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1984
     

1984

4.6 11
by Van Halen
 

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At the time of its release, much of the fuss surrounding 1984 involved Van Halen's adoption of synthesizers on this, their sixth album -- a hoopla that was a bit of a red herring since the band had been layering in synths since their third album, Women and Children First. Those synths were either buried beneath guitars or used

Overview

At the time of its release, much of the fuss surrounding 1984 involved Van Halen's adoption of synthesizers on this, their sixth album -- a hoopla that was a bit of a red herring since the band had been layering in synths since their third album, Women and Children First. Those synths were either buried beneath guitars or used as texture, even on instrumentals where they were the main instrument, but here they were pushed to the forefront on "Jump," the album's first single and one of the chief reasons this became a blockbuster, crossing over to pop audiences Van Halen had flirted with before but had never quite won over. Of course, the mere addition of a synth wasn't enough to rope in fair-weather fans -- they needed pop hooks and pop songs, which 1984 had, most gloriously on the exuberant, timeless "Jump." There, the synths played a circular riff that wouldn't have sounded as overpowering on guitar, but the band didn't dispense with their signature monolithic, pulsating rock. Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony grounded the song, keeping it from floating to pop, and David Lee Roth simply exploded with boundless energy, making this seem rock & roll no matter how close it got to pop. And "Jump" was about as close as 1984 got to pop, as the other seven songs -- with the exception of "I'll Wait," which rides along on a synth riff as chilly as "Jump" is warm -- are heavy rock, capturing the same fiery band that's been performing with a brutal intensity since Women and Children First. But where those albums placed an emphasis on the band's attack, this places an emphasis on the songs, and they're uniformly terrific, the best set of original tunes Van Halen ever had. Surely, the anthems "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher" grab center stage -- how could they not, when the former is the band's signature sound elevated to performance art, with the latter being as lean and giddy, their one anthem that could be credibly covered by garage rockers? -- but "Top Jimmy," "Drop Dead Legs," and the dense yet funky closer, "House of Pain," are full-fledged songs, with great riffs and hooks in the guitars and vocals. It's the best showcase of Van Halen's instrumental prowess as a band, the best showcase for Diamond Dave's glorious shtick, the best showcase for their songwriting, just their flat-out best album overall. It's a shame that Roth left after this album, but maybe it's for the best, since there's no way Van Halen could have bettered this album with Dave around (and they didn't better it once Sammy joined, either).

Product Details

Release Date:
09/19/2000
Label:
Warner Bros / Wea
UPC:
0093624774129
catalogNumber:
47741

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1984 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
SageAdvice More than 1 year ago
This VH album with the classic DLR lineup is a solid 4 Star offering. Ignoring the synth intro 1984 to the album...5 Stars -- Jump, Panama, and Hot For Teacher...4 Stars -- Top Jimmy, and Drop Dead Legs...3 Stars -- I'll Wait, Girl Gone Bad, and House of Pain. 30 minutes of fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i remember when this album first came out in the early 80s. verry rockin van halens 1984 has a lot to offer. including the awesome intro 1984. jump panama and other cool tracks. 25 years later this album still rocks/
Guest More than 1 year ago
Now I haven't heard much by Van Halen, but I've always heard that this is one of their most enjoyable records. I've always loved 'Jump', it's a true 1980's classic and one of the best examples of metal embracing synthesizers. Hearing it on this album as it follows the full-on synth instrumental '1984' gives it even greater impact. Apart from the decent power ballad 'I'll Wait', the sound on Van Halen's last album with David Lee Roth is pretty rocking and extremely entertaining. I'm not a hardcore fan of metal, but what I've heard of the Roth-era VH has always stood out as some of the most enjoyable, unpretentious and fun-lovin' of the genre. This is mainly due to Eddie Van Halen's skills as a guitarist and the all round excellence of the band: despite boasting a heavy sound quite typical of 80's pop metal, Van Halen sound waaaaay above average mainly due to the major fun factor and the obvious good time vibes. 'Hot for Teacher' is a total party classic, and really, really silly stuff. 'Girl Gone Bad' is thrilling, as is 'House of Pain', while 'Top Jimmy' is immensely enjoyable. 'Drop Dead Legs' really gets going as it progresses. Best thing here though along with 'Jump' is the sensational 'Panama', which is 80's metal at it's absolute, absolute best: it has a driving riff that begs you to try and resist its headbanging ways, a very, very cool guitar breakdown before the start of each chorus, and then a chorus itself that just sounds superb LOUD. Then there's the very exciting middle-eight that really burns rubber before the chorus just brings it all back home. Speaking as someone who's put off by a lot of metal's ridiculous indulgences and humourlessness, 1984 is a real pleasure to listen to and one of the best pop albums of the 80's. Yes, i think it's a pop album: it was very, very POPular (Jump was an enormous hit, and I'll Wait, Panama and Hot for Teacher were big hits on the radio and on MTV too), it's very catchy, has hooks aplenty and of course, there's Roth, definitely the most enjoyable of all metal's lead singers. After this, he left, Sammy Hagar was in, and a lot of people felt that Van Halen's glory days were over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
1984 was a great year for fans of the Detroit Tigers, because they won the World Series over the San Diego Padres, 4 games to 1, and former Tiger shortstop Alan Trammel was the World Series MVP. Now as far as music goes, this album marks the first to feature the keyboards that's performed by Eddie Van Halen, and the last album to feature David Lee Roth on vocals, until 2007 and 2008, which he would reunite with Van Halen, and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen's son would replace Michael Anthony on bass. The album features the hit songs, &quot Jump&quot , &quot Panama&quot , &quot Hot For Teacher&quot , and &quot I'll Wait&quot . This album will be very enjoyable for David Lee Roth era Van Halen fans, or die hard Van Halen fans to enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Van Halen has done it again with 1984. Such a great CD my personal favorite beign "Panama". The hits just keep coming from this CD which influenced me to pick up a guitar. Whether it's empereimental songs like Jump or Hot For Teacher its great Rock N Roll.
Guest More than 1 year ago
one the best albums of the 80s every song is great this album is one of van halen's best albums ever my favorite song on the album is"jump"
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is definetly one of the best albums released in the 80's. It isn't my favorite album but it is one of my favorites by Van Halen. 1984 is probably my second favorite album by Van Halen. The first album is my favorite. Jump is a great song to listen to, Panama is one of the best songs on the album also. Hots for Teacher is really good also. Girl Gone Bad and Drop Dead Legs are also great songs on this album. My favorite is Panama. All and all, if you are a Van Halen fan like me then you should definetly get this album. This album is definetly one of Van Halen's all-time best albums.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This IS VAN HALEN...Jump is the song that will put me in a good mood no matter what. Almost like The Perfect Album Of All Time, every song on here is great...i wish there was more to "1984" (the song that is)...or if it was somehow added to Jump, it would be bad@$$. But VH's use of synthesizers is what skyrocketed them to unparallel success...and Eddie had every right to lay his finger on one keyboard key. Thank God he did... Best Songs: 1984, Jump, I'll Wait, Hot For Teacher, Panama, Drop Dead Legs.
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