Van Halen – Van Halen – 1978

Once upon a time, I bought this debut album with Van Halen on vinyl. I still have it by the way. If I ever listened to it I don’t know. At least I had no memories from it whatsoever. I have listened to other albums with Van Halen that I didn’t think we’re that good though. But for some reason, I started to watch some Van Halen documentary on Youtube. That made me wonder, Were Van Halen really that special in the beginning?

Interesting of course. So I looked it up on another format than my old vinyl and started listened to it. I found a remastered version but I don’t know how much that differs from the original master. Anyway, it was a very well produced and mixed album. I was surprised to hear that it was so bluesy and not really hard rock in the general sense. And it’s not only the Van Halens (Alex and Eddie, Drums and Guitar) that are in focus. I really like Michael Anthony’s bass playing. It’s really something extra. It sounds really groovy and on top of that David Lee Roth is a really good singer with a jazz feel.

But when listening to this in today’s perspective, I realize that it was made in the ’70s. It’s more classic rock in the style of Deep Purple than NWOBHM, but that is one course no big surprise even if I’ve always had a vision of Eddie Van Halen to be a Metal Guitarist. And maybe he is, but it’s a blend of different styles and genres if you listen to the complete musical weave. I think it’s a really refreshing album and I’m glad I finally got to listen to it for real. Maybe it’s good to be a more mature middle-age guy than the metal youngster I was when the vinyl found its way into my collection.

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