As a pre-teen in the late '70s, I already knew music was going to be an important part of my life. But the bands that I listened such as Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Aerosmith and Queen had all been around for several years. Up to that point, I had never listened to a debut album in its initial release. It was all music owned by a slightly older generation.
All that changed with Van Halen's debut album in 1978. I remember listening to the album all the way through and being utterly blown away. 'Runnin' with the Devil' set the tone and connected with my early ideas of a romanticized version of Rock and Roll life. But little did I know what was to come.
In the next track and in under two minutes, Eddie Van Halen forever changed the landscape of Rock guitar. It's hard to even imagine someone having the confidence and audacity to put something like 'Eruption' on a debut album. When recording 'Eruption' did he know there would be generations of kids that would hear it and vow to follow in his footsteps?
Next, it was David Lee Roth's turn to take center stage with a cover of The Kinks 'You Really Go Me'. 'Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love' and 'I'm the One round out what may be a truly perfect Album side. But what is even more remarkable is they kept it up on the second side. There's not a weak song to be found.
'Jamie's Cryin', 'Atomic Punk', 'Feel Your Love Tonight', 'Little Dreamer', 'On Fire', 'Ice Cream Man'… Amazing album.