Runnin' with the Devil

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"Runnin' with the Devil"
Single by Van Halen
from the album Van Halen
B-side "Eruption"
Released May 6, 1978
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1977
Genre Hard rock
Length 3:34
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Van Halen
Producer(s) Ted Templeman
Van Halen singles chronology
"You Really Got Me"
(1978)
"Runnin' with the Devil"
(1978)
"Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"
(1978)

"Runnin' with the Devil" is the second single from Van Halen's 1978 eponymous debut album. The song lyrics were inspired by the Ohio Players song "Runnin' from the Devil".[1] In 2009 it was named the 9th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. The song also sparked controversy at the time due to its title.[2][not in citation given]

Composition[edit]

The song begins with a collection of car horns sounding. The horns were taken from the band’s own cars and mounted in a box and powered by two car batteries, with a foot switch. Producer Ted Templemans lowed the horns down before adding them to the track. This same idea was first used during the band’s club sets and appeared on the Gene Simmons Demo on House of Pain.[3] A four-measure guitar solo is played after the second and third chorus.[4]

Background[edit]

The song's lyrics have often been misinterpreted as being satanic, yet the members have never revealed the full meaning of the song. It is usually interpreted as being about the life of a touring young band. The song's verses deal with an individual's experience, including learning that a "simple" lifestyle is not as simple as it appears. The lyrics "Runnin' with the devil" are usually interpreted as being a reference to freedom. In the song freedom is portrayed as a lack of social ties and living in the present.[4] The song's meaning has also been interpreted as being an attempt to convince a person that the theme of a simple life is not wrong as it appears. Therefore the lyrics of "Runnin' with the devil" would not be serious.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

1978+80 Weekly Chart Peak
position
Belgian VRT Top 30[6] 11
Dutch Mega Charts[7] 2
Dutch Top 40[8] 8
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 84
U.K. Singles Chart[10] 52
1980 Year-End Chart Position
Belgian VRT Top 30[11] 76
Dutch Megacharts[12] 30
Dutch Top 40[13] 53

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Van Halen I." classicvanhalen.com.
  2. ^ "spreadit.org music". Retrieved February 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Runnin’ With The Devil". VHND.com. Van Halen News Desk. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Walser, Robert (1 April 2013). Running with the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music. Wesleyan University Press. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Howard, Christian David (2004). "The New Rolling Stone Album Guide". Rolling Stone (Simon and Schuster). Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  6. ^ http://top30-2.radio2.be/#/song-info/8355
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Van Halen - Runnin' With The Devil". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  8. ^ "Van Halen - Runnin' With The Devil". Top40.nl. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  9. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/277707/van+halen/chart
  10. ^ "VAN HALEN | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  11. ^ "Lucky's Disco-bar voor wie houdt van feesten". Luckysdb.be. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  12. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2013-12-09. 
  13. ^ http://www.top40.nl/pdf/top100/top100-1980.pdf

External links[edit]