Jump (Van Halen song)
|Single by Van Halen|
|from the album 1984|
|B-side||"House of Pain"|
|Released||December 21, 1983|
|Van Halen singles chronology|
"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. 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 does contain 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: synthpop and arena rock. David Lee Roth dedicated the song to martial artist Benny Urquidez, of whom he was a student. 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
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."
"Jump" and the breakup of the original Van Halen
This stylistic change was further cemented when it seemed to create severe tensions between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth. 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."
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".
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.
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.
The music video for "Jump" was directed by David Lee Roth. It is a straightforward performance clip, much like many of the hard rock videos of the time. It was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards, and won "Best Stage Performance" for the video.
The video was groundbreaking and set the standard for performance videos that directors still try to emulate. To produce such a video, the band is recorded performing the song several times from beginning to end. Then, the band members are shot doing random stage moves without the pretense of actually playing the song (note that Eddie is seen playing the guitar at times when no guitar can be heard). Some candid footage is shot with the band goofing around, and then the footage is edited into a 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.
- David Lee Roth – lead vocals
- Eddie Van Halen – guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals
- Michael Anthony – bass, backing vocals
- Alex Van Halen – drums
Charts and certifications
"Jump" was ranked #15 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s. It is played every time A.C. Milan scores a goal at their home ground, San Siro. It is also played before the start of each home game of Olympique de Marseille and Brøndby IF.
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- Alfred William Cramer (2009). Musicians and Composers of the 20th Century. Salem Press. p. 1540. ISBN 978-1-58765-517-3. Retrieved 10 October 2015.
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- Christe, Ian (2009). Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga. John Wiley & Sons. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-470-53618-6.
- Crouse, Richard (2012). Who Wrote The Book Of Love?. Doubleday Canada. p. 144. ISBN 9780385674423.
- Van Halen: A visual history: 1978-1984, Neil Zlozower, 2008
- "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, 2007.
- "Classic Tracks: Hall & Oates "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"." mixonline.com, 2006.
- mvdbase.com - Van Halen - "Jump"
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Austriancharts.at – Van Halen – Jump" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Van Halen – Jump" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "Musicline.de – Van Halen Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Van Halen search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Charts.org.nz – Van Halen – Jump". Top 40 Singles.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Van Halen – Jump". Singles Top 60.
- "Swisscharts.com – Van Halen – Jump". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 2000-03-16. Retrieved 2011-11-03.
- "Italian single certifications – Van Halen – Jump" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved June 10, 2015. Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Van Halen in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
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