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Featured Album: "1984" by Van Halen

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

“1984” is the sixth studio album by American glam metal rockers Van Halen released on January 9, 1984. Throughout Van Halen’s career, all of their previous albums had been recorded in less than two weeks, all at Sunset Studios in LA. “1984” is not only the last time the original four members appeared together, it was also the only time the founding members strayed from their formulaic recording habits. This record took over a year to finalize coinciding with the construction of Eddie Van Halen’s own personal recording studio 5150. Up until this point, Van Halen had been touring and recording relentlessly. The band was set to finally take a break in 1982 following the release of the song “(Oh) Pretty Woman.” However, the success of the single prompted their label to encourage the creation of a supporting album, 1982’s “Diver Down,” which severely underperformed Warner Bros.’ expectations, selling a mere 4 million copies to date. Dissatisfied with the rigorous industry grind to churn out record after record in quick succession, support it on the road for a year, and then start the process all over with hardly any time to explore their creative interests, Eddie Van Halen instituted a hiatus to help the band recoup and recover their love for making music again. During his downtime while studio 5150 was being built, Eddie began tinkering with fresh out of the box synthesizers. The lack of industry standard presets allowed him to revisit previously shelved keyboard-laden concepts and put his own unique spin on the sounds he came up with. Inspired by the guest spots he recorded for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, Van Halen sought to infuse similar stylings with his band’s heavy metal aesthetic. By mixing shredding guitars together with keyboards and incorporating a different take on the rising trend of synthesizers, Van Halen helped bridge the cultural divide between a polarizing heavy metal scene and radio friendly pop. The rise of MTV also played a huge role in growing their fanbase as the band’s music video for “Hot for Teacher” is regarded as one of the earliest music video sensations of the video era. Alongside their other polished glam gems “Panama” and “Jump,” Van Halen’s “1984” successfully brought hard rock and heavy metal into mainstream exposure and solidified their place amongst rock n roll’s greatest with a certified diamond 80’s classic! Experience the legacy of the original four with notorious B-sides like “Girl Gone Bad,” “House of Pain,” and top 20 single “I’ll Wait” by streaming the album now on Spotify!

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