1978
Van Halen's masterful debut record, released in February, 1978. Produced by Ted Templeman at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood. In only 18 days, Van Halen recorded 25 songs from their live set and one new track, "Jamie's Cryin'," which was written during the sessions. It cost $40,000 to make. The group recorded all the songs live in the studio, and only overdubbed instrumental tracks on three numbers. Production had to be rushed, because Ed mistakenly let the band Angel hear "You Really Got Me." Both bands rushed to put the song out.
Eddie Van Halen, 22 at the time of the recording, won his first of five consecutve "Best Rock Guitarist of the Year" awards from the readers of Guitar Player magazine.
Van Halen, although it took three months to chart, reached #19 in the States and #34 in the U.K. (a great showing for an American hard rock band). This landmark record changed the face of guitar rock, and redefined the hard rock genre. The album still remains the highest selling of any Van Halen record, a tribute to its timeless significance.  
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5/14/7810/10/7810/22/84 (5x)3/16/99
  2/01/89 (6x) 
  9/29/93 (7x) 
  7/11/94 (8x) 
  8/07/96 (10x) 
    

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ruleReleased on 2/10/78

Copies Sold:  10.3 Million (US)
Peak Position (US):  19
Weeks on Chart:  169
Recording Time:  3 weeks
Peak Position (UK):  34
 
Producer:  Ted Templeman
Engineer:  Don Landee
Recorded at:  Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood
 
Reviews
 
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Singles
 
You Really Got Me, Running With the Devil, Jamies Cryin', Aint Talking 'bout Love
 
Special Thanks
 
Gene Simmons, Rodney Bingenheimer, Dee Dee, Clara, Elmer Valentine, Bill Gazzarri, Liz Wiley, Dr. Roth
 

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Tracks
 
Runnin' With the Devil  (3:32)
"Runnin' With The Devil" contained one of the few guitar overdubs Eddie did for this album. The car horns at the beginning were taken from the band's own cars and linked them together with a battery. The band used the effect at early live shows, and it was slowed down for the album. The band also used the horns as a transition between "Runnin'" and "House of Pain" on the Gene Simmons demo. Dave got the lyrical inspiration for "Runnin" from an Ohio Players' song, "Running From The Devil."
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Eruption  (1:42)
"Eruption" was one of Eddie's warm-up exercises. Ted Templeman was so impressed when he heard it, he told Ed to record it for the album. He did it in one take and to this day, he explains that he didn't play it well and made a glaring mistake. The long decending growl at the end was created using a Univox EC-80 echo unit housed in an old WWII practice bomb that Ed found in a junkyard.
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You Really Got Me  (2:37)
"You Really Got Me" was a classic Kinks' tune, one of the hundreds of cover tunes Van Halen had performed during their club days. It became their first single, and put the band on the rock and roll map. It was recorded on Ed's Ibanez Destroyer "Shark." For years this has been a Van Halen concert staple, usually performed as an encore.
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Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love  (3:37)
"Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" was written by Eddie at the same time he wrote "Loss of Control," to poke fun at the emerging punk rock scene. He only used two chords, Am and G. He felt this song was the "lamest" song he had ever written. It took him six months to work up the nerve to show it to the rest of the band. This song has remained a Van Halen concert staple ever since.
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I'm the One  (3:44)
"I'm The One" was originally titled "Show Your Love," and was a Van Halen staple during the band's club years. Eddie very rarely played the same solo twice on this song.
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Jamie's Cryin'  (3:30)
"Jamie's Cryin'" was written and recorded live in the studio during the band's quick three-week session. One of Edward's guitar parts was overdubbed. The rhythm track was recorded on his Ibanez Destroyer. Alex identified this song as his least favorite Van Halen tune.
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Atomic Punk  (3:00)
"Atomic Punk" is a rare tune in that it contains no backing vocals, a trait so often identified with early Van Halen choruses. Ed rubbed his hand back and forth across the strings while kicking his MXR Phase 90 to produce the scratchy-sounding riff so prominent in this track. The same effect was later used on "Everybody Wants Some."
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Feel Your Love Tonight  (3:40)
"Feel Your Love Tonight" was an early Van Halen concert staple. On the early tours, Alex would incorporate his drum solo after Eddie's guitar solo in this song.
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Little Dreamer  (3:22)
When "Little Dreamer" was demoed for VAN HALEN, Dave ended the song by asking, "Are you experienced?"
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Ice Cream Man  (3:18)
"Ice Cream Man," a blues song Elmore James co-wrote with John Brim, contained the last of three overdubs Eddie recorded for this album. Dave regularly performed an acoustic version of this song at the Ice House in the band's hometown of Pasadena. Legend has it that when Eddie and Al heard Dave's performance of this, they decided to ask him to join their group. The solo on this song is perhaps Eddie's most electrifying on this record. The acoustic guitar intro was recorded by Dave and played live by Dave
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On Fire  (3:01)
"On Fire" was the song that Van Halen used to open their concerts during their first world tour. Early versions of this song, have both Mike and Dave sharing the lead vocals. Eddie has also remarked that his guitar solo was totally spontaneous, he actually had no idea what key he was even playing in.
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