Van Halen’s ‘1984’ turns 40

It was 40 years ago today, January 9, that Van Halen released their sixth studio album, 1984, which wound up being their final full-length album will all four original members: Eddie and Alex Van HalenMichael Anthony and frontman David Lee Roth

The album featured the notable addition of more keyboards and synthesizers, with the first single, “Jump,” featuring a long synthesizer intro and hook. The song went on to become Van Halen’s only Billboard Hot 100 #1 and earned Van Halen a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.

“Jump” was followed by two top 20 hits, “Panama” and “I’ll Wait.” While the record’s final single, “Hot For Teacher,” failed to reach the top 20, it became a hit with fans thanks to its Roth-directed video, which became a staple on MTV. 

1984 debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Album chart and went on to become one of Van Halen’s bestselling records. It sold more than 10 million copies and has been certified Diamond by the Recording Industry of America.

A year after 1984’s release, Roth released the solo EP Crazy From The Heat and then officially parted ways with Van Halen in August 1985. Van Halen replaced Roth with Sammy Hagar, and together they released four #1 albums in 11 years.

Roth returned to Van Halen in 2006 for a reunion tour, which was the highest-grossing tour in the band’s history. Then in 2012 they released the comeback album A Different Kind of Truth, which was their only studio album without bassist Michael Anthony.

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