1978 Rock: Van Halen: ‘Van Halen’

1978 rock van halen

Hello and welcome to the Rock n Coasters podcast, I am one of your hosts, Michele Forto. To kick off the new year, we are starting something new every week. We will talk about the top rock albums of the year and share some cool facts from back in time. Sit back, kids, this is going to be a wild ride.

1977. In this year, the Unabomber sent his first bomb to Professor Buckley Crist at Northwestern University. Result: slight injury to officer Terry Markman. Ben and Jerry opened their first ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont.

Also, a computer “testing malfunction” caused the United State’s Defense System to go from an “at ease” DEFCON 1 to a “fire up the missiles” DEFCON 5. This was years before the movie War Games and Matthew Broderick.

So what happened in 1977? Well…for starters, one of the biggest movies in the history of movies came out. That’s right…Smokey and the Bandit, and another one too, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

The most popular Christmas toys of the year were: the Atari 2600 Console, Star Wars Toys, Chai Pets, Slime, Skateboards. Did you have a bucket of Slime?

The Quotes

“We’re from France”
-The Coneheads, on Saturday Night Live

“Here’s to good friends.”
– Lowenbrau beer

Let’s jump into the top rock album of the year.

1978: Van Halen, ‘Van Halen’

The music world got its next big rock heroes in 1978 with the arrival of the hard-partying and harder-rocking four-piece Van Halen. The band’s self-titled debut featured the guitar mastery of a young Eddie Van Halen, the pure power of his brother Alex behind the kit, the master showman David Lee Roth and the band’s secret weapon, bassist and backing vocalist Michael Anthony. The first side of the album rivals any Side A in rock history, with “Running With the Devil,” the influential instrumental “Eruption,” their deconstructed cover of The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and the full-throttle rocker “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” leading the way. The back half was also impressive, with “Janie’s Cryin,'” “Atomic Punk” and “Ice Cream Man” among the highlights. While it took a while for the world to catch on, Van Halen’s self-titled effort ranks among the best debuts in rock history, eventually being certified for platinum sales.

So, guys, what do you think? Do you think you will like this series? Please let us know in the comments and on our social channels, search Rock n Coasters podcast. Also, please do us a favor and hit that subscribe button. One more thing watch your podcast feed on Thursdays, as we will do the same format for the top metal albums too.

Oh, one last bit of trivia, 2,300 students in Harrisburg, PA, tried to set a world record for the largest tug-of-war game. Instead, disaster ensued. The 2,000ft long braided nylon rope snapped, recoiling several thousand pounds of stored energy. Nearly 200 students lay wounded, 5 with severed fingertips, and hundreds more faced 2nd-degree burns.

And on that note, we would love for you to support our show. Please head over to patreon.com/firstpawmedia and sign up today, and you will get access to behind-the-scenes content, exclusive merch, and more.

I am your host, Michele Forto, see you next time.


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