Reason #215: 1984
There is no denying that the David Lee Roth version of Van Halen was the shit. Resistance is futile, even if you derided them back in high school you have to give it up. They were one hell of a fun band with an amazing guitarist, solid rhythm section and one very charismatic lead singer. And while I may prefer the Aztec Camera version of Jump, there is no denying that the ’80’s would have been poorer without the Van Halen version.
The whole ‘synth’ controversy was overblown as well, especially given that Panama and Hot For Teacher (glorious song, that) are two of their heaviest numbers. From allmusic:
” Of course, the mere addition of a synth wasn’t enough to rope in fair-weather fans — they needed pop hooks and pop songs, which 1984 had, most gloriously on the exuberant, timeless “Jump.” There, the synths played a circular riff that wouldn’t have sounded as overpowering on guitar, but the band didn’t dispense with their signature monolithic, pulsating rock.”
They even manage to bring the funk with House Of Pain.
I was one of those snobby bastards who dismissed this album back when it was released, but I have since changed my mind and am now helpless to resist its many charms. 1984 is not Van Halen’s best album, but it’s damn close!