Thursday, March 24, 2016
Throwback Thursday: 1984, by Van Halen
In 1984 Van Halen put out one of their most successful albums of all time: 1984. Featuring hits like Hot For Teacher, Jump, I'll Wait, Panama, etc. it would also be the band's last studio album with original singer David Lee Roth until their 2012 release A Different Kind of Truth. That said, despite the egos of the band members getting heavily inflated this was one hell of a way for their classic line-up to end their initial run with a bang. It really is them at their absolute best.
You can definitely tell that in 1984 Van Halen were really on top of their game. The songs definitely sound more well constructed, as though they were written by more experienced song writers (which by that point in their career they were). It's no surprise that so many of the Van Roth hits come from this album alone. Naturally there is a lot of Eddie Van Halen going wild on the guitar, but this time around it seems a bit more precise and thought out.
Jump was Van Halen's first number one hit in the charts, and for good reason too. It's peppy, it's positive, and it's just plain fun. When that iconic synth intro kicks in, it's enough to send any group of people into a wild spree. Combine that with Roth being as Roth as he can be with his upbeat boxing related lyrics and Eddie's soloing and you really do have what Van Halen was all about condensed into one song. It may be one hell of an overplayed song, but this is one of the few times I won't complain about that.
Top Jimmy may not be one of the more popular cuts from 1984, but that makes it no less of an awesome song. For a song that doesn't have a whole ton of distortion and reverb this song REALLY drives and grooves. It's a song you can really bang your head along to. Plus, I LOVE the way bassist/backing vocalist Michael Anthony's voice combines with Roth's. While normally he is all sunshine and melody, he is just belting it out like the true rock star that he is. It's another song that is just all around fun.
1984 is one of those albums that really drove Van Halen into success, just in time for Roth to quit and Sammy Hagar to follow up to pick up the pieces and launch them into the commercial stratosphere. Even if you're just here to hear some Van Halen hits this really is one of the best albums for you to pick up. Plus, you'll get to hear some tunes you might not have on the radio that you will be pleasantly surprised by. Being all killer and no filler from start to finish, this is one of the few albums I'd consider to be nearly perfect.
1984, by Van Halen receives 4 out of 5 stars.
4. Top Jimmy
5. Drop Dead Legs
6. Hot For Teacher
7. I'll Wait
8. Girl Gone Bad
9. House of Pain
Buy the album on Amazon: