Van Halen (album)
|Studio album by Van Halen|
|Released||February 10, 1978|
|Recorded||September – October 1977 at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Van Halen chronology|
|Singles from Van Halen|
|Rolling Stone (1978)||(mixed)|
|Rolling Stone (2004)|||
Van Halen is the debut studio album by American rock band Van Halen. Released on February 10, 1978, the album initially peaked at #19 on the US Billboard Albums Chart, en route to selling over ten million copies in the US alone by 1999, (RIAA diamond status.)  Retrospective appraisals (e.g. the following appraisal by music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine) tend to describe Van Halen in terms of signifying "an epochal generation shift, like [the debut albums of] Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, The Rolling Stones, or Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. The still-amazing thing about Van Halen is how it sounds like it has no fathers... Like all great originals Van Halen doesn't seem to belong to the past and it still sounds like little else, despite generations of copycats." 
Van Halen contains many of Van Halen's signature songs, including "Runnin' with the Devil", the guitar solo "Eruption", the The Kinks cover "You Really Got Me", "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love", "Jamie's Cryin'," and "Ice Cream Man." Each of these songs remains a staple of rock radio.
Packaging and artwork
The album cover photos were taken at the Whisky a Go Go, a Los Angeles club at which Van Halen often performed during the mid-1970s. The guitar pictured on the cover of the album is Edward Van Halen's famous Frankenstrat Guitar, a Fender prototype replica of which is now housed in the Smithsonian Institute. Assembled by Eddie Van Halen in his parents' garage, the "Frankenstein" features a neck purchased from Boogie Bodies and a Stratocaster style body custom made by Wayne Charvel in California.
Shortly after its release, Van Halen became regarded as one of rock and roll's greatest debut albums, by both fans and critics; however, on its immediate release in February 1978 – much like Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut – Van Halen met with mostly negative reviews from rock critics. In 1978, music critic Robert Christgau famously wrote, "the term ["bar band"] becomes honorific when the music belongs in a bar. This music belongs on an aircraft carrier." In May 1978, Rolling Stone critic Charles M. Young wrote, "Mark my words: in three years, Van Halen is going to be fat and self-indulgent and disgusting, and they'll follow Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin right into the toilet. In the meantime, they are likely to be a big deal." 
Retrospective reviews tend to be as glowing as early reviews were scathing. In 2003, one major publication that slammed Van Halen's debut, Rolling Stone, listed it among The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (at #415.)  Guitar World readers ranked it No. 7 on a list of the Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time.
|1.||"Runnin' with the Devil"||3:36|
|3.||"You Really Got Me" (Ray Davies)||2:38|
|4.||"Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"||3:50|
|5.||"I'm the One"||3:47|
|3.||"Feel Your Love Tonight"||3:43|
|5.||"Ice Cream Man" (John Brim)||3:20|
- David Lee Roth – lead vocals, acoustic guitar on "Ice Cream Man" (credited as David Roth)
- Eddie Van Halen – guitar, backing vocals
- Michael Anthony – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Alex Van Halen – drums
- Producer: Ted Templeman
- Engineers: Donn Landee, Peggy McCreary, Kent Nebergall, Logan Jervis
- Project coordinator: Jo Motta
- Art direction: Dave Bhang
- Design: Dave Bhang
- Photography: Elliot Gilbert
- Typesetting: Jodi Cohen
Charts and certifications
In 1999, Van Halen's eponymous debut was re-certified by the RIAA for selling ten million copies in the United States alone. One of only six rock bands to release two RIAA diamond status albums, Van Halen remains one of Van Halen's two best-selling albums, along with 1984.
Van Halen, like Van Halen's other David Lee Roth-era albums – excepting Van Halen II, which was re-certified in 2004, to coincide with the promotion of a Warner Brothers greatest hits collection – was last brought by Warner Brothers to the RIAA for re-certification in 1999. The band's split with Warner Brothers in 2002, and subsequent agreement with Interscope has eliminated Warner Brothers' incentive for paying the [relatively substantial] fee to promote Van Halen's back-catalog by having its albums re-certified. Despite lack of re-certification, Van Halen's 1978 debut has continues to sell prolifically, re-appearing numerous times on the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums charts, as recently as 2012.
Billboard (North America)
|1984||The Billboard 200||117|
Billboard (North America)
|1978||"You Really Got Me"||Pop Singles||36|
|1978||"Runnin' with the Devil"||Pop Singles||84|
|1978||"Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love"||–||–|
|Canada (Music Canada)||4× Platinum||400,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||100,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||10× Platinum||10,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Van Halen – Van Halen". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- Christgau, Robert (1978). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- Young, Charles M. (May 4, 1978). "Van Halen:Van Halen". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- Edwards, Gavin (November 25, 2004). "Van Halen:Van Halen (2004 review)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 14, 2008.
- Quan, Denise (February 4, 2009). "Eddie Van Halen reinvents the guitar". CNN. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
- "500 Greatest Albums – Van Halen:Van Halen". Rolling Stone. November 1, 2003. Retrieved December 2, 2009.
- "100 Greatest Guitar Albums". Guitar World. October 2006. A copy can be found at "Guitar World's 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time – Rate Your Music". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved October 12, 2011.
- "Van Halen – Van Halen". Billboard. Billboard. Retrieved 2011-11-22.
- "Canadian album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen". Music Canada.
- "Finnish album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
- "French album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen" (in French). InfoDisc. Select VAN HALEN and click OK
- "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Van Halen; 'Van Halen')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
- "British album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Van Halen in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
- "American album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH