1984 review by Van Halen

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  • Released: Jan 9, 1984
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (44 votes)
Van Halen: 1984

Sound — 9
This is a classic, Grade A++ Van Halen album with distinct Van Halen sound, as was expected of them during the time. This is by far THE BEST non-"Best Of" style album I own. Besides Van Halen, of course. Sadly, despite the greatness that is this album, and the David Lee Roth era, there are only two downsides that immediately come to mind. The first is obvious to almost anybody who knows about Van Halen. This is the last album featuring David Lee Roth. It was released Jan. 1st, I believe, on what other year but MCMLXXXIV (1984)? The other downside is the length. 30 minutes. 30 very well spent minutes, yes. 30 minutes of the best Van Halen has ever done since Van Halen (album)? In my own eyes, yes. But it's 30 minutes that could have been a lot longer. Maybe they omitted some of the not-as-good songs, and waited until 1986 for Sammy to sing them on the 5150 album? This album also presents a first for Van Halen: synthesizers. Not just Mike and his bass synth, mind you. 1984 (intro) is a great beginning to this album, with a little synth bass, and EVH's synth. And the perfect lead into Jump. They don't go too heavy on the synth. It's only on 1984, Jump, and I'll Wait. So you still get to hear Eddie's amazing guitar skills.

Lyrics — 9
Jump - it seems a lot of people think that this song is about physically jumping. As my knowledge goes, it's about a guy who's basicly telling a girl that she "might as well jump" into a relationship with him, or something to that effect. This has the first synth solo Eddie does. And it may be the only Van Halen song with a synth solo, but don't quote me for that. It also has some nice harmonies from the guitar, and the guitar solo is also pretty darn fine. Panama - from my knowledge, it sounds like this song is about some kind of motor vehicle. I just like this song. The guitar work is great (as is expected), and the solo makes sense. I also like the drum beat. Drop Dead Legs - I love this song. I like the intro, especially. It's got a nice sound to it, and Dave's singing on this songs is great. It's a classic Van Halen song about sex/girls. I don't like the solo, and it doesn't seem to make sense, in terms of fitting the song. Girl Gone Bad - I like the intro to this song, mostly for the nice bass line. Also how the guitar does it's own thing, and then kind of follows the bass line for a little. I really like the bass work on this song. Dave does yet another great job with the vocals, and as always, Eddie steals the show. Alex also carries the beat very well as usual. The song goes into the solo smoothly, unlike other songs on this album.

Overall Impression — 10
This is a very fitting end to Dave's career as Van Halen's singer. This album has a nostalgic feel to it. Those glory days of Van Halen. How they just kicked total ass. That unique energy each of them put into their music. It makes you wonder: What if Dave didn't have to leave? It is my opinion that every song on this album is impressive. Each one is rather catchy. It's got a much different feel and energy to it than any other album I own. The only other album I've heard with that raw, edgy Van Halen sound is Van Halen. This album takes you into the glory days of Van Halen before Sammy Hagar and 5150. But that's another review. This album is very easy to listen to, seeing as it's only 30 minutes. Which is also the biggest downside of this album. Kinda like a wham-bam-thank-you-m'am. But with class, effort, style, and closure. Yes, closure. For David Lee Roth. For Van Halen. And all of their fans.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Michael Anthony sloppy on bass? I'm sorry but he's probably one of the most solid and tightest players around. He certaintly knew how to keep a rhythm more efficiently than Alex when they played live.