The Debut: Van Halen – ‘Van Halen’

For my third installment of The Debut, I have decided to take on the daunting task of discussing on what is regarded as one of the best debut albums in rock history, Van Halen’s debut simply called ‘Van Halen’.  Why is it daunting? Because so many people have written about this album that there really is nothing I can add to the discussion other than my opinion which is probably no different than what has already been said.

We will start off with some general information about the album.  The album was released on February 10th, 1978.  I was only 9 at the time.  It was produced by Ted Templeman who was famous for producing The Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison and Montrose (early Sammy Hagar connection).  The album reached as high as only #19 on the charts and did sell over 1 million copies in its first year.  It has now been certified Diamond Status with sells well over 10 million copies.

The band was originally discovered by Gene Simmons from the band KISS.  Gene worked with the band and they did some demos, but nothing materialized as Gene headed back out on tour with his band.  The ended up playing a lot of live shows around Hollywood including the Whiskey A Go Go and the Starwood.  It was at the Starwood that they came to the attention of Mo Ostin & Ted Templeman with Warner Brothers Records.  They later signed with Warner and went on to record their debut album.


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The Debut: Wolfmother – ‘Wolfmother’

Welcome back to the second episode of “The Debut”.  For this round, we talk about another retro rock band out of Australia called Wolfmother.  The name alone would have made me listen to this album, but it is certainly the music that has kept me coming back again and again.

Like Jet, Wolfmother is not the most original band out there.  The band has been accused of ripping off some of the great metal bands of the 60’s & 70’s, most especially Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and even a little Jimi Hendrix.  If you were into those bands, than this album is something for you.  If you need a comparison to some more recent bands, I can hear a little White Stripes as well, but mostly for me it is Sabbath with Plant vocal stylings.

They also stick to themes you would have expected from that era as well.  You get mystical unicorns, vagabonds, pyramids, witches and so much more.  To hear this heavy, distorted and screaming guitars and listen to the Zeppelinesque song stylings at the time were like nothing else on the radio.  It took me back to a good place and I have never stopped loving this album.  I enjoy it just as much today as a did upon its release in the States back in 2006.

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The Debut: Jet – ‘Get Born’

Welcome to the new series “The Debut”.  This monthly series will bring you some of my favorite debut albums by bands from across all the decades I have been alive.  It will cover rock and pop and who knows what else.  To begin with, the albums will be debut albums that I absolutely loved and I discovered when the album actually was released and not found years later.  I will get to those eventually.  So sit back and I hope you enjoy “The Debut”…

In 2003, one of the most unoriginal bands to come along and who stole their sound and style from such great bands as AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, Oasis and Iggy Pop brings us a collection of songs that show heart and at the same time are so catchy that you can’t help but take notice.

Brothers Nic & Chris Chester, Cameron Muncey and Mark Wilson are Jet.  An Australian band that found success overnight on their first album release called ‘Get Born’.  They recorded the album at Sunset Sound Studios in L.A. and it was produced by Dave Sardy (who had previously produced Marilyn Manson).

And something I didn’t know before writing this post was that the name of the album was taken from the Bourne Identity movie starring Matt Damon (‘Get Born’…I get it now…don’t know if I believe it, but I get it).  I also read the title comes from a line in Bob Dylan’s song “Subterranean Homesick Blues” which is more believable.


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