Music Reviews

Van Halen 1: The Resurrection of Rock

 

        The year was 1978 and music was undergoing a massive mutation of dynamics and expansion. Disco was enhancing our radio speakers, John Travolta was the grand dancer of the era, and a new music was oozing through the political and cultural geography of the time; Punk Rock. The previous giant bands like Led Zeppelin and The Who were slowly fading, and their thunder calming itself. The horizon of self identity and brutal self-confidence flavored the lyrics of bands like the Sex Pistols and Blondie. A theatrical wave of performance art dressed the stages of artists with divine words of empowerment and rebellion; it was also a period when the architecture of Hip Hop was in its Genesis. It was quite a fabulous time for enabling something as sacred as rock music and empowering it with a level of creativity and veracity that had never been demonstrated before.

         The resurgence of rock guitar playing would claim a new disciple named Eddie Van Halen. With the release of this debut, the electric guitar, would once again, demonstrate its remarkable ability of assimilating itself into a new genre and reclaim some lost ground where the Gods of the instrument of the past once lived and reigned. With its first track, ‘Runnin’ With The Devil’, Eddie Van Halen would sample us his fantastic and mercurial semantics of chord progressions and fretboard tapping not previously demonstrated in such a unique manner of originality and proficient experimentation. However, a sleeping, gargantuan  guitar piece was next! With his his new translation of just how arrestive and ennobling the guitar could be handled and controlled, his guitar instrumental ‘Eruption’ is the pinnacle of majesty and eternal proficiency that requires an exalted devotion to investigation and prowess. In this period of the recording, Van Halen dazzles us with a superb collision of classical music and the gut wrenching dynasim of a stringed instrument that is aided with electric and its own emotion. The style of playing enhanced by his fingers would revolutionize the ethics of standardization and give birth to much more theatrics of tapestry such as Heavy Metal and Grunge. In later songs such as ‘Jamie’s Cryin’ and ‘Atomic Punk,’ Van Halen’s screeching guitar frolics and clinquant expressions of ‘musical’ guitar nativity is a nocturnal display of genius and exploration of strings, accompanied by pieces of cosmic paraphernalia not heard on record. This album was the overture of the next generation of musicians.  

        Eddie Van Halen’s guitar skills would be authoritative and undergo a boundless and colorful voyage for the next 10 years; they would also be highly sought after and imitated and widespread. The required characteristics of guitar playing and instrumentation physics from bass guitar and drums would also transfigure the scenery of their generation. Alex Van Halen would reestablish the gravity and seriousness of drum kinetics. The lost cannonades of vivacity and force of nature would plunder back into the spirit of Rock by his angry and rhythmic drum antics, while Michael Anthony’s bass consecrations would thrust longevity and adoration into the noumenon of Rock’s eternal destiny. To hallow this studious fashion to a dramaturgic close, enter the skyscraping vocals of David Lee Roth. Roth’s fashion and astounding acrobatic performances on stage would solidify the band’s raw and untouchable reputation of power and indulgence of sound and jaw dropping chemistry that was previously undemonstrated on the stage or the studio. Van Halen would flush our ears, while in the same breath, cultivate a legacy of highly skilled musicianship with outlandish behavior and cynicism directly resulting into the age of arena performance and expansive acoustics that required, once again, a live audience. Van Halen vanquished all its competition. The center of discussion would be their commitment to performance and creativity not witnessed since the early Renaissance of the 1960’s. What Sargent Pepper contributed to studio recording, Van Halen constituted onto the live stage, dripping with ferocity and blistering emendation of parentage. Their influence and resonant understanding of self confidence and action would place this band into the galaxy of musical imagination and righteous veneration. Their musical tablature is claimed by all the ages of the hereafter. This debut album has been placed in its own galaxy and continues to tame the future of guitar evolution and provenience. It also recolored the drapery of record production and ushered into the scene that Rock Music, once again, had a place on the record charts. This album, inevitably, would pass the test of time; it speaks the language of aspiration and tenacity, while impressively preserving the highest level of integrity.

(You can purchase the album here:  (https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Van_Halen_Van_Halen?id=Bhplpz7db7tluamv7xavgp5yvsy).