Today on Turntable Tuesday we celebrate Van Halen’s number one hit “Jump,” which starting on this day 30 years ago, spent five weeks at Billboard’s top spot.
“Jump” was a turn in a new direction for the band, as the song starts with Eddie Van Halen playing a synthesizer riff instead of his usual fast finger guitar slinging. Although at the time, the other members of the band were skeptical about using synthesizers, it didn’t last long after the horn-based keyboard riff became one of the most recognized pieces of music in rock and roll history.
The album 1984, spawned more hit songs and landmark MTV videos including “Hot For Teacher,” and “Panama.” However, at the height of the band’s success, David Lee Roth left the group to pursue a solo career and Van Halen soldiered on with new frontman Sammy Hagar. When asked about Hagar singing Roth-era material during Van Halen’s live shows, Roth responded, “Sammy Hagar will have to sing ‘Jump’ every night, but I’ll never have to sing a Sammy Hagar song.”
Although the band has toured over the years in various incarnations, fans can always expect to hear that signature keyboard riff coming out of the P.A. system at a Van Halen show.
1984 scored number 81 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums Of The Eighties list.
–Roberto Boschian, 104.3 WOMC