From his first album, Van Halen revealed incredible talent and met his audience. Back to this flamboyant record.
If many artists have to wait several records before finding success, Van Halen enjoyed an immediate rise upon the release of his first album, soberly titled Van Halen. Reaching number 19 on the Billboard chart, and its single “You Really Got Me” number 36, this legendary record sold more than 10 million copies in the United States. Europe also set its sights on this album, allowing it to become gold, particularly in France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
Of course, this success does not come out of nowhere. Before recording this classic, the band had built a solid live reputation in California, aided by the flamboyant performances of Eddie Van Halen. First spotted by Gene Simmons, who produced their first demo, then by Ted Templeman, who became their official producer until 1984. Van Halen thus landed a contract with Warner and recorded his first album in three weeks, mainly in live conditions. .
Talent everywhere, false notes nowhere
It is clear that the four musicians are far from having missed each other. From the creeping mid-tempo “Runnin’ With The Devil” to the incandescent finale “On Fire,” Van Halen exudes youthful power. The group manages to magnify the classic “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks, but is particularly adept at making its own hits. The proof is provided with the essential “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”, with its immediate riff and the well-felt barks of David Lee Roth. The group knows how to be more nuanced on its cover of “Ice Cream Man”, plays the emotion on “Jamie’s Crying”, to explode better on “Atomic Punk”.
If the frontman’s banter seduces, the prodigy’s performance on guitar is not to be outdone. Eddie Van Halen indeed shows the extent of his talent through devilishly effective solos and improvises an instrumental classic in the studio. “’Eruption’ was not written. remembers Michael Anthony. “Eddie was warming up before a session, but Ted (Templeman) heard him and said ‘stop it all Ed, let’s put this on tape’. »
If Van Halen bears the name of the two brothers Eddie and Alex, on guitar and drums respectively (an idea from David Lee Roth), the group is indeed the sum of four talents. Four musicians who excel in their respective disciplines, while favoring group work and the effectiveness of compositions. This is not the time for endless demonstrations or ego battles, but for delirium and contagious good humor.
With his first album of flamboyant hard rock, Van Halen immediately broke down the door to rock history.
- Runnin’ with the Devil
- You Really Got Me
- Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love
- I’m the One
- Jamie’s Cryin’
- Atomic Punk
- Feel Your Love Tonight
- Little Dreamer
- Ice Cream Man
- On Fire