‘Best of the 80s’ is a celebration our favorite decade’s pop culture. As always, your suggestions and comments are welcome below.
We imagine quite a few Van Halen fans were none too pleased with the boys' new album, 1984, when it arrived.
After five albums of some of the most hard-hitting, guitar-driven rock anthems ever, we get... this? If you can somehow sit through a minute-plus of synthesizer crap ("1984") that sounds like it's straight out of some cheesy science fiction movie, you're treated to still more synth pop with the album's first single, "Jump". In fact, it's more than 2 minutes from the start of 1984 before we even hear a single guitar strum. Dude! So not cool!
But wait-- wait a sec! Hey, this tune's pretty good, bro!
Indeed, "Jump" was pretty good. Yes, it was a little out of the ordinary for our beloved VH, but man, if you could somehow keep from boppin' your head to this little ditty, well... you're a stronger person than us.
Turns out, the rest of the country thought it was pretty good, too. "Jump" spent 21 weeks on the Billboard chart, peaking at number one on Feb. 25, 1984. And it would stay at the top for five weeks.
The guys had never sounded tighter, David's vocals were just about perfect, and the guitar solo... well, Eddie says it's his favorite of all the ones he ever did. Not too shabby.
As for the video, it's straightforward enough... but sometimes that's all you need. Four guys in a dark room, lip-synching their way through an awesome tune and having the time of their lives. (Though, for our money, Eddie's just a little too smiley. What was up with that?)
"Jump" may have signaled the end of Van Halen as we knew them, and it may have hastened DLR's departure from the band, but dammit, is there a song that grabs you by the collar and demands that you get in a good mood more than this one?
We've already told you how much we love "Panama", but frankly, the best things are often the ones that you least expect, and we'll always have a soft spot in our heart for the 80s' best hard rock song... that really wasn't.
We ♥ Jump.
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