The 40th anniversary of Van Halen's landmark self-titled debut album is celebrated in the latest episode of the syndicated radio show In The Studio with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History's Greatest Rock Bands.
The show sent over the following details about the episode which returns to February 10, 1978 and the release, forty years ago, of the debut album from the band who would single-handedly usher in a new era of hard rock. Van Halen's first, with Eddie Van Halen's soon-to-be signature guitar sound (take one listen to "Eruption") literally changed how thousands would play guitar, forever.
Having become the biggest band in Pasadena California, Van Halen would start to migrate to Hollywood for that chance to get noticed. In this classic interview with Alex & Eddie Van Halen, the guys recall to IN THE STUDIO producer and host Redbeard, how a forgettable rainy Monday night at the Starwood Club would end up convincing two important Warner Bros Records execs to sign the band. Alex Van Halen starts, "It was 99 cent beer night and three people were in the audience and two of them were (WB President) Mo (Ostin) and (producer) Ted (Templeman)...Ted was at that time, I think, one of the most purest recording kinda guys. He wasn't interested in special effects, he wasn't interested in overdubbing... At the time, I would have liked to have the record to be more like a Zeppelin record that had layers of sound, but Ted wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted to record the purity of it."
Eddie Van Halen interjects, "That was my fault, because I had never been in a studio and I didn't know how. So we just played live. When you write songs and you just play them live, I've gotta solo. And I'd have had to write rhythm guitar parts underneath, and I wasn't prepared to do that. So blame me, it wasn't Ted's fault."
Van Halen's debut album was immediately embraced by rock radio and would go on to sell over 10 million copies in the U.S. alone. Stream the episode here.
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