My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Van Halen is the self-titled debut album by the California band. It was recorded over a short period in mid-1977 and was released in early 1978. The album has sold over ten million copies in the U.S. alone.
What I think: With all that has happened with this band over the years, it’s easy to forget about the music and focus only on the drama. That’s really a shame though, especially on this album. It’s not something I’m going to listen to on a regular basis as Roth’s vocals grate on me, but it’s a really tight and great sounding album. It really has a feeling of being original. It doesn’t seem like it came from Blues. It was born as hard rock.
I love how the rhythm section sounds. Anthony and Alex Van Halen have such a distinct and wonderful sound that is often overshadowed by Roth and Eddie. I also, have to give Eddie credit, for keeping both the songs and subsequently the solos short and precise. It could have been easy for him to stretch the solos out and put them in every song like the hair metal followers would later. Even “Eruption” which is basically a guitar solo throughout comes in at under two minutes.
My favorite songs on the album are the cover of the Kinks song “You Really Got Me”, “Jamies’s Cryin”, and “Feel Your Love Tonight”.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I definitely think it should be here, it’s one of those albums I can appreciate without really liking Roth’s vocals or the band’s Hard Rock sound.
Rating (Out of 5): 3.5/5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (325/424)
Amount that are new to me: 76%
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