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The Old Wolf: AC/DC - Highway to hell

Recorded because it simply taught the world how to play ROCK 'N' ROLL. Loud fast and very, very passionate.
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Bon Scott: lead vocals
Angus Young: lead guitar
Malcolm Young: rhythm guitar
Cliff Williams: bass
Phil Rudd: drums

Found in their possession:

Side A
i. Highway to Hell - 3:28
ii. Girls Got Rhythm - 3:23
iii. Walk All Over You - 5:10
iv. Touch Too Much - 4:27
v. Beating Around the Bush - 3:56

Side B
i. Shot Down in Flames - 3:22
ii. Get It Hot - 2:34
iii. If You Want Blood (You've Got It) - 4:37
iv. Love Hungry Man - 4:17
v. ; Night Prowler - 6:27

Recorded because:

It simply taught the world how to play ROCK 'N' ROLL. Loud fast and very, very passionate. That in itself is enough to qualify it as one of the most influential bands in the history of Rock.


AC/DC When Jerry Lee Lewis set his piano on fire daring Chuck Berry to top that he apparently didn't have in mind that he basically set on fire the pants of all prospective Rockers that would follow...

Australia 1963 : The 8 year old Angus Young moves there from Glasgow, Scotland with his parents and 3 of his 4 siblings. He and his little older brother Malcolm contract the music virus from their big brother George (Pretty much everyone in the family had it). Both learn the guitar and start playing with different groups.

During the early '70s, the Young brothers formed their own band called AC/DC. The name, which means continuous/alternating current, is taken from the relative tag of their sister's sewing machine and they really could not have chosen a more representative name for their style of music.

Soon the roles of the two brothers became clear in the group.  Malcolm was the base and brains and Angus the bare electric wire that would be blowing everything in his path. The main influences were (and are) Rock 'n' Roll and Blues Rock. Especially Chuck Berry has had perhaps the greatest influence on Angus Young from the way he played to his stage presence (see duck walk).

BonScott With their first singer Dave Evans they managed to record only a single (Can I Sit Next To You Girl) before their constant disagreements brought the conclusive break up. It is worth noting that in the end, Evans did not appear at a scheduled Live leaving the entire band exposed. That is the moment for the star of Bon Scott (Ronald Belford Scott) to shine.

Scott as well was an immigrant from Scotland in Australia and was relatively older and more experienced than the other band members. He participated in various bands as a singer and drummer in the 60s but things probably were not so good because basically to survive he was forced to do a bunch of other jobs. As driver of the group he met with AC/DC who sacking Evans finally give him the opportunity to get in the band as a singer while he insisted to join as a drummer. Everything was on its way.

The band starts to work hard and in 1975 release 2 albums High Voltage and TNT intended only for the Australian market. The albums along with the unique Live performances of the band quickly increase their reputation to the circulation of High Voltage for international market.

AC/DC It's worth noting that the latter consists mainly of tracks from TNT (7 of 9) than the original High Voltage (2 of 9). Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap follows after plenty of pain and suffering, a version for Australia and another for international market again, while in America was released five years later, after the group had been established.

Next come Let there be Rock and Powerage in which the band finally finds its way. Establishes the known Logo of the band, the sound even more ties in with the wild beauty of the voice of Scott and in regards to their live performances the duo Angus - Scott does rock, while Malcolm is firmly in the background and sometimes seems to be proud of his "creation" other times he's watchful not to let the little brother go off the rails completely. But will talk about that later.

Even more important however is that the band reaches for good beyond the borders of Australia. Powerage would reach platinum status in America and is the first album where there was no difference between 'domestic' and international production. This rise is sealed by an amazing Live album "If You Want Blood You've Got It" and everything is now ready for the next step which is none other than Highway to Hell.

They settle the composition of the group, after several changes to the drums and bass in previous years, collect their experiences and make an album as tight as they were themselves. Starting with the title track, which aims to enable us to understand what will follow. A tray full of energy, intense appetite for fun, women and drink. A sly wink to the prudes. An album almost diabolical, for every false puritan, without ever being provocative, thanks Scott's lyrical ability.

AC/DC The record can be heard from beginning to end without doing "going soft" anywhere. Inevitably only few of the tracks could be more famous, but it really is difficult to discern one and say it could not be missed.

AC / DC always gave cause to rumors mainly for the initials in their name. They were accused even for gay innuendo. Now with this album title and that cover the rumors were wild. Yet the truth is always simple. A typical example is the last song of the album Night Prowler.

In 1985, serial killer Richard Ramirez was caught in Los Angeles, who said he was a fan of AC/DC and that his favorite song was Night Prowler. Of course the tabloid press is nothing recent, so they quickly started irrelevant comparisons and correlations with the band and this album. The truth is that the song talks about the naughty night of a young man who sneaks in the room of his girlfriend ... It  has been said that "An idea is never responsible for the stupid head that carries it" let alone a song.

Back in 1979, however, and what followed the release of this album. Everything seemed perfect, the album was the best they had done so far - reached No.17 of US top 100 - had gained an almost worldwide audience and had begun to work the their next (even better as it turned out album) Back In Black. But on February 19, 1980 Scott was found dead in the car that he was left to sleep after a night with too much alcohol. He was just 33 years old.

Other elements:

AC/DC The album was released on 30 July 1979 by Atlantic, and was recorded at the Roundhouse Studios in London.
The songs are all signed by Young & Scott.
Producer was Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who had never worked with the band before.
In Australia the album was released with a slightly different cover.
In eastern Germany the album was released without the band members on the cover.
In America album has gone platinum seven times.

The paradox with the group is that it acquired the highest reputation in the decades that followed, without implying that it then turned out its best albums, quite the opposite.

That reputation was basically won on the road. With every live appearance, with the passion they have and by their unfailing energy, they literally built their name from scratch. It is enough to see a Live, even taped, to understand what AC/DC is. The typical case, Angus Young who starts the show dressed in the uniform of a schoolboy and ends up soaked in sweat with only the shorts, having done countless kilometers of running up and down the stage doing somersaults, climbing over others and whatever else his mind comes up at the time.

He probably kept the uniform from the time he was going to rehearsals immediately after school.

For many years, critics and everyone who likes to put labels were confused into which musical genre should AC/DC be classified. During the explosion of punk or NWOBHM some mislabeled them in the one or the other. The truth is that except for their R'N'R and Blues origins AC/DC are almost a class on their own, affecting pretty much all aspects of Rock (even Dandy Warhols have covered Hells Bells).

Finally, perhaps the greatest contribution of the band to music is that in order to become truly great, other than talent and hard work you should primarily have soul...