AC/DC – Highway to Hell
I first heard this album when I was around 11 or 12 years old. My next-door neighbor had a lot of the bands albums on cassette that someone had dubbed for him. I seem to remember borrowing the tape from him and playing a lot, along with several other albums. But it wasn’t until I was in 7th grade when I got my own store bought copy of the cassette that I truly fell in love with record. In the fall and early spring of 1987, in the first few months of 7th grade for me, this tape along with Ozzy’s ‘Blizzard of Oz’ was in constant rotation on my cassette decks. I absolutely loved those records and couldn’t get enough of them. Until I discovered thrash metal just a few months later.
Sadly, this is the final album to feature the vocals of Bon Scott. It was shortly after the band completed the tour for this record that Scott passed away. It’s a shame, because on the very next record the band blew up beyond belief, and it’s almost criminal that Scott never got to see or enjoy any of the success that the band experience throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Now one could argue it was the changing of singers that helped AC/DC’s sound appeal to a wider audience, and if Bon Scott would have survived and sang on ‘Back in Black’ they would not have been successful. But I’m not sure. By the time they started recording ‘Back in Black’ the band was already on an uphill trajectory toward becoming a house hold name. Most of the record was written with Scott in mind. And though Brian Johnson had a raspier and more aggressive vocal style, he still delivered the lyrics like Bon Scott did. I honestly think the album wouldn’t sound that different if Scott sang on it. If would be a little different of course, but in a way, I think it possibly could have been better. Of course, we’ll never know, but it’s fun to think about.