Monday, May 14, 2007

Number 617 - Van Halen


Number 617

Van Halen

"Panama"

(1984)

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Genre:Rock
Van Halen's "1984", here is what Rolling Stone rated "1984" in their Top 500 Albums ZERO and lets see what they decided on their Top 500 Songs NOTHING. "Hmmm" you say, "but surely there must be another Van Halen song in their list" NOPE not one, "but what about Van Halen's other classic albums?" YES but only one and that's the self titled Album "Van Halen" and to rub more salt into the Halen addicts, is only rated by Rolling Stone Top 100 Guitarist's of all time at Number 70 (Ouch!) and also claim & were better than him. (Don't even get me started that they rated David Gilmour & Neil Young worse than Eddie at #82 & #83 respectively ~ how dare they)
If you have ever wondered why i created this site, this is one of the reasons why!

Van Halen's 1984 is arguably the best and most defining rock release of the '80s. Eddie Van Halen's guest appearance on Michael Jackson's massive 1983 hit "Beat It" introduced VH to the pop audience, which the band attracted in droves with this expertly crafted set of hard rock with pop leanings, not to mention its imaginative accompanying videos. Musically, 1984 was a gamble that paid off massively -- was finally given the green light by his bandmates to incorporate keyboards into their sonic palette, resulting in the number one single "Jump" and the almost new wave-ish Top 15 love song "I'll Wait." But wisely, the keyboards weren't overpowering, and all of the other selections were typical VH hard-rocking heavies -- the perennial radio favorites "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama," as well as the highly underrated album tracks "Top Jimmy," "Drop Dead Legs," "Girl Gone Bad," and "House of Pain."

While the strong and instantly memorable songs were obviously the main ingredient for the album's success, a string of imaginative and humorous videos really introduced the band to a whole new audience (the hilarious clip for "Hot for Teacher" has to be one of the all-time best). 1984 also opened up the floodgates for many faceless, identical pop-metal bands (something VH was the complete opposite of), who suddenly realized that adding synths to heavy metal could increase their chances of commercial success. Still, it didn't tarnish the fact that 1984 is a timeless hard rock masterpiece, which eventually sold a staggering ten million copies. Unfortunately, the album would be the last Van Halen recording to feature David Lee Roth, who surprisingly left in 1985 at the height of the band's popularity. ~ Greg Prato

For Van Halen also see Number 822
For David Lee Roth see Number 997
For David Gilmour see Number 923
For Neil Young see Number 938 & Number 677
For Michael Jackson see Number 621

What does Almightier Than Thou "RS" think?
This album confirms what a lot of fans have suspected for some time: this is no mere arena-rock band. Beneath all the strutting and heavy-metal antics lies a band with more pop savvy than a dozen s, as well as the chops to pull hooks from the most unlikely places. And 1984 is the album that brings all of Van Halen's talent into focus. From the start, it's clear that the band has a few tricks up its sleeve. The opening track, "1984," is a wistful synthesizer instrumental that could have come from Pete Townshend or Thomas Dolby. It manages to sound simultaneously streetsmart and glowingly pastoral, and it's the perfect prelude to "Jump," the album's initial single. Like "1984," "Jump" is not exactly the kind of song you'd expect from Van Halen: the main synthesizer figure uses suspended chords and a pedalpoint bass in a manner more suited to Asia. But once Alex Van Halen's drums kick in and singer David Lee Roth starts to unravel a typically convoluted story line, things start sounding a little more familiar; and by the time Eddie Van Halen reinforces the synthesizers with steely bursts of guitar, you know this has got to be Van Halen, even though it's a mainstream pop tune.
Of course, 1984 isn't completely dominated by synthesizers. Aside from "I'll Wait," a spurned-love song boasting a haunting melody and flashy guitar solo, the rest of the album features the band's trademark guitar excess. And on 1984, Eddie Van Halen manages to expand his repertoire of hot licks, growls, screams and seemingly impossible runs to wilder frontiers than you could have imagined. On "Top Jimmy," for example, he moves without the slightest bit of hesitation from the incredibly precise stutterstepped fills in the verse to the fretboard gymnastics on the solo. "Hot for Teacher," on the other hand, finds Eddie plugging his two-handed arpeggios into brother Alex' fiery tom-tom work before the two light off into a turbocharged boogie riff that sounds like ZZ Top at Warp Factor 8.
But what really makes this record work is the fact that Van Halen uses all this flash as a means to an end – driving the melody home – rather than as an end in itself. Every song hits harder than expected, until by album's end you're convinced that, despite all the bluster, Van Halen is one of the smartest, toughest bands in rock & roll. Believe me, that's no newspeak. (RS 416) ~ J.D. CONSIDINE 1984
For Thomas Dolby see Number 796
For Asia see Number 658
For ZZ Top see Number 647
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (As we said before in Number 822..) and the Album ranked at Number (....NO!!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 71.6 out of 108
Van Halen - Panama
Uploaded by hushhush112

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