Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Van Halen - s/t

Van Halen is the prototypical 80's metal album. The only problem with that statement is that Van Halen was released in 1978. Nevertheless, this is the album that defined and exemplified everything 80's metal was about. It has references to Satan in "Running With the Devil." It has misogyny in several songs, but especially on "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." It has explosive guitar work throughout, but especially on "Eruption." They even have the typical 80's meta-song which rocks hard in telling you how hard it rocks ("On Fire"). Van Halen was a major piece of work that every Motley Crue, Skid Row, and Poison aspired to emulate.

Perhaps the best thing about this album is that at no point was the band stopping to think about what it means to be Van Halen or what the public expects of Van Halen. This is just an album on which four guys who are the best at what they do do what they do. There is perhaps no other 80's metal album so innocent in its intent and so pure in its construction. It's hard to imagine what this album must have done to the minds of unsuspecting listeners in 1978, but it still sounds amazing and mind-blowing in 2012.

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