Friday, August 12, 2011

AC/DC--Highway to Hell (1979)

     Highway to Hell was the first song to break through in a major way to American audiences, but had spent the previous four years being one of Australia's premiere rock bands....
      The Young family relocated to Sydney in 1963 from Scotland, and it wasn't long before older brother George found himself in the group, "The Easybeats". Not only were they one of the biggest acts of the 60's in their country, but the song, "Friday on my Mind" was the first Australian song to reach the pop charts in the US in 1966. A couple of years later Malcolm joined a band out of New South Wales called The Velvet Underground (no connection with the NYC band).

      In the early 70's, Malcolm and youngest brother Angus put together a band out of a desire to play harder rock. The first couple of years was spent finding a direction for the music. They dabbled with glam rock (including all of them wearing costumes), before settling on a harder edged, hard driving sound. Much of that sound was embodied in new lead singer Bon Scott, who joined the band in 1974. By the way....the name of the group was suggested by their sister who saw the words AC/DC on vacuum cleaner. This same sister was the one who made the schoolboy outfit that has become forever linked to Angus.

      The band by 1976 was touring extensively in the UK and Europe gaining a rabid and loyal following, and in the next year was beginning to get some limited airplay in the US. It was the release of the album, "Highway to Hell" that broke through in a big way. Unfortunately, the success was tempered by the death of Scott (just 10 days after this video was shot). This paved the way for perhaps their greatest album, "Back in Black" with singer Brian Johnson.      


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