Van Halen (1978)

1. Runnin' With the Devil
2. Eruption
3. You Really Got Me
4. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
5. I'm the One
6. Jamie's Cryin'
7. Atomic Punk
8. Feel Your Love Tonight
9. Little Dreamer
10.Ice Cream Man
11.On Fire


Welcome to arguably the best-est and finest party-hearty rock and roll band in the entire history of the genre. There's nothing wrong with music that preached social messages or well desired changes within a society, but you were never going to get that from this fearsome foursome that hailed from southern California -aided when Kiss bassist Gene Simmons discovered them in a local club and saw something special and secured them their first record deal.

Eddie Van Halen could absolutely shred an axe, and paired with wild and sleazy frontman David Lee Roth, who seemed to drip panache and sexuality, both in appearance and performance, and you had a great one two punch for this rambunctious group of wild boys. The rhythm section of guitarist's brother, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony were never anything exactly stellar, but they had a heavy thudding crunch throughout this band's history that definitely gave them a well loved brand for horny adolescents everywhere.

This, their very first album, is arguably their very best. They mostly did great with whatever they would release, so it's not like they really went downhill after this or anything, it's just that this is a spectacular record. Everything that this band stood for was represented here, and it's all done immaculately.

The album opens up with Runnin' With the Devil, which manages to be a load of fun with just enough creepiness to make it stand out somewhat. Eddie then launches into Eruption which is really nothing more than a sub one-minute guitar solo excursion that shows off the talents that the man had. They then launch into a cover of The Kinks You Really Got Me, which seems a bit of a strange choice for these guys, but they somehow manage to make this track their own, and many came to identify with this version a little better anyway.

Although radio hadn't discovered these guys yet, there are tons of radio friendly tunes throughout this disc, which makes you able to argue that these guys weren't just about partying and volume. Jamie's Crying, Feel Your Love Tonight and the classic Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love sound just as fresh and invigorating now as they did back in 1978 when this album was released. They do get to show off their harder side on Atomic Punk and the closer On Fire which both pack quite the punch as well. Roth shows off his alluring sexy side on the somewhat humorous ditty Ice Cream Man which is such a great little sleazy sing-along that it easily flows with everything else on this album.

They would make better songs, and they would make some great albums, and once people took notice of the visual aspect of this band, a lot of their individual songs would be somewhat inconsequential anyways, but this album is the best representation - from front to back - of what these guys could offer.

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