early life, the sturdiness of rock &roll fandom, and the transformative houses of reminiscence. Why does "Highway To Hell" topic to a person past non-ironic little ones? mixing interviews, research, and memoir with a fan's point of view, "Highway To Hell" dramatizes and celebrates a undying album that one critic acknowledged makes "disaster sound just like the most sensible enjoyable within the world."

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Extra resources for AC/DC's Highway to Hell (33 1/3 Series)

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Lyrically, Scott was mining his favorite source of inspiration. I thought that I knew who these girls with the back-seat rhythm were, the ones who looked through me at school, the ones who after three o’clock would shed their regulation plaid skirt, white blouse, and saddle shoes to paint on their makeup, feather their Sun-In hair and, defying the laws of physics, stuff a hairbrush down the ass pocket of their skin-tight Calvin Kleins to hang out and smoke at the park in Kemp Mill shopping center or the ice skating rink at Wheaton Regional, flirting with guys who were already shaving.

Malcolm, the foreman, is head-down, hard at work. Rudd and Williams are stand-ins for the guys down in the furnace, their hands wrapped tightly and sturdily around their tools, game-faces on, making the whole • 19 • JOE BONOMO thing hum and groove and stay in one quaking piece. During the breakdown, Angus is on his ass, then he’s twirling on the floor like a crazed fourth Stooge, now he’s up and (kind of) dancing as Williams and Rudd quiet things down with a hypnotic, funky bass-andhi-hat line. Angus drapes his uniform tie around Bon’s head, garlanding him, and, after Bon philosophizes a final time on the nature of sinning and gambling, and takes a deep breath, the band comes crashing back in, the song leaping in energy and power.

Watch it with the sound down and your ears still ring. The next day, AC/DC flew across the country to West Virginia to begin the last leg of the tour, which wound down three weeks later at Fort Wayne, Indiana. K. for thirty-two more ear-splitting shows, highlighted by boisterous crowds. They played two sold-out nights at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in November and a wild gig at Essex University filmed • 20 • A C / D C ’ S H I G H WAY T O H E L L for the Rock Goes to College television show, during which Bon carried Angus on his shoulders through the sweaty, knocked-out crowd as smoke poured from Angus’ book bag.

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