Highway to Hell (song)

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"Highway to Hell"
Highway to Hell by AC-DC Australian vinyl release A-side.jpg
A-side label of one of the Australian vinyl releases
Single by AC/DC
from the album Highway to Hell
B-side "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"
Released 27 July 1979
Format 7-inch single
Recorded March–April 1979
Genre Hard rock
Length 3:27
Label Albert Productions
Songwriter(s) Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young
Producer(s) Mutt Lange
AC/DC singles chronology
"Rock 'n' Roll Damnation"
(1978)
"Highway to Hell"
(1979)
"Girls Got Rhythm"
(1979)

"Rock 'n' Roll Damnation"
(1978)
"Highway to Hell"
(1979)
"Girls Got Rhythm"
(1979)
Music video
"Highway to Hell" on YouTube

"Highway to Hell" is the opening track of AC/DC's 1979 album Highway to Hell. It was initially released as a single in 1979.

The song was written by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott, with Angus Young credited for writing the guitar riff which became an instant classic.[1] AC/DC had made several studio albums before and were constantly promoting them via a grueling tour schedule, referred to by Angus Young as being on a highway to hell.[1]

Background[edit]

The song's title reflects the incredibly arduous nature of touring constantly and life on the road.[1]

The single spent 45 weeks on the German Singles Chart, even though it peaked at only No. 30, in its 19th week on that chart.[2]

Bon Scott, whose talent as a singer and rock frontman was at a peak, was found dead in the back of a friend's car just over six months after the song was released.[1]

"Highway to Hell" won the 'Most Played Australian Work Overseas' category at the 2009 APRA Awards.[3]

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

"Highway to Hell" was produced by Mutt Lange as part of the album by the same name, and his work is regarded as a significant factor in delivering one of the classic AC/DC albums, the emergence of the double-guitar sound, which was later perfected on Back in Black, and improved backing vocals with Malcolm Young, joined by Cliff Williams for the first time.[1]

Live recordings[edit]

"Highway to Hell (live)"
Single by AC/DC
from the album AC/DC Live
B-side "Hells Bells (live)"
Released 8 November 1992
Format 7-inch single, CD single
Recorded 1991
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 3:53
Label Atco
Songwriter(s) Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young
Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn
AC/DC singles chronology
"Are You Ready"
(1991)
"Highway to Hell (live)"
(1992)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (live)"
(1992)

"Are You Ready"
(1991)
"Highway to Hell" (live)
(1992)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (live)"
(1992)
Music video
"Highway to Hell" (AC/DC Live) on YouTube

"Highway to Hell" has been included on three official live albums:

List of accolades[edit]

Covers[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Position Year
UK Singles Chart 24 1978
56 1979
40 2012
4 2013
Austrian Singles Chart 52 1979
Belgian Singles Chart 14
French Singles Chart 23
German Singles Chart 30
Dutch Singles Chart 17
69 1992
Spanish Singles Chart 24 1979
Swedish Singles Chart 36
Billboard 100 (US) 47
Billboard Mainstream Rock (US) 1 1992
Australia Singles Chart 29
Swiss Singles Chart 37
Scottish Singles Chart 36 2012
2 2013
Irish Singles Chart 23
Digital Chart Position Year
Billboard Hot Digital Songs 1 2012

Track listing[edit]

UK[edit]

Released 1992 by ATCO

  1. "Bonny"/"Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "Hells Bells (Live)"
  3. "The Jack (Live)"

Germany and France[edit]

Released 1992 by ATCO

  1. "Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be (Live)"
  3. "High Voltage (Live)"

Australia[edit]

Released 1992 by Albert Productions / Epic Records

  1. "Bonny"/"Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "High Voltage (Live)"
  3. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be (Live)"

US and Canada[edit]

Released 1979 by Atlantic Records (Atlantic #3617)

  1. A Side: "Highway To Hell"
  2. B Side: "Night Prowler"

Released 1992 by ATCO (Atco #98491-2)

  1. "Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be (Live)"

Released 1992 by ATCO (Atco #96135-2)

  1. "Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be (Live)"
  3. "The Jack (Live)"
  4. "High Voltage (Live)"

Released 1992 by ATCO

  1. "Highway to Hell (Live)"
  2. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be (Live)"
  3. "The Jack (Live)"
  4. "High Voltage (Live)"
  5. "Back in Black (Live)"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Wall, Mick (2012). AC/DC: Hell Aint a Bad Place to Be. London: Orion Publishing group. ISBN 9781409115359. 
  2. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche - musicline.de". musicline.de. 
  3. ^ "2009 Winners". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010. 
  4. ^ Highway to Hell The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  5. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 15, 2014.