Album Cuts – VAN HALEN: 1984
- “1984” (instrumental) – 1:07
- “Jump” – 4:04
- “Panama” – 3:32
- “Top Jimmy” – 2:59
- “Drop Dead Legs” – 4:14
- “Hot for Teacher” – 4:42
- “I’ll Wait” (Van Halen/Van Halen/Anthony/Roth/Michael McDonald) – 4:41
- “Girl Gone Bad” – 4:35
- “House of Pain” – 3:19
Van Halen is an American rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1974. Van Halen achieved worldwide fame for their many popular songs and larger-than-life stage performances; unfortunately, they also became known for the drama surrounding the departures of former members. Controversy surrounded the band following the exits of Roth, Hagar, and Anthony; this controversy often included numerous conflicting press statements between the former members and the band. In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. VH1 ranked them 7th on their list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time.
David Lee Roth – Lead Vocals
Eddie Van Halen – Guitarsist
Alex Van Halen – Drums, Percussionist
Michael Anthony – Bassist
1984 (written as MCMLXXXIV on the album’s front cover) is the sixth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen. It remains Van Halen’s most successful album in terms of sales, with 10 million copies shipped in the United States, and U.S. chart performance. The album was recorded in 1983 at 5150 Studios in Studio City, CA and was released January 9, 1984 by label Warner Bros. The album was 33:17 minutes in length. Produced by Ted Templeton.
1984 remains Van Halen’s most successful album in terms of sales, with 10 million copies shipped in the United States, and U.S. chart performance. 1984 peaked at #2 on the Billboard Magazine album charts, (behind Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, which featured an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo on “Beat It“,) and remained there for 5 straight weeks. As previously noted, it contained the anthems “Jump“, “Panama“, “I’ll Wait” and “Hot for Teacher“. “Jump” reached #1 on Billboard‘s singles chart. 1984 is the second of two Van Halen albums to have achieved RIAA Diamond status, selling over ten million copies in the U.S. alone.
“Jump” was one of the most successful singles of 1984, spending 5 weeks at the Billboard’s #1 position. It sold over three million copies alone, making it one of the four best-selling rock songs of the 1980s.
The album’s follow-up singles – the synth-driven “I’ll Wait,” and then perhaps the original Van Halen line-up’s most straight-ahead rocker, “Panama”, each peaked at Billboard #13, (Pop,) respectively, in March and June. “Hot for Teacher”, a bombastic hard rock boogie, was a moderate Billboard Hot 100 success, reaching #56; however, the MTV video for “Hot For Teacher” became wildly popular, making it one of Van Halen’s most well-known songs. The “Hot For Teacher” video stars pre-teen lookalikes of the four Van Halen band members; a prototypical nerd named “Waldo;” David Lee Roth as Waldo’s bus driver; and numerous teachers stripping. “Jump;” “Panama;” and “Hot For Teacher” remain three of the most popular rock songs played at American arenas in the 2010s.
When Van Halen’s 1984 was released in the UK, a removable sticker with the Roman numerals MCMLXXXIV (which is “1984”), had to be placed over the cherub’s hand, as it was holding a cigarette and there happened to be a non-smoking campaign happening at the time. The same protocol was upheld for several other bands’ albums as well, such as the UK release of Canadian rocker Kim Mithcell’s album Akimbo Alogo, where the entire cover was changed due to a smoking reference.
To promote the album the band ran a contest on MTV. The contest was called, “Lost Weekend” with Van Halen. Fans mailed over 1 million postcards to MTV in hopes of winning the contest. In the promo for MTV, David Lee Roth said, “You won’t know where you are, you won’t know what’s going to happen, and when you come back, you’re not gonna have any memory of it.”
Kurt Jeffries won the contest and was flown to Detroit to join the band. Jeffries was allowed to bring along his best friend. He was given a Lost Weekend t-shirt and a hat. He was also brought on stage and had a large sheet cake smashed in his face which was followed by about a dozen people pouring champagne on him. Little did the band know that Jeffries had a metal plate in his head, and shouldn’t have been consuming alcohol. When Jeffries got back to his hotel room he began vomiting and breaking dishes, he had been taking anti-seizure medication.
In the band’s licensed game, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, three of the nine tracks of this album are available for play; “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot for Teacher.”
After its release, the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League played “Jump” on the arena PA system as the team came onto the ice. They used the song until the team’s departure for Phoenix after the 1995-96 season. On the team’s return in 2011, public outcry for use of the song again fell on deaf ears as the team wished to leave the past behind stating the 1980s/1990s Jets are a different organization from the one (Atlanta Thrashers) coming in now.
This song is also used by the French soccer team Olympique de Marseille as they enter the field in their Stade Velodrome.