Thursday, November 01, 2007

415. Van Halen - Van Halen (1978)

Track 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


Well, we had Thin Lizzy a couple of day ago that I said was a direct ancestor to all those terrible 80's hair bands, now we have the even more direct ancestor, which actually became one of the biggest bands of the 80... unfortunately.

Van Halen, what can I say? Well they can play guitar, that's one thing, but they are using their gifts for evil, most definitely. A good example of this is the track Eruption which is at the same time quite impressive in it's technical skill but also quite embarrassing in its masturbatory content. It's just some guy wanking his guitar off.

I think that the fact that the best track in the whole album is a Kinks cover is definitely a sign of something. It is a sign that they can actually play music but have the taste of a 1 star UK hotel pattern coordinator (i.e. crap).

This is just more onanistic guitar rock which can be fun in a post-modern way, but really has little merit by itself if you have actually expanded your horizons beyond your trailer park.

Track Highlights

1. You Really Got Me
2. Eruption
3. Runnin' With The Devil
4. Ain't Talkin 'bout Love

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

From a technical perspective, Eddie Van Halen's guitar solo, "Eruption", was hugely influential on many guitarists. The cadenza near the end is generally regarded as seminal in the development of fretboard tapping, a virtuosic style of solo guitar playing which became popular in the 1980s. The solo's "dive-bomb" pitches also led to the wide-spread use of bridge tremolo bars. The album has sold over ten million copies in the United States alone and is considered to be one of the most successful debuts by a hard rock band. Along with 1984, it gives Van Halen two original (not a greatest hits) albums with Diamond status in sales -- a feat achieved by only four other rock bands: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Def Leppard.

You Really Got Me:


Anonymous said...

"Van Halen, what can I say? Well they can play guitar, that's one thing, but they are using their gifts for evil, most definitely."

LMAO. Indeed. Man, I hated this band so freakin' much.

Anonymous said...

I suppose you can tell that this list is American in origin. It's exposed me to so much great stuff, but there is undeniably way too much Heavy Metal in the list (there are about 4 Metallica albums coming up too - plus Bon Jovi). They crying shame is the lack of salsa music. By this point in the sequence the greats have been and are mostly waning - Siembra by Willie Colon and Ruben Blades is the first salsa / mambo record since Tito Puente on the list, which is a crying shame after all the prog rock and metal we've had to deal with.

Rod McBan said...

And sweet fuck all Japanese music.

How do they justify not putting Boredoms on a list? They are an extremely important band.

Rod McBan said...


Anonymous said...

Having said that - the list is an awful lot better than the Rolling Stone list, partly because the list makes no attempt to rank the recordings from 1 to 1001 in order of importance (a totally foolish undertaking).

Just noticed even Def Leppard get a look in later. Come back Van Halen, all is forgiven - at least you have a sense of humour.

Francisco Silva said...

To All:

Yes Van Halen is terrible but there is worse yet to come.

And all foreign music is under-represented, when there is a good amount of albums of a certain type, as in Brazilian music, they are usually the wrong albums, like the Astrud Gilberto and the Elis Regina ones. Just because it was the first album of one particular kind of music that a particular reviewer discovered it doesn't mean that it is in any way, shape, or form deserving to be a part of the 1001 albums.

And yeah, Boredoms are one of the many unfair absences, while Van Halen are one of the many unfair presences.

Rod McBan said...

Although to be fair, Van Halen are an extremely important band. Leaving them out basically misrepresents an entire giant chunk of popular music and renders the next 20 years very confusing.

Francisco Silva said...

Tom Meade: Yeah, you are right, it is a necessary presence, but an unfortunate one.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree.

Eddie Van Halen was one of *the* most innovative and influential rock guitarists in existence. All I know is that a good portion of what I learned playing electric guitar for the last twenty years or so is due to good old Ed.

The merit of the band is -- if you all will excuse my "trailer park" mentality for a moment -- that they played kick-ass party songs and were fun to listen to when you were hanging out with your friends.

I don't deny that there were some horrendous hair bands in the 1980's, but Van Halen had some serious talent behind it and their first album was one of their best ones.

-- M1001

Francisco Silva said...


Oh I don't dispute that he is a good and talented guitarist, I say that in the review, but I think his music is just crappy. The fact that he is a good guitarist is the reason this is a 6 instead of a 4 or lower.

And yes he was influential, but all the things he influenced were even worse than him! So no thanks.