Highway to Hell (song)
|"Highway to Hell"|
|Single by AC/DC|
|from the album Highway to Hell|
|B-side||"If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"|
|Released||27 July 1979|
|AC/DC singles chronology|
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. 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, hence the name.
The song is in the key of A Major. The title and lyrics reflect the arduous nature of touring constantly and life on the road. The highway that inspired the title, Canning Highway, connects the Perth Kwinana freeway to its port Fremantle and was home to many of Bon Scott's favourite pubs and hotels, including the Raffles Hotel.
The single spent 45 weeks on the German Singles Chart, peaked at #30 in its 19th week on the chart. Bon Scott was found dead in the back of a friend's car, just over six months after the song was released.
"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.
"Highway to Hell" won the 'Most Played Australian Work Overseas' category at the 2009 APRA Awards. In 2013, an internet campaign attempted to get it to number one in the UK Christmas singles chart.
List of accolades
- Ranked No. 258 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- Ranked No. 152 on the 500 Greatest Classic Rock Songs compiled by 94.5 XKR.
- Ranked No. 23 on The Top 500 Heavy Metal Songs of All Time, a book by Martin Popoff.
- The song "Highway to Hell" is part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
- The master ringtone was certified Gold by the RIAA in June 2007 for sales in excess of 500,000.
- Bon Scott – lead vocals
- Angus Young – lead guitar
- Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Cliff Williams – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Phil Rudd – drums
This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|1979||Austrian Singles Chart||52|
|Belgian Singles Chart||14|
|Dutch Singles Chart||17|
|French Singles Chart||23|
|German Singles Chart||30|
|Spanish Singles Chart||24|
|Swedish Singles Chart||36|
|UK Singles Chart||56|
|US Billboard 100||47|
|1992||Australia Singles Chart||29|
|Dutch Singles Chart||69|
|Swiss Singles Chart||37|
|US Billboard Mainstream Rock||1|
|2012||Scottish Singles Chart||36|
|UK Singles Chart||40|
|Billboard Hot Digital Songs||1|
|2013||UK Singles Chart||4|
|Irish Singles Chart||23|
|Scottish Singles Chart||36|
|Italy (FIMI)||2× Platinum||100,000|
|Mexico (AMPROFON)||4× Platinum||240,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)
sales since 2010
|United States (RIAA)
sales since 2003
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
|"Highway to Hell (live)"|
|Single by AC/DC|
|from the album AC/DC Live|
|B-side||"Hells Bells (live)"|
|Released||8 November 1992|
|Genre||Hard rock, blues rock|
|Songwriter(s)||Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young|
|AC/DC singles chronology|
"Highway to Hell" has been performed multiple times in live concert. Including:
- Live: This was also released as a single. A video for the single was also released, containing a montage of footage from the Live at Donington home video.
- Let There Be Rock: The Movie
- Live at River Plate
- Smith, Troy L. (24 May 2016). "50 greatest album-opening songs". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
Singer Bon Scott’s crowning achievement with AC/DC is the opening title-track for 'Highway to Hell,' a hard rock anthem that remains one of the band’s greatest songs.
- Wall, Mick (2012). AC/DC: Hell Aint a Bad Place to Be. London: Orion Publishing group. ISBN 9781409115359.
- "Highway to Hell". Musicnotes.com. 26 April 2010.
- "AC/DC – The Stories Behind The Songs". NME. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
- Harmon, Steph. "Highway to Hell: 10km of major Perth highway to shut for AC/DC covers concert". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
- "Bon Scott: The Songs". Classic Rock. No. 212. Summer 2015. p. 43.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche - musicline.de". musicline.de.[permanent dead link]
- "2009 Winners". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100 | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com.
- "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
- 500 Greatest Songs of All Time Highway to Hell The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time]
- "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
- "highway to hell | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- "AC/DC Highway To Hell Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- "australian-charts.com - AC/DC - Highway To Hell (Live)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- "AC/DC - Highway To Hell (Live) - hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
- "Top AFP - Audiogest - Top 3000 Singles + EPs Digitais" (PDF) (in Portuguese). Associação Fonográfica Portuguesa. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
- "Italian single certifications – AC/DC – Highway to Hell" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Select "2019" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Highway to Hell" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
- "Certificaciones" (in Spanish). Asociación Mexicana de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Retrieved 20 October 2020. Type AC/DC in the box under the ARTISTA column heading and Highway to Hell in the box under TÍTULO
- "British single certifications – AC/DC – Highway to Hell". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
- "American single certifications – AC/DC – Highway to Hell". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 20 October 2020. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.