VAN HALEN: 1984 Is 30 Years Old
Van Halen’s 1984, their sixth six studio album, was released 30 years ago this Thursday — January 9th, 1984 — and Eddie Van Halen has marked the occasion by talking with Guitar World magazine about what is still their biggest-selling album, with sales of more than 12-million in the U.S. alone.
1984 was the first album recorded at Eddie’s home studio, 5150. He says the most important reason for this was because he “wanted more control. I was always butting heads with [producer] Ted Templeman about what makes a good record. My philosophy has always been that I would rather bomb with my own music than make it with other people’s music. Ted felt that if you re-do a proven hit, you’re already halfway there. I didn’t want to be halfway there with someone else’s stuff. [Our previous album] Diver Down was a turning point for me, because half of it was cover tunes. I was working on a great song with this Minimoog riff that ended up being used on ‘Dancing in the Street.’ It was going to be a completely different song. I envisioned it being more like a Peter Gabriel song instead of what it turned out to be, but when Ted heard it he decided it would be great for ‘Dancing in the Street.'”
1984 contained no cover songs and spawned such hits and concert staples as “Jump,” “Panama,” “Hot for Teacher” and “I’ll Wait.” It also signaled the end for David Lee Roth, who left the band a little more than a year after its release and did not make another studio album with them until 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth.