Review: VAN HALEN – “1984”

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“1984” is album number six by the American band Van Halen, released forty years ago on January 9, 1984.

The band’s most successful album, with over ten million copies sold in the United States and unforgettable successes such as the global super hit Jump.


For “Jump” Eddie Van Halen used the Oberheim OB-Xa synthesizer for “Jump”. His keyboard introduction became an icon of the song, and Eddie himself stated that the synthesizer was programmed by himself.

The song “Hot for Teacher” was controversial for its music video, which featured an attractive teacher. Some radio stations buried the song due to its ambiguous lyrics. However, this only increased the song’s popularity.

“Panama” was inspired by Eddie’s sports car, a 1982 Lamborghini 911SC Targa. The sound of a car engine at the beginning of the song is, in fact, the actual noise of Eddie’s Lamborghini.

The song “I’ll Wait” features an unusual collaboration with singer and keyboardist Michael McDonald, known for his work with the Doobie Brothers and as a solo artist.

“1984” is Van Halen’s most commercially successful album. It reached number one on the Billboard 200 and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

In Italy the album reached number fifteen as its highest position, while the hit Jump reached number two in the singles chart and number 38 in the annual singles chart in 1984.

The album cover was created by photographer Margo Nahas and has become iconic. It represents a child with a cigarette and sunglasses supported by an angel.

Despite the album’s great success, Van Halen did not tour officially for “1984” due to internal tensions within the band. This led to David Lee Roth’s temporary separation from Van Halen.

SCORE: 8.00


1984 – 1:09
Jump – 4:04
Panama – 3:32
Top Jimmy – 3:01
Drop Dead Legs – 4:15
Hot for Teacher – 4:44
I’ll Wait – 4:45
Girl Gone Bad – 4:36
House of Pain – 3:20

1978 – Van Halen
1979 – Van Halen II
1980 – Women and Children First
1981 – Fair Warning
1982 – Diver Down
1984 – 1984
1986 – 5150
1988 – OU812
1991 – For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
1995 – Balance
1998 – Van Halen III
2012 – A Different Kind of Truth



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Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is a dedicated writer and key contributor to the WECB website, Emerson College's student-run radio station. Passionate about music, radio communication, and journalism, Christopher pursues his craft with a blend of meticulous research and creative flair. His writings on the site cover an array of subjects, from music reviews and artist interviews to event updates and industry news. As an active member of the Emerson College community, Christopher is not only a writer but also an advocate for student involvement, using his work to foster increased engagement and enthusiasm within the school's radio and broadcasting culture. Through his consistent and high-quality outputs, Christopher Johnson helps shape the voice and identity of WECB, truly embodying its motto of being an inclusive, diverse, and enthusiastic music community.