11 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When you’re talking all-time greatest slabs of hard rock party music, Van Halen’s debut is right up there with the best of them. Young Diamond Dave is a samurai on the mic—twirling, somersaulting, and slicing through the humongous sound with brilliant theater. Eddie Van Halen is innovation incarnate; on rippers “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” and “Ice Cream Man,” the guitarist’s coldly precise harmonics transform post-Hendrix licks and riffs into the ecstatic shrieks of alien robots. “Eruption,” his mind-bending solo piece, represents an entirely new language in feedback, distortion, and technique.

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

When you’re talking all-time greatest slabs of hard rock party music, Van Halen’s debut is right up there with the best of them. Young Diamond Dave is a samurai on the mic—twirling, somersaulting, and slicing through the humongous sound with brilliant theater. Eddie Van Halen is innovation incarnate; on rippers “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Jamie’s Cryin’,” and “Ice Cream Man,” the guitarist’s coldly precise harmonics transform post-Hendrix licks and riffs into the ecstatic shrieks of alien robots. “Eruption,” his mind-bending solo piece, represents an entirely new language in feedback, distortion, and technique.

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
131 Ratings

131 Ratings

stevesteele.com ,

I remember where I was when I heard Eruption

I was washing my friend's car when out of nowhere the local radio station played Eruption. I was a young musician but I thought that was a synthesizer! That's how outrageous Eddie's playing and tone were in 1978. I then saw them open up for Black Sabbath on the now legendary "they blew Sabbath off the stage" tour. And it's true. Van Halen on their first three or four tours were killin'. But that show, on Thanksgiving night in 1978 for the tour of this album was one of the most impactful rock shows of all time. It was probably like seeing The Beatles for the first time. They changed rock forever and were probably the last great classic rock band. Buy this album, Woman and Children First and 1984 and you'll be set. Actually Van Halen II and all the Roth era albums are great.

novemberland1 ,

Best debut LP ever...

I think it would be hard to truly appreciate how otherworldly this record sounded in 1978, unless you were a young music fan hearing it for the first time in that year.

I was a very young, aspiring guitarist when this came out. I was in love with the sounds of Blackmore, May, Hendrix, Schenker, Roth, Page, Iommi...all I can say is Van Halen's debut seemed to tear a hole in the sky. He clearly had not only his own sound and personality but a technique that, in the days before music videos, no one I knew could tap into. Eddie was fierce...he was also fiercely original and wonderfully musical.

David Lee Roth's charismatic vocal presence on VH is extraordinary...as insistent and energetic as Ed's wonderful guitar playing. They were a truly seminal rock 'n' roll band that defined their own era.

Even now, hearing "Little Dreamer" raises the fur on my arms. I remember thinking at the time that VH's debut sounded vaguely menacing, but not at all like Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin who sounded mysterious in very different ways.

Surprisingly, I find that "Van Halen" is as exciting to hear today as it was to the ears of the 10 yr. old boy that I was in 1978, sitting in my p.j.'s dropping a needle into the grooves of the classic slab of vinyl...over and over again. Brilliant!!!!

Tguy1158 ,

The Best Van Halen album.

I remember wearing out my 8-track tape of this album when it came out in 1978. David Lee Roth, Alex and Eddie Van Halen with Michael Anthony at there best. Must have for your rock and roll collection.

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