See the ‘Highway to Hell’ Cover AC/DC’s U.S. Label Rejected
AC/DC have been sharing content surrounding the 40th anniversary of their classic 1979 album Highway to Hell, including rare concert footage from the LP's tour. They've now revealed the album's original artwork that Atlantic Records nixed.
The band posted the image to its Instagram feed, saying it was "'shot down in flames' by the American record company," a reference to the song that opens the second side of the original LP. The photo is basically the same that wound up on the released record, but with the band surrounded by fire and the neck of a bass guitar serving as a pathway into the inferno.
The original concept also differs in the record's title, which is curved and inlaid into the instrument's neck. The group's logo is also darker with a more pronounced border.
Even though Atlantic wasn't thrilled with the cover, Albert Records, the label in the band's native Australia, had no issue with it.
You can see the band's new Instagram post with the image below.
Highway to Hell served as a pivotal album for AC/DC. Their sixth domestic and fifth international release was the first record not produced by the team of George Young and Harry Vanda. Instead, the band went with Robert John "Mutt" Lange, and the result became its U.S. breakthrough, reaching No. 17 on the Billboard album chart and eventually selling more than 7 million copies.
Lange would go on to produce the next two AC/DC records, including Back in Black.
Highway to Hell was singer Bon Scott's last record with AC/DC. He was found dead in the backseat of a friend's car, the victim of acute alcohol poisoning, on Feb. 19, 1980. He was replaced with Brian Johnson for the even bigger Back in Black.