The mid-70s was a revolutionary time for rock and roll music. The psychedelic era is over, glam and punk are on the rise, and bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, KISS and the Eagles have risen to the top of the world. But a four-piece band called Van Halen had just formed in Pasadena, California, and was about to change the rock landscape forever.
By this point Van Halen, who had an established line-up of brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony, began gigging at various venues around Los Angeles. Eventually, they met Gene Simmons of KISS and decided to fund their first demo tape.
Eddie Van Halen told Guitar Player magazine in 1978: We’, so it turned out to be a decent sounding tape.
From there, they continued the show until they met Marshall Burr, who would become their manager. Warner Bros. executive Mo Ostin and producer Ted Templeman were captivated by the band after seeing them perform at the Starwood venue in Hollywood and signed them on.
Van Halen “Runnin’ With The Devil”
The fledgling Van Halen joined Sunset Sound in 1977 and recorded their debut album in three weeks. The guitarist was very proud of the live feel of the record’s sound, adding that he only overdubbed solos on “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Ice Cream Man,” and “Jamie’s Cryin.”
Van Halen The record features some of the most notable songs of Van Halen’s entire career, but it was the explosive ‘Eruption’ that really stood out. Appearing shortly after opener “Runnin’ With the Devil,” the instrumental introduced the world to a new technique of guitar magic that Van Halen had become famous for: tapping.
“I remember sitting in my pad room at home drinking beer and watching people stretch out one note and hit it once. They put their fingers there. I said, “Well, shit, no one really uses that,” the guitarist explained to the style of classic rock.
Van Halen “Eruption / You Really Got Me”
“Eruption” was the predecessor to the Kinks’ cover of “You Really Got Me.” It was chosen by Templeman as the lead single, but Van Halen later admitted that he would have preferred it if it had been “Jamie Cries” or one of the other songs.
The song was quickly picked up by radio stations across the United States, reaching number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. According to Dave Davies, it became so popular with a younger generation of rock fans that the Kinks’ version was sometimes confused with a cover rather than the original. His brother Ray liked the cover, but he was bitter that it was more gorgeous than theirs.
“When I first heard [Van Halen’s] A version of it felt, “This sounds really flashy.” But it’s timeless, isn’t it? years later, Davis told Van Halen’s news desk. “At the time, he was rocking the stadium, his guitars were louder, and he was smarter in tight pants.”
Van Halen “Jamie’s Cry”
This particular set of songs catapulted the band to superstardom and set the stage for a very long and successful career. The album reached number 19 on the Billboard 200 and in 1999 he was certified diamond by the RIAA, making it one of his best-selling debut albums in rock history.
teeth Van Halen Mostly full of arena rock songs? Indeed, the complexity of the instrument is more than that, and will inspire future generations of rock and his artists to focus as much on skill and technique as on songwriting.
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