Van Halen - 1984
1984 is an album every Van Halen fans knows. This is their most successful album in sales from 10x platinum in the United States alone! The album has 4 successful hit singles which helps make this one of the best Van Halen albums ever done. In the hard rock community, they were quickly recognized, 1984 helped them create an ever larger fan-base. It has circumstances that the album was written in. Most of the songs were written in his backyard set up as a studio with keyboard-oriented songs infused with hard-edged rock which is how they got noticed (from their self-titled debut). At this time, they made more radio-friendly music with a fusion of pop, noticed in Jump. The band was well-known for the power they had in their music.
1984's aspects was that both the well known songs and lesser known songs are both great. An example of it is Drop Dead Legs with a fantastic intro with great rhythm work from Eddie. Or House of Pain. This isn't just hard rock, it's heavy metal. It starts off with a very cool riff then Alex pounds away with a very good performance from David. Top Jimmy is influenced by earlier work with a nice hook to it.
The title track has very interesting synth work to start off the album.
I don't usually say this but, the hits off of 1984 are the main standouts of the album, and it's not hard to tell why. Jump has everything you could want, it's catchy and has 2 fantastic solos done by Eddie (guitar going into keyboard). Panama has their talents displayed for their usual party rock style with Eddie's guitar wizardry, Alex's heavy drumming, Dave's impressive vocals, and Michael's back-up vocals with the high harmonies. It has a simple chorus, but works just fine. I'll Wait is completely keyboard-driven, but it fits the album perfectly, but it does a great guitar solo as usual. Then we get to the high point of the album, Hot for Teacher. It has a mind-blowing drum intro and an amazing guitar solo in the beginning. The song is quite well-known for it's dialogue and it's awesome chorus:
Released: January 9, 1984 (Warner Brothers)
Produced by: Ted Templeman
Recorded: 5150 Studios, Hollywood, CA, 1983
Drop Dead Legs
Hot For Teacher
Girl Gone Bad
House of Pain
I know it's quite hard to take a song title like Hot for Teacher seriously, but it displays the band perfectly for what they did.
If I have to say that there is one song that doesn't stand out as much as the rest, there is one song. It's not bad at all, but there are weaknesses to the song. The song is Girl Gone Bad. It has great guitar work and a great solo to it, but Dave's vocals are mediocre on this song and the chorus gets really annoying:
That is the only letdown on the album. Overall, 1984 is a classic and is their best since Van Halen and Van Halen II. The tensions between Eddie and Dave kept growing which made Dave left the band until 2007 unfortunately. David Lee Roth's replacement was Sammy Hagar.