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4.34 | 112 ratings | 12 reviews
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Album · 1978

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Runnin' With The Devil (3:35)
2. Eruption (1:42)
3. You Really Got Me (2:38)
4. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love (3:49)
5. I'm The One (3:46)
6. Jamie's Cryin' (3:30)
7. Atomic Punk (3:01)
8. Feel Your Love Tonight (3:42)
9. Little Dreamer (3:23)
10. Ice Cream Man (3:20)
11. On Fire (3:00)

Total Time 35:32


- David Lee Roth / vocals, acoustic guitar
- Eddie Van Halen / guitar, backing vocals
- Michael Anthony / bass, backing vocals
- Alex Van Halen / drums

About this release

Released by Warner.

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In the world of guitar virtuoso's, several can obviously play with great technical skill, but few were able to master songwriting. This took away from their ability to appeal to more than just guitar nerds. I went through a brief phase of delving into that scene, but apart from the first couple Satriani and Malmsteen albums, it just doesn't hold up to a guy like me who just wants to enjoy some great music. The way to truly become one of the greatest guitarists of all time to the ears of many music lovers, is to not only master your craft in a technical sense, but also master songwriting and be a true team player in a band where each member has equal importance and never outshines another.

This is what made the original lineup of Van Halen such legends and Eddie Van Halen one of rock and metal's most celebrated guitarists. The band had pure chemistry, with each member being a master in their field. David Lee Roth sings with so much exuberance and charisma that few other frontmen have been able to match. Eddie Van Halen plays fantastic melodies, hooks, and solos that always fit into the song. Michael Anthony's bass thumps, pops, and stands out in a way that is usually only reserved for funk bassists, and Alex Van Halen's drumming is rambunctious, driving, and along with the bass makes for an incredibly energetic rhythm section.

Van Halen's debut set the blueprint for future Van Halen albums, with the band taking their songwriting even into the organization of tracks making it all fit together perfectly. The guitar solo track Eruption could easily just come across as showing off with any other band, but it sounds great between the two classics that bookend it. Ice Cream Man, while good, wouldn't make a good ending. That's why On Fire follows as a fittingly fiery encore with some fantastic frantic and anxious sounding melodies.

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love's opening melody is one of the most iconic in rock and metal, and never gets old no matter how many times you hear it. I'm the One's Doo-Wop bridge screams with personality and what other band could make it blend perfectly with roaring heavy metal? The moody Little Dreamer with its heavy bass kind of reminds me of Budgie. Even with all these highlights, Atomic Punk's always been my personal favorite. There's just so much attitude with one of the band's most commanding performances.

Van Halen's debut is simply a legend, and while I think Women and Children First and Fair Warning are my personal favorite albums from them, this isn't far behind at all. It's an iconic album that, along with the following few albums, shows how important band chemistry is to creating an awesome winning sound. The band may be called Van Halen, but each member is an absolute star here.
siLLy puPPy
VAN HALEN has been without a doubt one of the major forces in modern music having debuted all the way back in 1978 with this stunningly energetic and off-the-wall self-titled debut that kept hard rock relevant in a time when punk rock, disco and new wave were taking over the world. The eclectic quartet of lead vocalist David Lee Roth, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Mike Anthony literally swooped onto the music scene and forever altered its course and would ultimately spawn the glam metal scene of the 80s although VAN HALEN itself was a much more interesting act than any mere imitators as the band was larger than life mostly due to the wild antics and brash bravado of frontman David Lee Roth along with Eddie Van Halen’s virtuosic guitar antics that took hammer-ons and lightning fast soloing to unthinkable stunning levels.

While VAN HALEN would go on to sell over 80 million albums worldwide making it one of the top selling bands of all time, like any other this band had humble beginnings. After having moved from the Netherlands to Pasadena, CA as kids, Eddie and Alex took up music at a very young age and as is well known, Eddie started on drums and Alex on guitar until one day they suddenly switched instruments and never looked back. The brothers formed its first band The Broken Combs as early as 1964 playing in backyard parties and then changed the name to The Trojan Rubber Co and then in 1972 formed a band called Genesis and played for a couple years in which time recruited Roth as vocalist and Anthony as bassist. Once they discovered that another band Genesis already existed (remember this was before the internet!), they quickly changed the name to Mammoth but Roth insisted that the name VAN HALEN had a certain ring of success to it. Wow, he was right!

After establishing itself as an energetic and charismatic band that found regular gigs at clubs like the Whisky a Go Go (the photos on the album cover are from that venue), VAN HALEN caught the attention of Gene Simmons of KISS and once Warner Bros. producer Ted Templeman caught the band live, it was recording contract time and the band was headed for the big time fast. The album was mostly recorded live in three weeks time to keep that authentic band sound from sounding too overly produced. The album was released in February 1978 and quickly shot up the charts with songs like “Runnin’ With The Devil” and the remake of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” becoming instant classic rock radio hits that have been played ever since. The album has since been certified diamond having sold more than 10 million copies.

Opening up with “Runnin’ With The Devil,” VAN HALEN immediately established itself as a bad boy band with playful mischievous intent and the ability rock like nobody else ever had. The track begins with Michael Anthony’s pounding bass groove which signifies the band’s emphasis on melodic grooves above all else but once the fiery guitar and drum sections let loose, both the Van Halen brothers fire off their best chops but of course it’s the flashy charismatic charm of Roth that steals all the attention his way. Having established the band’s sound which in many ways was a typical if not upgraded hard rock not too overly distant from what had been happening all through the earlier 70s, the album is followed by the thundering intensity of “Eruption” which at only a minute and forty-three seconds immediately established Eddie Van Halen as the king of rock guitar thus giving him that instant guitar god status for his fiery pyrotechnic virtuosity. Basically the track took the basic intro from Cactus’ 1970 track “Let Me Swim” but added blood-curdling squeals, tremolo bombs, hammer-on gymnastics and unparalleled tempos that would give birth to the legion of guitarists that spawned the countless forms of more extreme metal to come.

Having dropped the nuclear bomb on the listener with the mostly guitar oriented “Eruption,” the band reverts back to, well a band with the following Kinks cover of “You Really Got Me” which takes it to the wild 70s with heavier guitar heft and sizzling solos along with Roth’s talent of turning everything into a Vaudeville extravaganza. This track was released as the fist single and reached #36 on the Billboard singles charts and paved the way for a many cover tunes to follow on following albums. This is one of those songs that i swear is being played somewhere in the world at any given minute of the day but displayed the band’s love of classic rock music that they could easily adapt into the repertoire. It is well known neither the band itself nor Ray Davies who wrote it have claimed that they really liked this version. The band was disappointed that the Warner Bros chose a cover as their first single but considering it all worked out they probably no longer care!

“Ain’t Talkin Bout Love” is a two-chord blast of energetic guitar bravado that started out as a spoof of a punk song. VAN HALEN was notoriously vocal in their disdain for punk rock and even went as far as posing as a punk band called the Enemas in 1977 where they claimed they were from Scotland and they talked shit about the punk rock scene before the band was quickly booted from the stage. Despite the song starting off as a punk rock parody somehow it took on a life of its own as Eddie added lightning fast riffing along with Roth’s sensual sensibilities coming out of the woodwork. This one has also become a classic rock staple. Next up is the heavy metal rocker “I’m The One” which kept the adrenaline supply surging despite the track actually taking on the characteristics of a swinging showtune piece which only becomes obvious when the band steps out and Roth is left to employ a rather competent “Bop bada, shoobe doo wah, bop bada, shoobe doo wah” vocal performance.

“Jamie’s Cryin” is another beloved classic from VAN HALEN that has also been on heavy rotation for over 40 years now and was only made all the more popular when 80s rapper Ton-Loc sampled the guitar riffs for his mega-hit “Wild Thing” in 1989. This track showed a more serious side of the band and recounts a tale of a girl named Jamie who had a one night stand with some undisclosed guy with whom she tries to kindle a bonafide relationship only to find the guy has not interest. This high school drama has resonated with audiences from the moment it was released. While VAN HALEN straddled the border between hard rock and heavy metal, they mostly veered toward the hard rock side of the equation but VAN HALEN I (as it’s often called) does deliver the metal goods on the tracks “Atomic Punk” and the closing “On Fire” which turns things up a few notches and delivers the incessant guitar rampage, fast tempos and proper metal bombast.

The tracks “Little Dreamer” and “Feel Your Love Tonight” provide the blueprint of how VAN HALEN would often skirt the line between hard rock and melodic pop with strong vocal harmonies and emphasis on the melodic groove over the flashy virtuosity of the heavier songs. These types of tracks also display the excellent vocal counterpoints of bassist Michael Anthony whose backing vocal duties added a whole extra layer of melodic flavor to the mix. “Little Dreamer” in particular showcased Eddie’s excellent guitar playing to find a solid grounding in a simple melodic flow without the pyrotechnic excesses while Roth was allowed to deliver some heart-string tugging vocals that would become the band’s style of delivering the more pop infused ballads. The backing oooo’s and aaaah’s also showed the band’s love of the classic vocal harmony bands of the 60s .

One of the best tracks of VAN HALEN’s career came in the form of “Ice Cream Man” which is a cover of the rather unassuming blues song from John Brim recorded in 1954 and turned into a veritable VAN HALEN classic. The track begins with the rare acoustic guitar performance of David Lee Roth as he plays contemporary folk dude but then taken into the stratosphere as the band bursts in and rockets off to heavy rock heaven. The track was a favorite of Roth which he performed regularly before joining VAN HALEN and displays his love of boogie boogie blues sounds that he brings to life in a rather Las Vegas strip nightclub performance. The song perfectly encapsulates the band’s fondness of double entendres as the lyrics of “Ice Cream Man” quickly reveal themselves to have nothing to do with tasty frozen treats. While the track adheres to its bluesy stomps that made it so Chicago bluesy cool AF, the musicians deftly adapt it to the world of hard rock and Eddie even crafts the perfect mind numbing solo to its irresistible charm.

VAN HALEN I is indubitably one of the classics of the heavy rock world with its audacity to take the world of hard rock into arenas hitherto unthinkable. Thinking outside of the box while maintaining the integrity of the genre with its bluesy hard rock underpinnings that nurtured irresistibly addictive melodic hooks is what propelled VAN HALEN to the top of the music scene virtually overnight. Tarnished only by its popularity of being played to death, VAN HALEN I still is one of the most entertaining albums in the world of rock music and although i have to stay away from this album and band for long bouts of time due to overdosing on many of the classic songs on here, once i throw this album on after a few years it still retains all that magic that made it so special upon first exposure. While this album was historically innovative beyond anyone’s dreams at the time of release, i never rate albums on that aspect alone but rather on how well the album hold’s up in its own right. Despite all the years of glam rock bands that borrowed a thing or two from VAN HALEN, this album still remains the best of the style and was never topped by even the band itself. This was their crowning achievement where every track is perfect. If i could change only one thing i would put “Ice Cream Man” as the last track so that the final words would be “all my flavors are guaranteee-eeeee-eee-eeeeeed to satisfy!”
Vim Fuego
The Salvation Army and two bucks led me to a revelation, and a deeper understanding of the wider world around me.

No, I haven’t abandoned a lifelong lack of belief to worship any sort of supernatural being, deity, cult leader, or graven image. Instead, I finally understand something which had hitherto been a mystery to me. Why did a certain sector of the rock community always heap such praise on Van Halen?

My first experiences with Van Halen were with the stadium schlock rock of the ever-dreadful “Jump” and the misogynistic teen wankfest of “Hot For Teacher”. So far, so mediocre. A bit later, I encountered the stomping “Runnin’ With The Devil”. This was more like it. It fuckin’ hard rocking, if not quite metal, but no matter. To this day it remains my favourite Van Halen song. And then there was the cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”, which is in take-it-or-leave-it territory.

So where do the Sallies and two bucks come into it? I’m all for good works for the community, regardless of religious affiliation, and so I support the Salvation Army by donating unwanted stuff there so that someone needier than me may get some sort of use out of it, and the Sallies might make a few bucks too. I buy stuff there too, often not out of need, but just because it’s there, and hey, it’s cheap! On one expedition, I was perusing the CD racks. You’re more likely to find Daniel O’Donnell than Dani Filth in these racks, so I wasn’t expecting much. I found a pristine copy of “Van Halen” by Van Halen, and the price was two dollars, so I thought “fuck it, why not?”, and then thought “is it blasphemous to think the word ‘fuck’ in a Sallies shop?”. This was followed by the thought “you don’t believe in God, so therefore, you don’t believe in blasphemy, and you haven’t been struck down by lightning yet, so it’s probably OK.” By the time I got to the counter with my purchases, I had resolved the internalised theological dilemma, and the lady at the counter was more than happy to take my money.

And now for the revelation. Finally, a few days later, I had the opportunity to finally listen to this album.

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

I’ve waited over 40 years to finally hear this album in it’s entirety, and now I get it. Now I get why guitarists rave over Eddie’s technique. Now I get why the Diamond Dave vs. Sammy Hagar debate is important. Now I get why 80s glam metal sounded the way it did – those bands were chasing the dragon, and here’s that addictive high they were after.

It probably helps that the first track is “Runnin’ With The Devil” (good thing the ladies in the Salvation Army shop didn’t see that song title!) What’s the best thing about it? Eddie Van Halen’s fluid, classy soloing? His crunching main riff? David Lee Roth’s soaring vocals? Nope. It’s Michael Anthony’s thudding, hypnotic bass line, which ties in perfectly with Alex Van Halen’s straightforward, solid drums. Michael and Alex are often forgotten in this band, but remember, no Michael and Alex, no foundation for Eddie and Dave to show off.

And then “Eruption”. This is the track which caused so much consternation among budding guitar heroes the world over. Hell, even some pros were stumped by it. One of the Schenkers (jokingly) threatened Eddie Van Halen with physical violence if he didn’t show him how he played this less than two minute interlude. It squeals, shreds, soars, trills, and leaves your jaw lying on the floor. This is absolute mastery of your instrument. And unlike so many other shredding interludes, it’s actually fun to listen to, and doesn’t just reek of fretboard masturbation. And then the cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me”? Take it or leave it? I’m fuckin’ taking it this time! The new leads Eddie added to what’s a fairly basic song set it off. It makes more sense in the context of this album than on it’s own.

“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” shows off a quality not often noted when talking about Van Halen – it’s got a strong metal riff to it. Eddie’s solos are what people remember, but the main riff, underpinned by Michael’s driving bass, makes what might ordinarily be a fairly tepid love song into a hard rock masterclass.

And so proceeds the rest of the album. “I’m The One” has a rocking boogie rhythm to it. Eddie’s guitar almost talks on “Jamie’s Crying”. “Atomic Punk” isn’t punk, but it’s got an overdriven gallop to it, like a rocking Judas Priest track. A couple of things haven’t aged well. It was a different time, but “Feel Your Love Tonight” is a bit date-rapey. Unfortunately, this lame duck track seems to be the one most emulated by the 80s hairspray and heels brigade.

The bluesy swagger of “Little Dreamer” pulls things back from the brink. Diamond Dave shines on this track, showing a soulful side to his voice. For all his narcissism and other faults, the guy could fucking sing!

“Ice Cream Man” is a second blues tinged song, with a double entendre laden acoustic intro. Just when it seems the whole song is going to be just guitar and voice, the rest of the band, and the amps kick in, and it turns into an old time rock and roller. Eddie shreds and shreds and shreds, while Dave wails and Elvises it up a bit.

“On Fire” closes the album with another driving rocker of a song, once again ending up somewhere near Judas Priest territory. There were multiple facets to Van Halen shown on this highly impressive debut. The band eventually followed their more mainstream commercial leanings, but there was enough hard and heavy material here to keep the headbangers interested. And that guitar playing… Many people have wanted to play like Eddie Van Halen, but no one else quite cuts it. Every listen reveals another fill, solo, or lead which you missed before. There are hidden depths and details to what seem superficially simple compositions.

All in all, this was two bucks well spent.
Eeeeh... fine, okay, if you want a showcase for what was at the time cutting-edge guitar playing and is now a classic technique which set the bar for hard rock going forwards, then yes, the self-titled debut from Van Halen is pretty good as far as that goes. But whilst Eddie Van Halen certainly gets to show off his chops a lot, as a whole the songs found here leave me kind of cold. Take, for instance, the cover of You Really Got Me by The Kinks, which is kind of blown out of the water by the original. Perhaps the issue is that the album puts Eddie so far at front and centre that everyone else is eclipsed - with the result that you end up with one really epochal performance from Eddie and a more lukewarm outing from the rest of the band, which adds up to three star "eh, it's alright I guess"-ness.
Best debut by a metal band in history. You be the judge. with brilliant riffing and amazing vocals one can never be disappointed.

Runnin' With the Devil has to be one of the all time greatest rockers and Eddie is incredible throughout.

Eruption is the lead solo that changed metal forever. The high speed hammer ons and pull offs along with trilling fast picking are legendary and ripped off by all metal lead guitarists. A timeless masterpiece.

You Really Got Me is better than the original with dangerous vocal technique and scorching lead work.

The brilliant riffs never stop; Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love is a killer track, and Jamie's Cryin' is infamous.

Atomic Punk is one of the heaviest with scratchy guitars and wild drumming. One of the greatest B sides too with the single You really Got me.

An amazing metal feast that launched the metal icons of the 70s and 80s. Many careers were made and cemented indelibly in the industry with this one album; it is a rare thing, and genuine lightning in a bottle.
VH are one of my favorite bands from my youth, when I thought that 1984 was the greatest thing since sliced bread and worked my way through their back catalogue. OU812 has the co-distinction of being the first compact disc that I ever owned. Their debut consists of their awesome original hit songs Runnin' With The Devil, Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, and Jamie's Crying along with what is arguably the most successful cover song ever done with You Really Got Me. The second song Eruption is of course an Eddie Van Halen instrumental classic that is one of the blue prints for all shredders to follow. Also, can't forget Feel Your Love Tonight and Little Dreamer. Alex and Eddie Van Halen were annually listed among the best rock guitarist and best rock drummer year in and year out during the 70's and 80's. Michael Anthony may not be the best bass player, but he was certainly a very good bassist. And of course, everybody has an opinion of love or hate with one of the best known frontmen in the business David Lee Roth. Van Halen might be the only band that provides more debate than Genesis over which vocalist do you prefer: David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar. Not to mention that both bands most recent albums were released with third vocalists, that although had decent enough music, it caused their legions of fans to turn on them and cause these albums to be remembered only as forgettable.
I first heard this in 1979 and i honestly had never heard the guitar played like this before.For me this is the Eddie Van Halen show as he takes the spotlight on every single track.I have this magazine interview with DOKKEN's George Lynch and he talks about seeing Eddie when he was just starting out and he talked about Eddie's fire and tone and how he was embarrassed for himself and he went home and stayed up all night practising.Man this album "sounds" so good too.Of course there's this guy named David Lee Roth the flamboyant lead singer who can't be ignored.A great voice with those frequent yells throughout all added to the appeal.I love that these guys never took themselves too seriously,i mean just about every album had one silly song on it.I love every track on here,there are no fillers.Tough to pick a fav though although "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" might be it.So serious and heavy and the lyrics are killer.And i also like how the albums back in my day were usually under 40 minutes.This one is under 36 minutes.Back to Eddie.This is an article i still have as he talks about "Eruption" a track that spawned a generation of shredders."What got me was back in the early seventies when LED ZEPPELIN was still together,Jimmy Page was doing his "Heartbreaker" solo,and he'd stand by his amps and he'd have his right hand in the air and do pull-offs with his left hand.I thought,"What happens if you move the nut?" I put my right hand over my left and used it as a movable capo.Then i said,"What if i move my finger to the other side of the fretted note?" That's where i came up with the idea.Then i started adding harmonics to it,because harmonics are all relative too.If you can hit it open,you can move it up and play 12 frets away or five or seven frets away.It's math.I didn't know it it was mathematical.I thought it was magic: "Wow it only works in E" No,it doesn't.You can move everything and it's all relative.The first time i actually did full harmonics was on "Van Halen II",on "Woman In Love".The whole intro sounds like clocks,because i tapped them all". This is one of those albums i played to death in the early eighties and there's no way it's less than 5 stars.
Selling over 10 million copies in the US alone, Van Halen's first album was cited as one of the most successful debut ever made. Eddie introduced a revolutionary guitar playing through the blinding and almost impossible shred on "Eruption". Though many stated that tapping technique was first developed by Steve Hackett, it's Eddie Van Halen that opened the world's eyes with his breakthrough invention and heavy metal had never been the same ever since.

The first half is ultimately strong while the second half is a bit bumpy and with couple of decent tracks, it's generally weaker but still doesn't reduce much value of the album. My favorite parts are the immense slowtempo hit of "Runnin' With The Devil", the frenzy tapping of "Eruption", the dancy Kinks cover of "You Really Got Me" , the punchy tune of "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love", the underrated "I'm The One" with Eddie's insane solos, and "Ice Cream Man" which is highly entertaining, and again, the thrilling solos steal the show.

David Lee Roth's place is also as important as Eddie himself, with his flamboyant persona and volcanic charm, they conquered the arenas and garnered million followers. For fans of hard rock, glam, and traditional heavy metal, this is an indispensable and highly influential release that later spawned many great axemen and albums, and after more than 30 years, it just never gets old. Van Halen's first step to the scene quickly propelled them to the height of sweet success and with this monstrous attempt, they definitely deserved it.
There Can Be Only One

Heavy metal is first and foremost about the electric guitar. And though rock has had numerous superheroes on its signature instrument, there is a clear pick for top dog. That would be Edward Van Halen. No one has launched more picks other than maybe Elvis or the Beatles, and that's clearly another game entirely.

Van Halen I contains the electric guitar Declaration of Omnipotence - "Eruption." This alone would hold the album in immortality as this short piece is the definition of metal guitar. The ending tapping cadenza is perhaps the most recognizable piece of shred ever recorded. With that song, virtually every piece of guitar virtuosity seemed simple and stiff. It is the defining piece for the instrument.

Of course, the band also contained glam's quintessential front man as well. David Lee Roth's squeals and antics would define the sound of the 80's as much as Eddie's guitar. Alex Van Halen was a great rock drummer. And Michael Anthony, well he liked his Jack Daniels.

The first album has some great songs, classics ranging from the opener "Runnin' with the Devil" to the underappreciated "I'm the One." "Ice Cream Man" simplifies the already single entendre Tom Waits take on and old theme but to delightful sound. "Jamie's Cryin'" trademark pinch harmonic would fuel an entire hit by itself for Rap Artist Tone Loc.

Bottom Line: Landmark album whose sound dominated music for nearly 15 years.

Members reviews

I bought this album some years ago because I heard Eruption which blew me away – a powerfully influential piece of shredding. Eddie doesn’t hog the limelight on the rest of the album, but his riffs on the other tracks are no less influential. His brother Alex’s drumming is formidable too. Vocals don’t get much more colourful and vibrant than those of David Lee Roth. Last but not least I have to mention Michael Anthony’s bass. This album is the perfect example of a bass player doing his hard rock job. It was the bass on the You Really Got Me cover that I listened to and played along with before performing the same in my local pub jam sessions.
1967/ 1976
Van Halen is sure one of my all time preferred bands and "Van Halen" is sure one of my all time preferred albums. This mix of R'n'R, Hard Rock and Blues is incredible now as 32 years ago. This because "Van Halen" today is better than in 1978 ( Honestly even I am better than that 1978, the year in which I was born). Today, in this moment, my heart aches for a girl who, not everything went well in his life but I discovered that I love just now started my second experience working farm where she works. Unfortunately I have to wait mid-September to declare my love ... And having to do all day with this girl is difficult. But "Van Halen" save me!

Basically "Van Halen" is a Rock album with Punk attitude, sure. And in my view Van Halen plays as a possible Kinks' evolution (that "You Really Got me" is a Kinks song is only a case). I love songs as "Runnin' With The Devil", "You Really Got Me", "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love", "James Cryin'", "Feel Your Love Tonight" or "Little Dreamer" send a positive charge as a few other songs manage to convey to me. Sincerely, "Van Halen" in my head does not sound like revolutionary or historical album, but only as an excellent debut album. "Eruption", of course, is a masterpiece of guitar technique but ... I'll be honest ... What I find magic in "Van Halen"? Perhaps the only certainty you have in your hands an album that I've always liked. Since I was born.

On that day in mid-September, I'll give this CD to Michela, along with red roses.
Bomb Brigade
Simply put,the quintessential album for any fan of hard rock to own.This album,inandofiteself,defines everything that is great about this type of music:extreme raw energy,screaming guitar licks,insane hooks for days,and oodles of charisma as only David Lee Roth can present it! Upon it's release in 1978,this album singlehandedly redefined what it meant to be a hard rock band.David Lee redifined the role of the frontman in music and Edward Van Halen actually reinvented the tone of rock guitar,as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck had done years earlier. Nothing in our lifetimes may ever again come close to the sheer bombastic magnitude of AIN'T TALKIN''BOUT LOVE,ON FIRE,ERUPTION,or ATOMIC PUNK.The insane genius of these songs encapsulated exactly what it meant to kick ass from one shore to another,from sea to shining sea...Not to even mention the band's brilliant take on The Kinks' tired standard YOU REALLY GOT ME,reviving the classic and infusing it with a crazy new life,just as Dr.Frankenstein had done with his monstrous creation.And,not to forget,Roth's retooling of the John Brim selection ICE CREAM MAN,turning a backwoods ditty into a rebel rousing anthem as only DLR could! From start to finish,the greatest selection of songs ever assembled onto one disc;the perfect hard rock album for this and every generation!

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