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Van Halen – Van Halen

Review: 077
Date: 27 May 02

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
David Roth - Vocals
Edward Van Halen - Guitar
Alex Van Halen - Drums
Michael Anthony - Bass Guitar

Tracks Listing:
1. Runnin’ With The Devil
2. Eruption
3. You Really Got Me
4. Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love
5. I’m The One
6. Jamie’s Cryin’
7. Atomic Punk
8. Feel Your Love Tonight
9. Little Dreamer
10. Ice Cream Man
11. On Fire

 


One of the greatest party albums of all time by one of the greatest party bands of all time, these young tear-away Americans knew how to rock and enjoy themselves to the limit and beyond.

Discovered by Gene Simmons of “Kiss” after playing the American Club circuit they were rushed into the studio with experienced rock producer Ted Templeton and came out with this raw product.

At the time (1978) it was given no chance, a fully fledged Rock ‘n’ Roll album at the height of the seventies disco scene. However, straight to the top of the charts it shot, almost single-handled killing of disco (for which we should all be eternally grateful) and giving Van Halen 4 top ten hits along the way.

As for debut albums this one just about tops the tree, especially for a bunch of total unknowns.

At least half the songs on this eponymous debut are still considered one hundred percent solid gold classics. Each band member establishing their own character in every song. Frontman and show man extraordinaire Dave Lee Roth pants, rants, screams, and pouts his way through the album like the old tart he was. Sticksman Alex Van Halen made his own sound, very heavy drums with plenty of double bass work and open high hats, always pushing the other members of the band to the limit. Michael Anthony was the ultimate good time rockin’ bass player. In later years he had a guitar painted and shaped like a bottle of Jack Daniels.

But the man who really grabbed the headlines was the soon to become legend Eddie Van Halen creating his own unique style with legato, palm silencing, fat rhythms, finger pinching, and hand tapping; almost every song starts with something original from the man. After the opening salvo of “Runnin’ With The Devil”, Eddie is allowed to let rip with “Eruption” one minute thirty seconds of guitar that would change the world of guitar rock forever, revolutionizing the guitar community and inspiring a thousand imitators into the heavy metal lexicon.

A magnificent debut for sure, but maybe the band should of held onto a few of their blockbuster tunes to bolster the lean years that started after 1984 and continued to the present day. (I mean, does anybody even know who is lead vocalist with them now? And does anybody care?)

But on this album Van Halen amply demonstrates their drive showmanship, sense of fun (Ice Cream Man) and musicianship throughout, blowing the needle off the scale on such tracks as the old Kinks classic “You Really Got Me”, “Atomic Punk”, and “Ain’t Talkin' About Love”.

Turn it up and turn on. Party time boys and girls.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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