|Song by Van Halen from the album Van Halen|
|Released||February 10, 1978|
|Genre||Heavy metal, neo-classical metal, instrumental rock|
|Writer||Eddie Van Halen|
|Van Halen track listing|
"Eruption" is a guitar solo performed by Eddie Van Halen. "Eruption" often appears on many 'greatest guitar solos' lists. It is often played together with "You Really Got Me", which follows the piece on the album Van Halen.
"Eruption" starts with a short accompanied intro with Alex Van Halen on drums and Michael Anthony on bass. The highlight of the solo is the use of two-handed tapping. "Eruption" was played on the Frankenstrat, with a MXR Phase 90, an Echoplex, a Univox echo unit and a 1968 Marshall 1959 Super Lead tube amp. The Sunset Sound studio reverb room was also used to add reverb. The Frankenstrat was tuned down a half-step. "Eruption" begins in the key of A flat and ends on a E flat note that is a twelfth fret, 6th string harmonic processed through a Univox EC-80 echo unit.
The "Eruption" intro is based on "Let Me Swim" by Cactus. After the intro, an E-flat major quotation of the "Etude No. 2" by Rodolphe Kreutzer is heard. The end section begins with a series of rapid two-handed tapping triads that have a classical like structure and eventually finishes with a repeated classical cadence followed by sound effects generated by a Univox EC-80 echo unit.
The piece that would later be named "Eruption" had existed as part of Van Halen's stage act at least as far back as 1976, when it featured no tapping. "Eruption" popularized the tapping trend of the '80s. Although one-handed tapping (hammer-ons and pull-offs) had been previously done by many guitarists, "Eruption" introduced two-handed tapping to the mainstream popular rock audience. Previously, Baroque-like tapping had been recorded by Steve Hackett of Genesis in 1971/1972.
Initially, "Eruption" was not considered as a song for the Van Halen album as it was just a guitar solo Eddie performed live in the clubs but Ted Templeman overheard it in the studio as Eddie was rehearsing it for a club date at the Whisky a Go Go and decided to include it on the album. Eddie recalled "I didn't even play it right. There's a mistake at the top end of it. To this day, whenever I hear it, I always think, 'Man, I could've played it better.'"
"Spanish Fly", an acoustic guitar solo on Van Halen II, can be viewed as a nylon-string version of "Eruption", expanding on similar techniques. Similarly, it was suggested by Templeman for inclusion on the album after he heard Eddie Van Halen playing a classical guitar. In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Eruption" at number 29 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks. "Eruption" has been named the 2nd greatest guitar solo by Guitar World magazine.
"Eruption" is also featured in Guitar Hero: Van Halen and is considered as one of the most difficult pieces in the game.
|Guitar World||United States||100 Greatest Guitar Solos||2|
|Q||United Kingdom||100 Greatest Guitar Tracks||2005||29|
|Rolling Stone||United States||100 Greatest Guitar Tracks||2008||6|
- "Poll Results: Eddie Van Halen's "Eruption" Tops Readers' List of the 50 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time". 09/20/2013. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "NME 50 Greatest Guitar Solos". Retrieved 17 December 2013.
- "Cactus - Let Me Swim.wmv" youtube.com
- "Eddie Van Halen Solo 1976". YouTube. Retrieved 2011/12/28.
- "Van Halen's 'Eruption' Guitar Solo". About.com. Retrieved 2011/12/28.