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VAN HALEN/1984 ALBUM REVIEW     MCMXXXLIV

 

 

1984 is an album that gets a 10/10.  This album review determines 1984 to be one of the 4 top Van Halen albums ever.  Only the first and most recent albums score higher as both were collections of the best of YEARS and years of writing.  Edward Van Halen wrote 16 songs for the "1984" album however which irritated the band.  All songs except "I'll Wait" were ready to record when the band got together. 

"Jump" was a song that David Lee Roth did not want to appear on 1984.  He believed fans would not be impressed as much seeing Edward expand into using keyboards.  The song was partially written in the 1970s.  The band kept turning down inclusion of the song, on Fair Warning and Diver Down.  The Jump video in its glory you can see here.

1984

Jump
Panama
Top Jimmy
Drop Dead Legs
Hot For Teacher
I'll Wait
Girl Gone Bad
House Of Pain
 

So Edward Van Halen got with Alex and Don Landee, they recorded a demo of "Jump" and the next day presented it to Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth and Ted Templeman who then agreed to give it a whack.  David Lee Roth said the reference to "might as well jump" came from years of believing that in every crowd where a potential suicide jumper is standing in front of, someone has got to be thinking "you might as well jump".

"Panama" David Lee Roth wrote lyrics after attending a car race where one car was the "Panama Express".  The shooting of this video was the first time the Michael Anthony Jack Daniels Bass was publicly seen.  The exhaust and engine sounds in the song are from Edward Van Halen's Lamborghini. 

"Top Jimmy" was about Top Jimmy & His Rhythm Pigs.  Top Jimmy was known for giving out tacos to starving musicians.  This song was recorded on a stereo Ripley; each string sends its signal to a different channel.  (left or right speaker)

"Drop Dead Legs" is a song that not much is known about except that it was first recorded by Ed, Alex and Don Landee and then presented to Mike, Dave and Ted Templeman.

"Hot For Teacher" had a video that was shot in a school that had lost so much money it had closed.  After paying the amount to rent the school Van Halen privately paid the outstanding debts that were keeping the school closed and paid them to the extent the school was re-opened.  Van Halen does not publicize his kind deeds for photo ops.  'Class Acts!

"I'll Wait" David Lee Roth and Ted Templeman did not agree with Edward should appear on 1984 for the simple sake of the use of keyboards by Edward Van Halen.  Obviously the image to convey was a sticking point during this whole album. 

"Girl Gone Bad" Edward, Alex and Michael created and first unveiled, live, to the US Fest of 1983, as an instrumental.  Eddie thought up the riffs one night at a hotel and recorded his idea while humming the song into a micro cassette recorded in the hotel room closet while his new bride, Valerie Bertinelli slept. 

"House Of Pain" was written and recorded, albeit a different arrangement before 1978.  In 1976 Gene Simmons produced a different version.  In 1977 the Warner Brothers Demos included a version similar to the one made a year prior.  Alex Van Halen demanded this be recorded for 1984. 

If you want to have a blast, put on 1984!  If you're a fan you love it.  You know it.  If you're not, hmmm, you will be!  Van Halen 1984 is a 10/10, period.  It is the most important music of the 1980s.  Without 1984 music would never have changed the way it did and became as cool to play guitar as keyboards.

 

1984 WAS FOR VAN HALEN A SIGN OF THE END OF ONE ERA AND THE BEGINNING OF ANOTHER.

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