If I’m going to be honest, this was the album that got me hooked on Van Halen, and specifically it was the songs “Jump” and “Panama.” Coincidentally, those are sometimes the only two songs any casual radio listener can name. Of the Roth-era, 1984 was the highest charting album, hitting Number 2 on the Billboard 200 and staying there for 5 weeks. Note that if it weren’t for Michael Jackson’s Thriller, this album would have hit Number 1.
Along with “Jump” and “Panama,” 1984 also produced the hits “I’ll Wait” and “Hot For Teacher,” however, it was “Jump” that produced Van Halen’s first and only Number 1 single.
This is a quirky little joint for Van Halen. It really leaves the impression of a smokey, sweaty, blues bar on the brain. Nonetheless, the harmonics of the intro are stellar, the danceability, the rhythm of the vocals, and Eddie’s rhythm playing make this song a must-listen.
“Drop Dead Legs”
If you’ve ever seen a hot woman walking down the street and had this song run through your head, then you might be a Van Halen fan. Again, the guitar tone on this is amazing, Alex is a madman behind the kit with killer fills and a wicked backbeat, Anthony, once again, provides those signature high-end backing vocals, then there’s that ride cymbal and beat as the outro guitar solo starts — holy shit! The height of Van Halen excellence.
“Girl Gone Bad”
As one of the heaviest tracks on 1984, and one of the most intense, it’s baffling that it’s never been included on a Van Halen “best-of” comps. Musically, everyone is on fire and playing to their potential.
“House of Pain”
Now this is the heaviest track on 1984. Again, although thrash metal had broke by the year 1984, there are thrash elements in Eddie’s rhythm playing. As well, and as always, his solo rivals anything that was being done on the thrash circuit. With such a heavy beginning, the track takes on that fun, beach vibe as it outros.
There you have it, 21 Roth-Era Van Halen Songs Not On A “Best-Of” Compilation — That Should Be. Hope you enjoyed the list.
Rock Hard \m/