Year Released: 1984

Notable Songs: “Jump”, “I’ll Wait”, “Panama”, “Hot for Teacher”

Album MVP: “Jump”

Why I Loved It: Admittedly I’m not a huge Van Halen fan on the whole,  or at least I didn’t think I was, but this is Van Halen’s second album to make my countdown (Ou812 started things out at No. 100.)  1984 is, without question their best album and one of my favorite rock albums of the entire decade. Van Halen has always been about huge rock songs you crank at a party, and their hooks on the 1984 album are catchy as hell. Their formula to success wasn’t exactly an industry secret—- hard riffs, memorable Eddie Van Halen solos and David Lee Roth over the top antics as a frontman. “Jump” came in at No. 31 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80’s countdown last year. The keyboard intro is one of the 80’s most memorable musical moments. Van Halen really took advantage of the MTV video emergence.  “Jump” and especially “Hot for Teacher” were MTV mainstays. In an era where so many rock songs were dated and fell apart as they aged “Jump” is still a song that resonates today. “Panama” and “I’ll Wait” put this album over the hump as one of my favorites of the 80’s. 

My fondness for Van Halen ended when Roth left after 1984 but that doesn’t take away from this being a true 80’s rock gem.

Commercial Success:  The group’s sixth studio album, the last to feature David Lee Roth as lead singer turned out to be the group’s most successful. 1984 didn’t quite reach number-one on the Billboard Top 200—it had to settle for two and stayed there for five weeks thanks to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. “Jump” reached the pinnacle as a single, becoming the first and to date only Van Halen single to ever hit number-one on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent five weeks there before being knocked off by Kenny Loggins’ “Footloose” and finished ’84 ranked sixth on the year-end chart. “Panama” and “I’ll Wait” both peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 while “Hot For Teacher” only reached No. 56 despite being one of the sweetest MTV videos of all-time.  In total 1984 has sold more than 10 million copies in the United States.

Fun Facts: From here’s a few facts about Van Halen and this album: Eddie Van Halen was on the Rolling Stone cover in 1995. During that interview, he claimed David Lee Roth rejected the very famous synth riff for “Jump” for two years before finally agreeing to write lyrics to it. The cover of the 1984 album features a smoking cherub. It was censored when released in the UK. A sticker was placed to cover the cigarette in the cherub’s hand and the packs of cigarettes visible on the album cover. In the original release of the album, all song credits were given to Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony. In the UK single for “I’ll Wait” Michael McDonald was credited as a cowriter, but he was not given the same recognition in the US version. David Lee Roth can be heard yelling in the video for “Jump.” He did that so he could get his real voice onto the music video.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV

32. The Police – Ghost In the Machine 

31. Madonna – Madonna

30. New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough

29. Hall and Oates – H20

28. Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence

27. The Police – Synchronicity 

26. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

25. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill

24. Hall & Oates – Private Eyes

23. Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer

22. Madonna – Like A Virgin

21. Debbie Gibson – Out Of The Blue

20. Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel 

19. Journey – Escape 

18. Billy Joel – An Innocent Man