Friday, October 19, 2007
No. 199: Highway To Hell
Album: Highway To Hell
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: The last Bon Scott record, "Highway To Hell" is a shape of things to come for the band; More pop sensibility, more riffing and more of the AC/DC formula. Like the post-Scott masterpiece "Back In Black," "Highway To Hell" is somewhat radio friendly and fury-filled.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: Let's not too far into this, but AC/DC is sexist and a little crude. They, like Green Day, are a basic band for adolescents.
Best song: The title track is one of AC/DC's best songs and "Walk All Over You" is wildly catchy and fun.
Worst song: "Night Prowler" is awful, sexist and lewd.
Is it awesome?: I'd say no.
"Mutt" Lange is almost as responsible for AC/DC's sound as Bon Scott and Angus Young are. He was the man to emphasize the band's big rhythm section and the one who helped the band work out its songwriting fix. So, there's that.
I'm not sure what else to say about AC/DC that I haven't said about the band. Their records all pretty much sound the same. Big riff, chant-like chorus, big drums. Rinse, repeat.
I compared "Back In Black" to the first "Die Hard" movie, so I'd call "Highway To Hell" the second "Die Hard" movie (even though "Highway To Hell" was before "Back In Black"). The second "Die Hard" movie wasn't as good as the first one, but it's still big, dumb fun. "Highway To Hell" is big, dumb fun, too. "Walk All Over You" is wonderful, the title track is cool and "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)" is good stuff.
Of course, it's filled with the ridiculous sexist nonsense. "Love Hungry Man," "Walk All Over You" and "Beating Around The Bush" are all, basically, single-entendre. And "Night Prowler" is just disgusting and the kind of thing that makes you wonder if anyone actually likes "Night Prowler" other than the guy who used it as some sort of reasoning who was the Night Stalker.
Look, it's AC/DC. It's not anything to get really excited about. Yes, it's Bon Scott's last album and yes, he drank himself to death. Big whoop.