Album #415 – Van Halen

Album #415

Speaking of the 1980’s, Van Halen’s debut album shook up the rock world 35 years ago. Eddie Van Halen’s approach to playing the electric guitar influenced much of the hard rock and heavy metal that was to come out of America and beyond in the next decade. Many have tried to copy Eddie but, only he can play with the emotion and energy that is only his own. The rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen are tight and powerful. They add that to Eddie’s playing and without it, Van Halen would not have been a force to be reckoned with. And then…there’s David Lee Roth. One of rock & roll’s most energetic & eccentric front men. His departure in 1985 divided fans. But one thing is for sure: Van Halen brought excitement back to rock. This album is filled with classic songs: Runnin’ With The Devil, Eruption (an example of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar power), You Really Got Me (better & more powerful than The Kinks’ original version), Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love, Janie’s Cryin’, Ice Cream Man, Little Dreamer and one of my personal favorites, I’m The One. One good song after another. Van Halen is one of the best debut albums of all time. When they hit the studio after playing together for 4 years, they were ready!!! That comes across here. Ted Templeman’s production suited their style. It was actually Templeman who got Van Halen on a major label. Templeman and engineer Donn Landee would be the production force behind the group’s albums for the next 10 years.  As much as I love punk rock, some of the artists lacked excitement, energy and power. Van Halen brought that back to rock music. This made their debut never boring and helped lay the groundwork for rock in the 80’s. Other highlights include: Atomic Punk and On Fire. Overall, I give Van Halen, 5 out of 5.

Next: Siembra by Willie Colon & Ruben Blades

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