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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 8 April 2015
This is a review for the 2015 remaster CD.

First of all, the music itself gets a minimum 5 stars...a remarkable debut album that (to me at least) still sounds fresh and bright an incredible 37 years after it came out. I'm sure lots of other reviews talk about the music and you'll know what to expect.

The remastered sound: Not a noticeable difference from the older digitally remastered CDs that came out in 2001 (I think). It sounded superb when I first played it and I was really happy, but then I played my older version and that sounded superb too! Some will no doubt say I've got cloth ears, but both versions sound great to me...if I'd heard this before buying, I would just stick to my older remasters. This goes for 1984 which has also just been reissued. I won't be buying the newer versions of the remaining 4 Dave era albums when they get round to them later this spring.

So why only 4 stars if the music is so good? Well, the CD is in a luxury case...oh no, sorry...a regular plastic case... with an extensive booklet packed full of...oh no, sorry...a two-page booklet with exactly the same pics from the previous remaster...and lots of bonus tracks... oh no sorry...no extra content at all. Now, I'm not a massive fan of bonus tracks that come with many albums...you often listen to them once and then never play them again, but if there were any included, it would have at least been an incentive to buy. Or even an expanded booklet to sucker me in. So only 4 stars for the seemingly pointless reissue, just to bolster (or piggyback on) sales for the new Tokyo Dome live album (which I definitely recommend).

Maybe some of the other albums will benefit from the remaster, but if you have the older one (mine is 9362-47737-2), I wouldn't bother with this one.
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on 30 October 2016
Great album. Super quick delivery.
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on 17 August 2017
Bought as gift for husband.
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on 31 October 2016
I'm not going to review this album track by track. Suffice to say anybody likely to buy it will be familiar with the blistering high energy debut of one of the greatest heavy rock acts of all time.

This is an album I've purchased twice already. Once back in 1979 on Vinyl at the pricely sum of £3.99 from a long gone Sundown Records in Wolverhampton the other from another long gone MVC as a HDCD for about a tenner .The Vinyl was of course long gone and the other CD was damaged. So I saw this '2015 Remaster' and went for it.

The sound quality was of couse excellent but I couldn't detect much, if any difference between it and my much earlier Remastered edition.

So the sound quality was (still) excellent and the music was still AWESOME even after almost 40 years. So why only Three stars?

The packaging and the inner sleeve is UTTERLY BLOODY AWFUL!

No lyrics, the most basic of information poorly printed on a piece of paper tissue thin and fragile .NO mention at all of '2015 Remaster'. How the hell do I know I've actually got the 2015 remaster or not? Well I wouldn't know by looking at the info thats for sure...

If you are new to Van Halen and this stunning album and don't own the HDCD copy already then buy it.

If you already own a playable earlier remastered copy then don't waste your money.

Five stars for the music and sound quality

One star for the packaging and information provided.

Three stars it is...
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I was working with a band in Dublin in 1978. We were young, open-minded and little dreamers like everyone else. Even now (nearly 40 years after the event) I can vividly remember the visceral sense of excitement we felt when we first laid our expanding ears on the sonic assault that is "Van Halen" - a zippy-lick guitar-brother from yet another clearly deranged mother.

Although of course we didn't realise it at the time - their self-titled February 1978 debut album was a game changer - least not of all this came-out-of-nowhere plank-spanker called Eddie Van Halen. As his wild fret-work and harmonics came screaming out of the instrumental "Eruption" in yet another genius Ted Templeman production (the man who'd brought the world the beast that was "Montrose" back in 1973 and The Doobie Brothers "The Captain And Me" in the same year) - I can remember all of us looking at each other. We were utterly gobsmacked. Like Hendrix and Rory Gallagher before them and later Stevie Ray Vaughan (on another format) - we stood there gawking at the vinyl LP turning around and around on Jimmy Meade's turntable in his shed-come-rehearsal-studio and wondered - how in Godzilla's name is this American cheeky chappy getting 'that sound' out of a Cellotaped guitar? We didn’t know – nor did we know our hammer-ons from our hammer-and-nails. But we knew it was exciting and different and we knew we wanted more of it...

I wish I could express the same kind of knee-knobbling excitement about this bog-standard 'Warner Remasters' CD of 2000 or its farcical reissue masquerading as a '2015 Remaster' - when its bleeding obvious it's the same version done back in 2000. Here are the devilish details and comparisons...

UK released July 2000 - "Van Halen" by VAN HALEN on Warner Brothers 9362-47737-2 (Barcode 093624773726) in the 'Warner Remasters' Series is a straightforward CD transfer of the 1978 11-track Debut LP and plays out as follows (35:31 minutes):

1. Runnin' With The Devil [Side 1]
2. Eruption
3. You Really Got Me
4. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
5. I'm The One
6. Jamie's Cryin' [Side 2]
7. Atomic Punk
8. Feel Your Love Tonight
9. Little Dreamer
10. Ice Cream Man
11. On Fire
Tracks 1 to 11 are their debut album "Van Halen" - released February 1978 in the USA on Warner Brothers BSK 3075 and April 1978 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 56470. Produced by TED TEMPLEMAN - it peaked at No. 19 in the USA and No. 34 in the UK.

The gatefold slip of paper that acts as an inlay - does the basic necessities and bugger-all else. And while the CHRIS BELLMAN Remaster done at Bernie Grundman Mastering is fantastic stuff - only amplifying that amazingly loose yet precise Ted Templeman production - the overall feel here is one of what WB 'could get away with' without being downright insulting.

So what you have here is an incendiary five-star debut album - a genuine Rock helter Skelter - given a five-star Remaster but housed in two-star packaging. Van Halen fans did get a bit excited in 2015 when the band's website announced '2015 Remasters' but that issue on Warner Brothers 081227955243 (Barcode same) has exactly the same crappy slip of paper and 'no reference' anywhere to a new 2015 copyright date or remaster - so it's just the same bloody thing costing fans more wasted readies. Some have said the sound is slightly better - but when I had my copy I couldn't honestly hear it. However - and I must emphasise this - the Chris Bellman transfer (which as I say I'm sure has been used on both issues) is rocking - an absolute belter. Let's get to the music...

I may risk suggestions of a frontal lobotomy from fans for this - but if I'm completely honest I've never really liked "Runnin' With The Devil" as a tune. Compared to genius like the simple Rock riffage of "Little Dreamer" or the astonishing speed opening of "I'm The One" and the band just ripping into that 'Van Halen' sound - I've always thought "Runnin'..." ever so slightly naff. No such problems with the volcanic spew of "Eruption" - an excuse for guitar pyrotechnics - an instrumental that always takes me back to that moment in 1978 when we first pulled the tarpaulin sheet off this Harley Davison of a band. Followed by a truly fantastic 'rawk' version of The Kinks classic "You Really Got Me" - Van Halen put their unique stamp on a song that many thought too familiar by far. Re-listening to it now is a blast - and are Clara and Dee Dee (name-checked in the thank you credits) the girls who moan towards the end?

Titanic riffage continues with their own "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" - a genuinely great example of Hard Rock and a slayer of a single (and don't you just love that melodic solo). An amazing Side 1 ends with an amazing piece of show-stopping Eddie Van Halen playing on "I'm The One" – wild guitar soloing as Lee Roth 'ha ha ha's' his vocal way through typically humble lyrics about how all the ladies would be frankly privileged to have a bit of Dave's generous microphone-stand in their lives. Other goodies on Side 2 include "Atomic Kitten" which Warner Brothers put on the B-side of "You Really Got Me" in February 1978 - the debut Van Halen 7" single in the UK (Warner Brothers K 17107) and USA (Warner Brothers 8515). And of course that lethal one-two sucker punch that is "Little Dreamer" and the old-timey Rock 'n' Roll of "Ice Cream Man" - actually one of my fave-raves on the album.

To sum up - if you're buying a Remaster I'd suggest plumbing for the 2000 issue which is available online for peanuts. Or if so inclined and you’re willing to discover just how good Van Halen were - go for the 2013 six-disc box set "Studio Albums 1978-1984". It gives you the 2000 Remasters in six singular card sleeves with the very best of the Dave Lee Roth period for a nadge below fifteen quid. Included are the underrated covers-album "Diver Down" from 1982 and the huge "1984" LP with "Jump" and "Panama" that sent them global and Dave flying into the air with his fragrant tassels dangling in the wind.

"Atomic Punk" and "On Fire" - song-titles that sum up "Van Halen" - this beast of a record that astonishingly will be 40 years young in February 2018. Thanks for the party boys...
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 February 2010
I read a brilliant line recently that said who would you want to represent Earth in a massive inter-galactic war? The answer was of course 1970s Van Halen with David Lee Roth! I`ve loved VH since I discovered them in the 80s as a twelve year old boy. If I was off to the proverbial desert island tomorrow and had to pick something by Van Halen...well, it would be between this and "Fair Warning". I suppose this might be the better choice for a life of isolation though - it is brilliant in all the right musical ways but will make you smile too (something "Fair Warning" is less likely to do due to it`s darker mood).

This album really does feel like it was made by a bunch of young guys who have too much energy and talent to be anything other than superstars. Because that`s what it is. The standard of musicianship and originality is so incredible, I just wish I had been buying records at two years of age, instead of wasting 1977-1987 without Van Halen in my life. This remastered version is definitely worth buying - it`s as it should be heard. The guitar-capability-shattering "Eruption" explodes from the speakers with the tone Eddie has spent his life chasing, "Ice Cream Man" seems funnier and Roth even more sleazy, "I`m The One" showcases each band member at their best and their harmonies in the middle are bookended by Roth brilliance and Eddie creating fretboard-singeing speed...I haven`t even mentioned "You Really Got Me" - which now sounds utterly wrong by The Kinks! - and "On Fire", "Little Dreamer" etc. This is solely because I`m trying to keep this review briefish, and once I start thinking about how much this album means to me still, and how different my life would be without having heard VH...I`ll never stop writing. They are still my favourite band, even though nothing new has been released in this millenium (ok, there were three songs on "Best Of Both Worlds" which were frankly embarrassing, and had a real contractual obligation feel). Were they to never release anything new again, they have still given me thousands of hours of entertainment and have recorded my all-time favourite albums. If you`re reading this and haven`t heard it yet, then don`t panic - buy this to experience the full-on power of early Van Halen!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 January 2012
Arguably the greatest debut album ever...

Arguably the greatest Heavy Rock album ever...

Unquestionably MY favourite rock album of alltime..

From the moment those horns open the disc to the final strains of 'On Fire' you'll have a permanent smile,this is party music,not too be taken seriously,its to be enjoyed,Van Halen spells F-U-N.

This disc released in '78 set the template for latter day rock,it showed that heavy rock could exist in 2-3 minute sound bites,revel in 'Eruption'.. one of the finest recorded guitar solo's,the stunning power pop of 'Jamie's Cryin or 'Little Dreamer'.

Warm to the sound of a band at its peak,even though its their debut,thrill to the classic rock of 'Aint Talkin 'Bout Love','Atomic Punk' & 'Runnin With The Devil,smile at the audacity to cover the Kinks' 'You Really Got Me' and make it their own while laugh at the humour of 'Ice Cream Man'.

Having said all that it should not be overlooked ,the stunning musicianship found in the band , Eddie Van Halen, a master in his field,his brother Alex,solid and dependable on drums,Michael Anthony,the unsung hero of this band,superb bass player(listen to the bass on 'On Fire') and fantastic backing vocals/harmonies,with David Lee Roth's non vocals compulsive listening and what a front man.

I've listened to this album for 30 years plus,it never fails too cheer me up,the digital remaster has enhanced the sound,its perfect.

ps We should thank Gene Simmons for financing the demo.although i read many moons ago that D L Roth felt Simmons was auditioning the Van Halen brothers to replace Ace and Peter in Kiss,they did play on his demos for the Love Gun album,can you imagine what that band would have sounded like ha ha.
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on 10 January 2011
I've enjoyed Van Halen since seeing them as support to Black Sabbath at Southampton Gaumont many, many moons ago. I guess that reveals something about how long I've been enjoying Rock music generally. Based upon the longevity of my credentials I would say that this, their first ablum, r(R)emastered, and in digital CD format is every bit as good as ever it was. Kids learning guitar still try to get "Eruption" into their "widdling" list and with good reason - it's still a crowd pleaser. I could say something about each track but I would be wasting your listening time. If you are serious about your Rock, and especially if you like to have all the important music in your collection, I would say it deserves to be included as much for what has followed as a result of their early stuff as for what it is today - great listening.
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on 17 October 2001
Yes, Van Halen 1 is definitely an album that shows a band who are genuinely having a good time. There's also the small point that it is filled with brilliant songs. Eddie Van Halen's virtuoso guitar playing may seem rather strange to people who grew up after Nirvana killed proficiency in rock guitar, but I dare any sane and sensible person not to get addicted to the catchy riffs and wonderful tone of this guitar god. As for the lyrics, well, David Lee Roth does tend to repeat himself a lot in any given song, but there aren't many singers who could have sung "Aint talkin' 'bout love" like he did, and what he lacks in actual singing proficiency he makes up in attitude. As for the stand out songs, well, "Runnin' with the devil" and "Aint talkin' 'bout love" are superb, "Eruption" is breathtaking (for the uninitiated Eruption is Eddie Van Halen's groundbreaking guitar solo), "Atomic Punk" thunders along with true rock 'n roll attitude, and "Little Dreamer" is a pleasantly compelling song. This album is short, but that's a good thing, because you'll be needing heart surgery by the end of "Eruption", and that's only the second song. Also, it's short length prevents the inclusion of any boring filler tracks. Be warned, if depressed as hell nu-metal is your thing (don't worry, you'll grow out of it), then this album isn't for you. This is a band that is enjoying themselves (it was recorded in 1978), and it's one of the most important rock debuts ever.
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on 29 January 2010
Having bought this Album on "Plastic" in 1980 and then replaced in 2000 with CD version, I have to say that the remastered version takes me right back to my youth and rubbish attempts at copying EVH!

My 13 year old Godson has just "found" Van Halen and this is his favourite album. Considering it's 32 years old and that a 13 year old Boy classes it as his Fave, its a reflection of just how stunning this work is. In 1978 it was years ahead of its time, nothing else out there could touch it.

As many others have said, just buy it, you must have it and it's a bargain price. Listen to Ice Cream Man and tell me it didn't blow you away ! Same applies for Atomic Punk and I'm on fire....

If you buy it, remember to crank it up!
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