‘Van Halen’ is the debut album by Van Halen. They were already a big deal on the local scene before this came out and Eddie Van Halen was well known for being an up and coming leader guitarist in the industry. Funnily enough, I first heard Van Halen in ‘Back To The Future’, but when I looked up more of their work I was happy to have found it. I was always into rock and its beginnings so I had Led Zeppelin and Love albums but also stuff like Bon Jovi in all their glam rock glory.
The album contains many of their standard classics and guarantees for live shows such as ‘Running With The Devil’ and ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ and these two are absolutely brilliant rock songs. Songs about touring and being in a rock band and sex fill the album but that’s exactly what you want. The guitar is something that left me in awe when I heard the album straight through first. You’d want condoms on your ears listening to ‘Eruption’ in case Eddie Van Halen gets you pregnant! IT’S THAT GOOD! I’ve no idea how hard it must have been to get to that level of skill. There is a punk-ish feel off songs such as ‘I’m The One’ and ‘You Really Got Me’, but both of those songs wouldn’t stand out for me. We all have to be honest with each other here though. Their cover of The Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’ is pure shite. Just no. It’s all over the place, all wrong.
‘Jamie’s Crying’ is a solid effort with a pretty well structured sound. You’re able to make out their qualities as a whole a lot better in these songs. All individually talented, working together. Another song I love is ‘Little Dreamer’, it shows a softer side but also slowly burns into what you could call a traditional rock song. As a whole I do enjoy the album, but sometimes I do skip one or two tracks. It sounds at times that they could have blended together a little more because the album flickers between rock and roll and punk a little too often.
I also like the idea of Van Halen, so rough and wild with their long hair, not giving a damn. They certainly embodied the rock look back in the day and have left a great legacy. Not to say they don’t do well to this day despite the line up changes. So I would recommend picking up some of their material because it is essential listening in the rock world!