The title is often attributed as a phrase AC/DC guitarist Angus Young used to describe touring in America. There is a much more literal explanation, however. "Highway to Hell" was the nickname for the Canning Highway in Australia. It runs from where lead singer Bon Scott lived in Fremantle and ends at a pub/bar called The Raffles, which was a big rock 'n roll drinking hole in the '70s. As Canning Highway gets close to the pub, it dips down into a steep decline: "No stop signs... speed limits... nobody gonna slow me down." So many people where killed by driving fast over that intersection at the top of the hill on the way for a good night out, that it was called the highway to hell, so when Bon was saying "I'm on the highway to hell" it meant that he was doing the nightly or weekly pilgrimage down Canning Highway to The Raffles bar to rock and drink with his mates: "Ain't nothing I would rather do. Going down, party time, my friends are gonna be there too."
Vocalist Brian Johnson explained to The Metro October 15, 2009: "It was written about being on the bus on the road where it takes forever to get from Melbourne or Sydney to Perth across the Nullarbor Plain. When the Sun's setting in the west and you're driving across it, it is like a fire ball. There is nothing to do, except have a quick one off the wrist or a game of cards, so that's where Bon came up with the lyrics."
This was the first AC/DC song to chart in the US. It helped drive huge sales for the Highway To Hell album, which has sold over seven million copies in America. It was AC/DC's sixth album, and their last with vocalist Bon Scott, who died in 1980 from excessive drinking. Their next album, Back In Black, was dedicated to him.
Music data, artist images, album covers, and song previews are provided by Spotify.
volt.fm is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with Spotify. Spotify is a trademark of Spotify AB.