There is just so much wuss rock out there these days that I feel like I need a jolt of good old fashioned misogynistic, lustful, drunken, hard living rock to remind me that real rock does still exist. I mean, I often wonder whether or not these young kids even drink beer.
But you know who did drink beer? Van Halen. And they drank a lot if it my friend.
Formed in 1972, the band of Eddie and Alex Van Halen originally only hired David Lee Roth to save money as they were renting his sound system. Michael Anthony was brought in to replace their original drummer Mark Stone in 1974. By the mid seventies they were a fixture in the Los Angeles club scene where they impressed folks like Rodney Bingenheimer and Gene Simmons enough to get an demo made. In 1977 Warner Brothers was impressed enough to sign them to a deal and they released their self titled debut soon after. Their sound was a unique fusion of hard rock, heavy metal and party rock and the resulting sound was infectious. But as good as their first five albums were, the band’s sound truly hit its zenith with the release of 1984 in the year of it’s title.
1984 has an infectious amount of energy and no shortage of the kind catchy guitar licks that made Eddie Van Halen a household name. Alex’s crisp, massive drum’s kept a relentless beat throughout the album, and Anthony’s bass kept the rhythm flowing under David Lee Roth’s flamboyant vocals. You will be hard pressed to find an album this good that is this much fun at the same time, and the addition of synthesizer really helped evolve their sound into something that would become very 80’s friendly.
But 1984 also marked the end of what is known as the David Lee Roth era. Rising tensions over band image and direction would lead to Roth’s departure and the eventual rebirth of the band with Sammy Hagar at the microphone. But no matter who they had singing, or what changes the Van Halen brothers made to the line up, the band never quite regained that magic that they had with the original group. Apparently they came to the same conclusion because after many years Roth is back in as lead singer.
You got to give the people what they want, and what they want is David Lee Roth Van Halen…and the dream of another album that rocks as hard as 1984.
Listen to the entire album here!
Available on Amazon for cheap HERE!
…or slightly more expensive for no reason on Itunes HERE.