'Highway to Hell' delivers Xmas gift for AC/DC

LAUREN ZIEGLER
Last updated 10:27 24/12/2013
ac/dc

NEW RECORD: AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell' is at No. 4 on the British singles chart.

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It's a long way to the top 10.

Facebook campaign to get AC/DC's 1979 single 'Highway To Hell' to the top of the British singles chart for Christmas has come surprisingly close to succeeding, with the song reaching No. 4.

It is the first time AC/DC has made it into the top 10 singles in Britain and comes a week before the 40th anniversary (on December 31) of the band's first gig.

The Facebook page devoted to the campaign, organised by the same group that rallied to push Rage Against The Machine's 'Killing in the Name Of' to No. 1 in 2009, has more than 170,000 'likes'.

The campaign was originally to prevent singles produced by reality show The X Factor reaching the top spot, after dominating the charts for the previous four years.

After the 2009 campaign, 'Killing in the Name Of' was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest selling digital track in Britain, following 502,672 downloads in the first week of the campaign. To celebrate and thank fans, Rage Against The Machine played a free concert to 40,000 people in London in 2010.

Other campaigns have tried to achieve similar success. In 2010, 'Surfin' Bird' by the Trashmen got to No. 3 and John Cage's experimental piece 4' 33", which is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, reached the 21st spot.

It is a remarkable achievement for AC/DC. When the track was released in 1979, it reached only the 40th spot on British charts - and 24th in Australia. Until now, their highest entry on the British charts was 1988's 'Heatseeker', which peaked at No. 12.

The winning track this year was a cover of Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper', sung by X Factor UK winner Sam Bailey.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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