Bass and guitar pick up intensity, the riff strips back to two chords, but more insistent, foreboding, before the full band comes in and the riff kicks in properly. For an entire album, Scott left the double entendres to one side, writing instead about hardscrabble and desperate lives, where escape is no more than a dream.
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A little work and they had the most exciting chord sequence in rock. And, yes, the title track is eternal. But Highway to Hell turned out to be dry run for the second biggest selling album of all time and unquestionably the greatest comeback in rock history. Scott died in February , yet by April the band were back in the studio with a new singer, Brian Johnson, and by the end of July their new album was out.
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Nevertheless, they opened the album not with one of those pop-rock anthems, but with something much darker — a tolling bell, a mournful guitar line, and riff that takes nearly 90 seconds to introduce the new singer. Its power is only marginally diminished by the fact that the lyric is about Johnson being frightened by a storm while flying to Nassau to record the album. Still, the sales figures suggest he knew exactly what he was doing.
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There was the inevitable problem of following Back in Black — their third album with Lange, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, suffered a paucity of top-notch songs, and the band themselves wanted to break from his way of working. They produced themselves on Flick of the Switch, a rawer album that had a troubled gestation and which saw their audience shrink.
All images by Philip Morris. The title was inspired by the cartoon 'Beany and Cecil', which Angus Young watched when he was a child.
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As that name suggests, it was about venereal disease, which the band had significant experience of when they shared a house in Australia in the early s. Guitarist Angus Young was travelling in a plane that got caught in a violent thunderstorm. The terror he experienced inspired the song title.
Traditionally, at live shows the song is accompanied by a giant inflatable woman stalking the stage. Johnson says of the track: "To me, it might be one of the best rock songs ever written - if I do say so myself.
Singer Bon Scott pictured here hell-raising during a break from the studio in had mastered the instrument as a child growing up in Kirriemuir, Scotland he'd been a member of the Coastal Scottish Pipe Band. Though the band has never quite equalled the success of that record, it has certainly shown itself to be resilient.
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Allowing M. I am relieved to report that those early omens turned out to be misleading and my own fears were misguided. One answer is that he is there in part, at least as a songwriter.