When I was on vacation during this past Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. And we’ve been through a couple so far as seen below…
And now we are on to our third of the 7 and this is another Roth Era track and one of their biggest singles ever…”Jump”. The song was released on December 21, 1983 and was the first single for the album ‘1984’ from the same year. The single went all the way to #1 and sold well over 1,000,000 copies.
The copy I have is the actual single that was released and not a promotional copy this time around. It has an A-Side with “Jump” and a B-Side with “House of Pain”. And if you notice on the label again, the engineer Donn Landee is credited again as Ted is a man of his word and wants Donn to get as much credit has him. Hell, Ted even gave up a point on each album and gave 1 point to Donn. That is appreciation folks.
According to Dave, the song was inspired by a new report he heard on the TV about a person threatening to jump from building. Dave pictured the people below says “Go ahead and jump”. Kind of sick sense of humor, but that’s Dave. Now the song isn’t really about suicide though. It is about going after what you want. Take that leap of faith and go after it.
But the song is really famous for the fact the opening of the song is a keyboard synthesizer. Since the song did got to #1, I guess the change in style for the band didn’t hurt them. That keyboard opening was actually written by Eddie way back in 1981, but the band rejected it because it wasn’t the band’s sound. They needed to be guitar band. The keyboard opening was actually taken from the Hall & Oates song “Kiss is On My List” and Eddie freely admitted that and Hall & Oates didn’t care. I am sure they thought it was flattering. The song is such a departure and very pop-friendly, but that keyboard riff and then the electric guitar solo by Eddie were both so good that people overlooked the change. It’s high energy and fast tempo which let David Lee Roth shine and he sounded great, plus the song suited his cocky, braggadocios attitude. I am not going to go into the great detail about the song, because admit it, you know this song!!
The B-Side was also from ‘1984’ and was the final track on the album called “House of Pain”. It is an old school Van Halen song and could’ve fit nicely on any previous album. I believe this song has roots back to around 1977 or so, but the song was scrapped and it took 6 years to see the light of day completely re-worked lyrically. It is about a being in a love-hate relationship. You love her, she hates you kind of thing. For me, the cool thing about this track is that it is classic Van Halen sounding through and through. Ripping roaring guitars, the rhythm section of Michael and Alex laying down a great groove and old Dave belt out those lyrics with a grit only he can do. It is a killer deep cut from the album.
And there you have it, “Jump”. Next week we have another and this time it is another track from ‘1984’, but I won’t tell you which one. Thanks for stopping by and see you next time.