Jump (Van Halen song)

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Single by Van Halen
from the album 1984
A-side "Jump"
B-side "House of Pain"
Released December 21, 1983 (single)[1]
9 January 1984 (album)[1]
Recorded 5150 Studios, Studio City, California, 1983
Genre Pop rock[2][3] synthrock
Length 4:03
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth
Producer(s) Ted Templeman
Van Halen singles chronology
"I'll Wait"
Audio sample
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"Jump" is a song by the American rock band Van Halen. It was released in December 1983 as the lead single from their album 1984. It is Van Halen's only single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[4] The song differs from earlier Van Halen songs in that it is driven by a rolling synth line (played on an Oberheim OB-Xa), although the song contain does a guitar solo, which Eddie Van Halen claims is his favorite solo he never wrote. This refers to the fact that it was spliced together from multiple takes.

"Jump" is one of Van Halen's most popular and instantly recognizable compositions, perhaps because it encompasses aspects of two genres widely associated with 1980s popular music in America: synth-driven pop and "arena"-style hard rock. David Lee Roth dedicated the song to martial artist Benny Urquidez, of whom he was a student.[5] The song changed the future and style of Van Halen from being a predominantly hard rock band to one of more radio-oriented popular music.

Writing and composition[edit]

The synth line was written around 1981 by Eddie Van Halen but it was refused by the other members of the band. In 1983, producer Ted Templeman asked Roth to take a listen to the unused song idea. Riding around in the back of his 1951 Mercury, with band roadie Larry Hostler driving, Roth listened repeatedly to the song. To come up with a lyric for it, he remembered seeing a television news report the night before about a man who was threatening to commit suicide by jumping off of a high building. Roth thought that one of the onlookers of such a scene would probably shout "go ahead and jump". Roth bounced this suggestion off of Hostler who agreed it was good. Instead of being about a threatened suicide, the words were written as an invitation to love. Roth later told Musician magazine that Hostler was "probably the most responsible for how it came out."[6]

"Jump" and the breakup of the original Van Halen[edit]

This stylistic change was further cemented when it seemed to create severe tensions between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth. It has been claimed Roth wanted the band to avoid using synthesizers and focus more on traditional hard rock. This conflict eventually ended in Roth's departure from the band. In the 1995 Rolling Stone cover story on/interview with Eddie Van Halen (RS #705, dated April 6) the circumstances surrounding Roth's leaving are discussed. In this interview Eddie claims that the main reason for the split was that Roth and [long-time Van Halen producer] Ted Templeman both disliked the fact that he had built his own studio and was able to work on music away from their influence. He said that "the first thing I did up here was 'Jump' and they [Roth and Templeman] didn't like it. I said 'take it or leave it', I was getting sick of their ideas of what was commercial ... At first [Roth's solo EP] Crazy from the Heat was great because Roth laid off me a bit. Little did I know he was testing the waters. Then he called me up and asked me to go to his house and said he was going to make a Crazy from the Heat movie. He had some deal that fell through. But at the time I was depressed. I cried, then I called my brother and told him the guy quit."

Van Halen performs "Jump", November 10, 2007

Nevertheless, Roth and Templeman did work on "Jump" at Eddie's disputed new studio, with Roth providing the lyrics and the vocal melody.

Ted Templeman recalls that "'Jump' was recorded at Ed's studio. [Engineer] Donn [Landee] and Ed put the track down alone in the middle of the night. We recut it once in one take for sonic reasons. Dave wrote the lyrics that afternoon in the backseat of his Mercury convertible. We finished all vocals that afternoon and mixed it that evening".[7]

The song thereafter secured its place among rock music's most popular songs, and is now considered by some to be one of the most influential rock songs of all time.[8]

Live performances of "Jump" are preceded by Eddie's synthesizer solo "1984". During the reunion tour with Roth, the two songs were used for the band's encore. Roth often waved a large red flag during the synth section while the stage was still coated in dark cover lights.

According to Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, "[Eddie] Van Halen told me that he copied the synth part from 'Kiss on My List' and used it in ‘Jump.’ I don't have a problem with that at all."[9]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Jump" was directed by David Lee Roth. It is a straightforward concept, much like many of the hard rock videos of the time.[10] It shows the band performing the song at a mock concert. It was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards, and won "best stage performance" for the video.

The version of the song used for the video differs slightly from the album version. During the keyboard solo prior to the final refrain, David Lee Roth is heard (and seen) yelling out. He did this during the band's mock performance for the video's filming, and it is believed that afterwards he overdubbed this yell especially for the video version since it is not present in the song to begin with.[citation needed]


Charts and certifications[edit]


"Jump" was ranked #15 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s. It has also become somewhat of a sports anthem, an example of this being that it is the song that is played on the PA system every time A.C. Milan score a goal at their home ground, San Siro, or the song played before the start of each home game of Olympique de Marseille and Brøndby IF.

Following the September 11 attacks, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.[relevant? ][citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "AesthetiX Choice: Top 20 Van Halen Songs". Listal.com. Listal.com. 10 March 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Considine, J.D. (1 March 1984). /1984-19840301 "1984". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "1984". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th ed, Billboard Publications, Inc. 1996. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6
  5. ^ Christe, Ian (2009). Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga. John Wiley & Sons. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-470-53618-6. 
  6. ^ Crouse, Richard (2012). Who Wrote The Book Of Love?. Doubleday Canada. p. 144. ISBN 9780385674423. 
  7. ^ Van Halen: A visual history: 1978-1984, Neil Zlozower, 2008
  8. ^ "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 2007.
  9. ^ "Classic Tracks: Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"." mixonline.com, 2006.
  10. ^ mvdbase.com - Van Halen - "Jump"
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  12. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Van Halen – Jump" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Van Halen – Jump" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ http://infodisc.fr/Artistes.php
  15. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Van Halen > Jump – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  16. ^ http://www.irishcharts.ie/search/placement?page=2
  17. ^ http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_weeks/index.html
  18. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Van Halen search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Van Halen – Jump". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Van Halen – Jump". Singles Top 60.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Van Halen – Jump". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  23. ^ a b http://musicvf.com/Van+Halen.art
  24. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?&file_num=nlc008388.9638&type=1&interval=20&PHPSESSID=v7jad0il51uibbl5auv3ves5p7
  25. ^ http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_yends/hpe1984.htm
  26. ^ http://rock.co.za/files/sahits_1984.html
  27. ^ http://cashboxcountdowns.com/archives/80s_files/1984YESP.html
  28. ^ "Italian single certifications – Van Halen – Jump" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved June 10, 2015.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Van Halen in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 25, 1984 – March 24, 1984
Succeeded by
"Footloose" by Kenny Loggins
Preceded by
"If I'd Been the One" by 38 Special
Billboard Top Rock Tracks number-one single
January 21-March 10, 1984
Succeeded by
"Got a Hold on Me" by Christine McVie
Preceded by
"99 Red Balloons" by Nena
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
March 17, 1984 – March 24, 1984
Succeeded by
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper