#415 on Rolling Stone 500 Albums List
I was extremely surprised to find this not reviewed, as it is IMO one of the best albums ever, and definitely one of the most revolutionary. It was released in 1978, and the remaster i own was released on Warner Bros. I don’t know if this is the case with the original, but if someone could tell me that would be great.
Ok. For a quick introduction, Van Halen were formed out of many bands, and originally Eddie played drums for what would become one of the biggest rock acts in history. They hired Dave because of his eccentric stage acts and 'bad boy' reputation, and Eddie switched to guitars and Alex went behind the kit. Michael joined up on bass and everything was ready for a great concept to become a great band.
From the minute you put the CD on, and hear that pumping bass followed by Eddies awesome riff, you know this is going to be a different listen. From the quiet chorus to the building 'OOOH YEH! Running With The Devil! AHHH!' of the chorus, this song is great. Amazing solo, and great drumming through out.
I have devoted a whole paragraph of writing to Eruption, so i would like you to pay attention. Although these days, i know quite a lot of people that can pull this track of, i still don’t know anyone with enough originality to A. Compose This B. Be As Innovative As This Was At The Time. Although today we see shredding like this from many guitarists, this album was released 26 years ago, when this playing was unheard of. His self-taught finger tapping was a totally new thing, revolutionizing the way people thought about guitars and how to play them. This song alone, bought a new flare into guitarists, and i still think of it as a cornerstone in music making.
Enough with that, onto the rest of the album. This track is followed by the great cover 'You Really Got Me.' Although some die hard kinks fans were annoyed at the solo, most welcomed the revamped classic with open arms, and this made another great hit. After this is the classic 'Aint Talkin Bout Love,' a showcase of distorted guitars and lead riffing, followed by an amazing solo. I play this song in the band that I’m in, and I know how fun it is to play. (this song is exceptional live, even with Sammy). The exceptional 'I’m the One' follows, with the chanting 'I’m the one the one you love, come on baby show your love! Hey! Give it to me!' Great guitar work in this one, and a very cool thumping drum beat backing everything up. After this, it goes back to a slower pace with 'Jamies Crying,' but all the better! This track still rocks amazingly hard, with some nice muted riffs in the chorus. 'Atomic Punk' is another great track, and leads nicely onto my two favorite tracks on this album 'Fell Your Love Tonight' and 'Little Dreamer.' 'Feel Your Love Tonight' is very upbeat, with another chanting chorus, with some cool 'i cant wait to feel your love tonnniiight,' backing vocals. As usual with a lot of this songs, there about David's seemingly unquenchable thirst for women, and this song definitely shows this with the lyrics 'I’m-a-begging you! On my knees!' Another great solo leads nicely into the slower track 'Little Dreamer.' Even though the riff in this song isn’t the most complicated ever, it is my favorite on the album, and the simplicity definitely provides great impact. 'Ice Cream Man,' another cover is done very well again, with some good acoustic playing at the beginning from Eddie. This last track 'On Fire' picks up the pace once again, with an amazing bit of riffing and great chorus vocals to end this great, great album. 'I’m on FIRE! I’m on FIRE!'. Great song, amazing solo.
Right, for those of you who haven’t heard much Van Halen, i suggest that you either start with this album or 1984, which are both classics from the Roth era, but you will find some great stuff done by Sammy if you prefer more piano/synth etc based rocking.
This is one of (if not my favorite) rock album of all time, from the amazing riffing, to the exaggerated vocals, and the thumping bass and drums, you just know these guys had the time of their lives recording this album.
(I want to say all of them so bad):
Aint Talkin Bout Love
Feel Your Love Tonight