Tuesday, May 15, 2012

scrap224; Van Halen- MCMLXXXIV (1984)

This is a journey into sound.....

I've got it bad, got it bad, got it bad, & so should you. 1984 is one of the best albums of all time. It is Van Halen's sixth studio album. The musicianship. The lyrics. The unforgettable album art of Margo Z. Nahas. I mean a cherub smoking a cigarette is so iconic, so memorable, so associated in my mind with 1984 that other than Orwell's Ingsoc or Ronald Reagan getting re-elected what's the point really.
1984 debuted at #2 (like their 2012 release A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH). It has been certified 10x Platinum. I personally own it on CD, cassette, & vinyl. 1.1984. 2. Jump 3. Panama. 4. Top Jimmy. 5. Drop Dead Legs. 6. Hot For Teacher. 7. I'll Wait. 8. Girl Gone Bad. 10. House of Pain. Ten songs, 33 minutes 17 seconds of rock.
4 singles; Jump, Panama, I'll Wait & Hot For Teacher. Eddie Van Halen, well known for his guitar prowess but also a classically-trained pianist, used 1984 as an opportunity to take the band into different territory. Additionally, 1984 was the first Van Halen album to be recorded at Eddie's home studio, 5150. His keyboard playing is more prominent on this album than on any prior Van Halen album, particularly on the songs Jump and I'll Wait. Eddie Van Halen even mic'd his Lamborghini and revved it up to get the engine sounds in the middle of Panama.
With the original line up intact until after after 1984 was released David Lee Roth (sings & 'jumps' his ass off) Edward Van Halen (guitar & keyboards) Alex Van Halen (3 words; Hot For Teacher) & Michael Anthony (solid as always), created the sublime. 1984 was as fresh & ground breaking as their eponymous first album. It is in my opinion their Pieta'. It's their 5th Symphony. Van Halen has come close to this benchmark but have never surpassed it. If you are new to Van Halen (and shame on you if you are) then all I can tell you is 'you're welcome.'
My vinyl copy is 180g mint & sounds better that any other copy or version I own. Not even close. It's loud, lusciously thick & lovingly equalized.
MCMLXXXIV on vinyl is precisely how this album was intended to be experienced. Jump back, hey what's that sound? If you're like me then it's 1984. Spin it.

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