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1984
Van Halen's sixth album, released January 1, 1984. In the Fall of 1983, following several months of touring, and intra-group hassles and arguments, the boys finally regrouped for a few weeks to rehearse new songs for this album. For the first time, the band recorded at Eddie's home studio which he dubbed "5150." The album was recorded quickly with very few instrumental overdubs, once again employing Ted Templeman as producer. 1984 marked the first time the members of Van Halen became personally involved in producing and mixing their music. Throughout the sessions the group's musical techniques evolved. Alex's drumming was more melodious than ever, and this album marked the first time Eddie's synthesizer played such a prominent role in so many songs.
1984 proved to be the band's biggest, most successful album to date. The album spent five weeks at #2 in the States and hit #15 in the UK. It sold over three million copies in the first three months of its release. A major landmark gig in their "1984" world tour was the Monsters of Rock Festival at Castle Donnington in England. But all was not well within the group. Even though more than six million copies of 1984 were eventually sold, this was Van Halen's last album with Dave, who left in an acrimonious split in June, 1985.  
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ruleReleased on 1/9/84

Copies Sold:  10 Million (US)
Peak Position (US):  2
Weeks on Chart:  77
Peak Position (UK):  15
 
Producer:  Ted Templeman
Engineer:  Don Landee
Recorded at:  5150
 
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Singles
 
Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher, I'll Waitt
 

 

 

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1984 (1:07)
"1984" was Eddie's improvised keyboard introduction to "Jump." It was originally over 30 minutes long and titled by Valerie Bertinelli.
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Jump  (4:04)
"Jump" was the band's first #1 charting single and one of the biggest songs of the decade. It alone sold over three million copies and was the first song Eddie worked up in his new 5150 studio. Initially, the band was reluctant to record it because the song centered on a keyboard part, instead of a guitar riff. Eddie later identified this song's guitar solo as the one he is most proud of.
Audio Clip Video Clip Lyrics
 
Panama  (3:31)
"Panama" was written about a car. When a critic accused Dave of writing about nothing more than sex, partying, and cars, Dave realized that Van Halen had actually never done a song about an automobile. Roth wrote the lyrics to "Panama" to cover that oversight. He wrote the lyrics after a day at the drag races, where he'd seen a car named the Panama Express. During the middle part of the song where Dave says "I can barely feel the road from the heat comin' off..." you can hear Eddie revving his Lamborghini in the background, which was backed up to the studio. Microphones were then attached to the exhaust pipes. The band then recorded the sound of the engine revving.
Audio Clip Video Clip Lyrics
 
Top Jimmy  (2:59)
"Top Jimmy" was written about the leader of a legendary L.A. bar band, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs. Top Jimmy got his name from Top's Tacos where he worked until he decided to become a blues singer. He was known for playing outrageous shows at the Whiskey A GoGo, where Van Halen also played. He later went on to perform at Cafe de Grande with his band the Rhythm Pigs. Together as Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs, they released an album in 1987 titled "Pigus Drunkus Maximus." Ed recorded this song using a Ripley stereo guitar.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Drop Dead Legs  (4:13)
"This song was first recorded by Edward, Alex and Donn Landee and then played for Ted, Dave and Mike the next day.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Hot For Teacher  (4:42)
"Hot For Teacher" spawned one of the funniest, most risque videos seen on television up to that time. The guitar intro and solo are two of the finest works Eddie has ever recorded. To simulate the quiet interludes live, Ed used a Roland echo unit with the volume turned down, which he activated from his pedal board. The voice of Waldo in the video was done by Phil Hartman.
Audio Clip Video  Lyrics
 
I'll Wait  (4:41)
"I'll Wait" was a synthesizer-driven song co-written by Van Halen and former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald. Dave and Ted wanted this song kept off the album, but Edward and Donn pushed for it. This song is about the girl wearing men's underwear in a Calvin Klein advertisement. Roth tacked the picture next to his Sony Trinitron TV and wrote the lyrics to her.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Girl Gone Bad (4:33)
"Girl Gone Bad" was originally premiered as an instrumental version at the 1983 U.S. Festival. Eddie got the inspiration for the song's main riff while on tour in South America in 1983. Not wanting to wake his sleeping wife while in their hotel room, he slipped into the closet and hummed the riff into a pocket cassette recorder.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
House of Pain (3:18)
"House Of Pain" was one of the last songs recorded for this album, and it was included only at the insistence of Alex. The main parts of this song were written eight years earlier, during Van Halen's club days. In fact, the band recorded a different version for the four-song demo they did with Gene Simmons in late 1976. the 1984 version features different lyrics and a different musical arrangement.
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