Song: “Jump” by Van Halen
Reached #1: February 25, 1984 (their first, 5 weeks)
If you want to rile up a roomful of Van Halen fans, just ask them one question…
Sammy or Dave?
Then run like you just lit a short fuse on a keg of dynamite. Even after all these years, you can get a pretty good battle going between David Lee Roth fans and Sammy Hagar fans over which version of Van Halen was “better”.
On the Billboard charts, DLR wins 1-0… at least, as it comes to #1 singles. “Jump” was the only Van Halen single to top the charts. It was also the song that, reportedly, was the beginning of the end of Roth’s run with Van Halen – he felt the group was going too much in a pop direction and he wanted to stick with harder rock. The irony of that stance when you remember one of DLR’s biggest singles was a remake of a couple of ‘20s standards… well… Roth has always been a walking contradiction.
Just two weeks ago, Van Halen completed the circle – they’ve released a new album (A Different Kind Of Truth) with DLR as the lead singer (and Eddie Van Halen’s son with Valerie Bertinelli, Wolfgang, on bass). This is part of Roth’s second run with Van Halen – Hagar also had two runs with the band, and they used another lead singer (Gary Cherone) briefly between Hagar I and Hagar II.
Other than the music, Van Halen’s legacy is – of course – the contract rider. Their infamous “no brown M&Ms” rider set the standard for what became one of the most popular sections of the Smoking Gun website… but they did it for all the right reasons. They put an obviously verifiable (and clearly ludicrous) item in the rider to ensure that venues actually read the rider – their theory was if there were no M&Ms (or a bowl without the brown M&Ms fished out), the venue probably ignored the important parts of the rider, too.
Tomorrow… well, let’s just say I won’t be decorating the blog in a meat dress for tomorrow’s entry… see you then.
Other songs that reached #1 on February 25:
1956 – “Lisbon Antigua” by Nelson Riddle & his Orchestra (their first, 5 weeks, Best Sellers chart)
1995 – “Take A Bow” by Madonna (her eleventh, 7 weeks)