Saturday, August 14, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

VAN HALEN "Van Halen" (1978)

Selling over 10 million copies in the US alone, Van Halen's first album was cited as one of the most successful debut ever made. Eddie introduced a revolutionary guitar playing through the blinding and almost impossible shred on "Eruption". Though many stated that tapping technique was first developed by Steve Hackett, it's Eddie Van Halen that opened the world's eyes with his breakthrough invention and heavy metal had never been the same ever since.

The first half is ultimately strong while the second half is a bit bumpy and with couple of decent tracks, it's generally weaker but still doesn't reduce much value of the album. My favorite parts are the immense slow tempo hit of "Runnin' With The Devil", the frenzy tapping of "Eruption", the dancy Kinks cover of "You Really Got Me" , the punchy tune of "Ain't Talkin' Bout Love", the underrated "I'm The One" with Eddie's insane solos, and "Ice Cream Man" which is highly entertaining, and again, the thrilling solos steal the show.

David Lee Roth's place is also as important as Eddie himself, with his flamboyant persona and volcanic charm, they conquered the arenas and garnered million followers. For fans of hard rock, glam, and traditional heavy metal, this is an indispensable and highly influential release that later spawned many great axemen and albums, and after more than 30 years, it just never gets old. Van Halen's first step to the scene quickly propelled them to the height of sweet success and with this monstrous attempt, they definitely deserved it.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.

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