AC/DC – Night Prowler

This song has always reminded me of Midnight Rambler by the Stones. What caught my attention and I listened to it twice to make sure I heard it right. At the end Bon Scott says something and I could have sworn it was what Mork from Mork and Mindy used…Shazbot Nanu Nanu…and it was! Scott was a big fan of the show.

California serial killer Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker, The Valley Intruder or The Walk-In Killer)talked about how he loved the band and Highway To Hell was his favorite album. One of Ramirez’s AC/DC hats was discovered at a crime scene and put on the news as evidence. That started an uncomfortable link with the band. His killing spree started in 1984, and in 1989 Ramirez was convicted of 13 murders. Around the Los Angeles area, Ramirez would typically sneak into houses at night and rape or murder the occupants…hence the nicknames.

Of course, the band wanted nothing to do with this psychopath.  It was rumored that the song “Night Prowler” compelled him to kill. The song describes a man sneaking into a woman’s house. It started the rumors again that the band’s name stood for “Anti-Christ Devil’s Children,” but it was actually something seen on the back of a sewing machine that they thought would make an interesting name. . Years earlier The Beatles were linked to a crazy Charles Manson because of a song also.

It was one of the last songs Scott recorded with the band. It was recorded in the spring of 1979 right before the album was released. After the tour, Scott would die on February 19, 1980, of acute alcohol poisoning.

Highway To Hell peaked at #17 on the Billboard Album Charts, #40 in Canada, #46 in New Zealand, #13 in Australia, and #8 in the UK in 1979.

Angus Young has said the song has nothing to do with stalkers or evil people. The song was credited to the Young brothers and Bon Scott.

Angus Young: “The idea came from when I was young, growing up in suburban Australia; we didn’t have air conditioning, and it was very hot. So if it was a very hot night, I’d open up the window. There was an alleyway next to our house and I used to get all of these animal night visitors. Sometimes they’d jump on the window ledge or attempt to come in. I’d see their shadows on the wall. These animals were always having a party late at night. For me, they were the ‘Night Prowlers’.”

Night Prowler

Somewhere a clock strikes midnight
And there’s a full moon in the sky
You hear a dog bark in the distance
You hear someone’s baby cry
A rat runs down the alley
And a chill runs down your spine
And someone walks across your grave
And you wish the sun would shine
‘Cause no one’s gonna warn you
And no one’s gonna yell attack
And you don’t feel the steel
‘Til it’s hangin’ out your back
I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Night prowler, get outta my way
Yeah I’m the prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light

Too scared to turn your light out
‘Cause there’s somethin’ on your mind
Was that a noise outside the window
What’s that shadow on the blind
As you lie there naked
Like a body in a tomb
Suspended animation as I slip into your room
I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Yeah I’m the night prowler, get outta my way
Look out for the night prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light

I’m your night prowler, asleep in the day
Yes I’m the night prowler, get outta my way
Look out for the night prowler, watch out tonight
Yes I’m the night prowler, when you turn out the light
I’m your night prowler, break down your door
I’m your night prowler, crawling across your floor
I’m the night prowler, make a mess of you, yes I will
Night prowler
And I’m telling this to you
There ain’t nothing
There ain’t nothing
Nothing you can do

Nanu nanu

AC/DC – Girls Got Rhythm

This one and Highway to Hell are two of my favorite AC/DC songs. The Rolling Stones could have written this song.  Great riff and great singing by Bon Scott. The song was written by Bon Scott and Malcolm and Angus Young. I’m going to turn 12 year…this song just plain out rocks!

Years ago I would never pay the Bon Scott era much attention…now it’s rapidly becoming my favorite of the band. That is not a knock on Brian Johnson. Both have one of a kind voices but I like the writing in the Bon era a lot. 

This was on their 1979 Highway To Hell album. It was their largest album to this point. It setup their next album Back in Black to be huge.

Highway To Hell was the first AC/DC album produced by Mutt Lange, who worked the band very hard and tried new techniques that made the band’s sound more appealing to the masses without softening their sound. He helped Bon Scott with sharpening his vocals along with Angus Young’s solos.

Lange was an up-and-coming producer at the time, but he would soon become a superstar, launching into the stratosphere with AC/DC’s next album, Back In Black. 

Highway to Hell peaked at #17 in the Billboard 100, #40 in Canada, and #8 in the UK in 1979.

The band also would launch into superstar status with their next album but sadly Bon Scott wasn’t part of it. He would die alone in a car Febrary 19, 1980. The official cause was listed on the death certificate as “acute alcohol poisoning” and classified as “death by misadventure.”

His grave site has become a cultural landmark; more than 28 years after Scott’s death, the National Trust of Australia declared his grave important enough to be included on the list of classified heritage places.[33][37] It is reportedly the most visited grave in Australia. 

From Songfacts

This lascivious rocker is one of the last tunes written by lead singer Bon Scott, who died six months after the album was released. It’s a classic Bon Scott lyric, as he finds myriad ways of explaining how his woman satisfies him, all while keeping the title squeaky clean and radio-friendly. It was released as a single in the UK and other parts of Europe, but didn’t chart. In America, the song did very well on stations with the Album Oriented Rock (AOR) format.

Note that there is no apostrophe in the title, which implies multiple girls having rhythm. The lyric suggests that an apostrophe is necessary, as Scott is singing about one specific girl, but it’s not likely that anyone challenged his grammar.

Girls Got Rhythm

I’ve been around the world
I’ve seen a million girls
Ain’t one of them got
What my lady she’s got

She’s stealin’ the spotlight
Knocks me off my feet
She’s enough to start a landslide
Just a walkin’ down the street

Wearing dresses so tight
And looking dynamite
Enough to blow me out
No doubt about it can’t live without it

The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
She’s got the backseat rhythm (backseat rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm

She’s like a lethal brand
Too much for any man
She gives me first degree
She really satisfies me

Love me till I’m legless
Aching and sore
Enough to stop a freight train
Or start the Third World War

You know I’m losin’ sleep
I’m in too deep
Like a body needs blood
No doubt about it, can’t live without it

The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
She’s got the backseat rhythm (backseat rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm

You know she moves like sin
And when she lets me in
It’s like liquid love
No doubt about it, can’t live without it

The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
She’s got the backseat rhythm (backseat rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)

You know she really got the rhythm (girl’s got rhythm)
She’s got the backseat rhythm (backseat rhythm)
Rock ‘n’ roll rhythm (rock n roll rhythm)
The girl’s got rhythm

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

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 the last with vocalist Bon Scott, who died in 1980. The song charted at #37 in Billboard 100 in 1979.

Angus Young described Highway to Hell about touring in American but Highway to Hell’s origin 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.


Brian Johnson: “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.”


From Songfacts

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.”

Mutt Lange, who has also worked with The Cars, Bryan Adams, and Def Leppard (and Shania Twain, who he was married to from 1993-2008), produced the album. Lange took over after after failed sessions with Eddie Krammer, who had a solid resumé that included work with Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, but whose procedural style didn’t work for AC/DC.

Lange was able to enhance the band’s sound without altering their essence. On this song, he added robust background vocals to the choruses – something AC/DC didn’t do on their previous efforts. This and other production refinements helped made the song a hit and expand their audience.

Recorded in London, Highway To Hell was the first AC/DC album recorded outside of Australia. The album cover had Angus Young on the cover wearing his schoolboy uniform and devil horns. Some religious groups found this quite offensive.

Serial killer Richard Ramirez claimed this album compelled him to murder. He believed AC/DC stood for “Anti Christ/Devil’s Child.”

In the film School of Rock Jack Black teaches the riff to the guitarist in the band. The song was also featured in the Movie Little Nicky, starring Adam Sandler.

The AC/DC bluegrass tribute band Hayseed Dixie covered this on their 2001 album, A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC.

AC/DC performed this at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony when they were inducted in 2003. Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler inducted them, saying, “There is no greater purveyor of the power chord.”

The chorus to the song was used in the 2010 movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief. 

A campaign to make the this the top song on the UK singles chart for Christmas 2013 resulted in a #4 placing and AC/DC’s first top 10 British hit in a 40-year career. The Anglo-Australian hard rockers had previously been the most successful act never to have had a Top 10 hit single in the UK, having achieved a grand total of 30 chart entries, none of which have ever peaked any higher than #12 (that honor went to 1988 hit “Heatseeker”).

When this song was released, there really was a “Highway to Hell” in America: Route 666. This section of highway ran through Arizona and Utah; it was later renumbered after various ghost stories emerged about unexplained happenings on the road.

AC/DC, who didn’t win their first Grammy Award until 2010 (Best Hard Rock Performance for “War Machine”), played this at the 2015 ceremony. They opened the telecast with “Rock or Bust,” then segued into “Highway.”

This is the song that gets Peter Griffin banished from Amish country on the Season 10 episode of Family Guy titled “Amish Guy.” Looking to introduce the Amish to rock and roll, he produces a boom box and plays the song for their leader, who does not approve.

When AC/DC was accused of backmasking Satanic messages on their Highway To Hell record, Angus Young responded: “You didn’t need to play [the album] backwards, because we never hid [the messages]. We’d call an album Highway To Hell, there it was right in front of them.”

Highway To Hell

Livin’ easy
Lovin’ free
Season ticket on a one way ride
Askin’ nothin’
Leave me be
Takin’ everythin’ in my stride
Don’t need reason
Don’t need rhyme
Ain’t nothin’ that I’d rather do
Goin’ down
Party time
My friends are gonna be there too

I’m on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell

No stop signs
Speed limit
Nobody’s gonna slow me down
Like a wheel
Gonna spin it
Nobody’s gonna mess me around
Hey, Satan
Payin’ my dues
Playin’ in a rockin’ band
Hey, mamma
Look at me
I’m on the way to the promised land

I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell
Highway to hell

Don’t stop me

I’m on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell
I’m on the highway to hell
On the highway to hell

(highway to hell) I’m on the highway to hell
(highway to hell) highway to hell
(highway to hell) highway to hell
(highway to hell)

And I’m goin’ down
All the way
I’m on the highway to hell