My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Highway to Hell is the sixth album by Australian band AC/DC. It was recorded in several studios during the beginning of 1979 and released in July of the same year. It would be their last album with singer Bon Scott who would pass away in February of 1980.
What I think: As a very young teen I liked AC/DC, but haven’t really paid them any attention since and this is the first album of their’s I have heard in years. I’m surprised by how much I like it and… dislike is the wrong word. I guess how much it just isn’t for me. So hear me out.
I love the tight and clean sound of everything. You can hear it all so clearly and it’s wonderfully punchy. Listening to it initially, I didn’t know that “Mutt” Lange produced it, and I really thought I heard a lot of Def Leppard’s later sound in it… a sound I really enjoy, so Lange as a producer here makes sense. I like how the songs are all fairly short, without excessive vocal hysterics by Scott or any fifteen minute guitar solos by Young. It makes for a very quick listen, with the songs just flying by. The problem I have is maybe it’s too much Hard Rock? Bombastic? Fun? for me, and while I love the sound, I also sort of cringe at the same time. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so divided by an album. The one song I can all out get behind is the more ballady (but still lust filled) “Love Hungry Man”, it feels more sentimental than anything else on the album. Oh, and that cover is kick ass too, I love how it seems to be part photograph and part drawing.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I agree that it should be listened to. It’s a great album that just isn’t for me. Hopefully, you hear it and it releases the fist pumping and head banging part inside of you that I seem to be missing.
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5/5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (337/438)
Amount that are new to me: 77%