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Van Halen – 1984 (1984)

October 3, 2014

In lieu of a typed review, I wrote this at a surprise babysitting gig last night.Van_Halen_-_1984

The pencil felt like the appropriate writing utensil for this record.


P1090556 P1090557 P1090558 P1090559

From → 1980s

  1. Q: was this more or less work than typing?

    I love this Geoff. Hell I don’t even have any comments about the album, I’ve said it all, already. But I looooove this written review. Genius tie in to Hot For Teacher!

    • Excellent question – it’s been a while since I wrote anything that long by hand, so perhaps it took longer but there’s something rewarding about going old school with pencil & paper!
      And my thanks, I appreciate when longtime fans of a band approve of my less-than-typical take on things!

  2. Forwarded to Craig Fee.

  3. jprobichaud permalink

    This post wins the prize for the most post-modern blog post that I’ve ever read. Kudos!

    • haha, my thanks – if I ever do a ‘testimonials’ page I’d like to borrow that quote!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Oh, I’d have to come up with a better buzz phrase than that. How about ‘Stephen is the master of the meta-blog’.

      • Now even if it’s not true, I like it!
        Are you a fan of Community? They’ve referenced the idea of ‘meta’ on a few occasions, I quite enjoy

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I don’t watch a lot of TV (who has time with all this music?) but have seen snippets of a few episodes, it looks funny. ‘Meta’ was one of my favourite lit terms from my uni days, right up there with ‘pomo’ and ‘Bildungsroman’.

      • Bildungsroman is new to me, feels like something Jian Ghomeshi might say – that or zeitgeist!

  4. Best Van Halen review ever! What a great way to do a post. Lots of spot-on observations here too.

    • My thanks HMO – glad to find such a nice comment misplaced in my spam folder!

      • You’re welcome. Well-deserved! Thanks for fishing me out of your spam dungeon too, it’s rubbish not being able to comment on everyone’s posts.

  5. I’m still learning my way around Van Halen (still learning being looking around trying to work out where to start / finish). I’ve read a few reviews of this one and think it’s now time …

    • The self-titled debut & this one are the two I’m most familiar with – might be interesting listening to them back to back (combined they’re maybe an hour of running time!)
      The first one has great energy and by this one (I think it’s album #6), they knew they were big stars so it was a bigger sound but no less enjoyable

      • Thanks for the pointers! I’ll get these checked …

  6. Wondrous review.

    • My thanks 1537, the footnotes were inspired by the way you add them into your posts. Especially with pencil & paper, if I decided I wanted to say more later, the footnotes just make it easy without having to erase or interrupt the quote unquote flow. So with your permission, I may continue to borrow the idea!

  7. Again, I’m late to the party…
    This was fantastic – written note review! I find it interesting to see others’ handwriting, especially when everyone’s “handwriting on a keyboard” is the same font. The way you write your n’s, w’s and d’s is quite distinct. And a big aw! to the shout-out. 🙂
    BTW, I recently watched that classical music / James Brown epi.

    • I was pleased to be able to link it back to your Uncle Phil post, somehow overcoming the usual tech limitations of pencil & paper!

      What a great episode when Jazz starts scratching the record – that might have been the first time he got thrown out of the house? Could always tell it was going to happen when he wore that one shirt!

      Never too late to the Van Halen party, I definitely have plenty of gaps in their catalogue as well. As long as you aren’t easily offended by synthesizers, this one’s a lot of fun!

      • Haha, YES! Jazz wore that same shirt! I even got a screencapture of it for my review, but I couldn’t seem to get that incorporated into the review. Ah well. That scene is the second episode, I think. The one when Ashley switches out her violin for a drumkit.

        K has a ton of VH in his collection, and we listen, but I’ve never owned anything of theirs.

      • Ahh yes – I can picture Will doing some running-man-esque dance moves (fully dressed in neon of course),to the drumkit, very of its time!

  8. Where did you find that superbly rustic hand-writing type-face? Everyone here at Writers Imperious (just add italics there, won’t you luv?) is demanding an instant download.
    And that background texture is soo earthy and weeds-thru-the-concrete urban simultaneously. It almost looks like real paper. Just entirely retro-ahead.

    • laughed out loud as they say – what’s the old saying, a font magician never reveals his/her secrets?
      Retro-ahead, what a terrific term: if I ever get to making a blogging philosophy post, that will probably make an appearance!

  9. Hey there! We’ve nominated you for a One Lovely Blog Award because your blog is awesome!

    As stated in the post, you can participate or not, it’s entirely up to you. It’s just a pleasure for us to give a nod to all the awesome blogs we read!

    Cheers, Aaron and James of the KMA

  10. I like the hand-written concept. Good on you that it’s legible… if it were mine, no one would be able to decipher a word.

  11. This might be my favorite VH album. Can’t make up my mind. It is certainly the one I am most personally connected to. Along the lines of your review, #9, most also fitting for Fair Warning, or at least the closest. Was good to have some of that mixed into what was the most pop record with DLR, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. Great review!

    • It’s my favourite too. I go back and forth with Fair Warning but I have stronger memories of 1984.

  12. My thanks genxatmidlife – I flip between this and the self-titled, but I don’t think there’s a wrong answer from the first set of DLR years!

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