50 Years, 50 Albums 1978: Van Halen ‘Van Halen’

50 Years, 50 Albums 1978: Van Halen ‘Van Halen’

The year was 1978. Disco at its prime and three iconic albums to choose from to be inducted into our Hall of Fame. Rolling Stones Some Girls album coming off a decline in popularity put the boys back on top. The debut of the Cars introducing us, at that time, into the New Wave/Rock Pop era and then there was Van Halen’s debut album, a straight-ahead Rock Album which paved the way for younger rock bands and lead us into the Hair metal era. Although all three albums are PLR favorites, it’s the debut from that band out of Pasadena, California that got most of the votes. Their demo was financed by Gene Simmons in 1977 and helped them get their first record contract along with the touring of the L.A. club scene, especially at the Whiskey a Go Go where the cover art for the album came from. The first single introduced us to the incredible Eddie Van Halen with “Eruption” into “You Really Got Me”, what a song! We never heard this kind of guitar playing before with Eddie’s hammer on technique then going into a classic rock song by the Kinks….brilliant combining New Rock with a classic rock song from the Kinks. The rest is history selling over 10 Million copies by 1996, giving the album Diamond status from the RIAA. We are certainly proud to welcome Van Halen’s debut album into the WPLR Hall of Fame. Thanks for your votes.

Learn more about the album:

Van Halen: the story of the debut album that saved rock

How Van Halen’s Debut Changed Rock History

One minute and 42 seconds of Van Halen’s guitar transformed music

Essential video:

Listen to the album:

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