'Jump' - Van Halen


Writers: Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and David Lee Roth

Producer: Ted Templeman

Recorded: Summer 1983 at 5150 in Hollywood, California

Released: December 31, 1983

Players: David Lee Roth—vocals
Edward Van Halen--guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Michael Anthony--bass, vocals
Alex Van Halen--drums
Album: 1984 (Warner Bros., 1983)

"Jump" was Van Halen's first (and only) Number One hit on the Billboard Hot 100, spending five weeks in the top spot in late February and March 1984.

With its prominent synthesizer hook, the song surprised many of Van Halen's faithful fans, who were accustomed to Edward Van Halen's powerful guitar showcases.

However, Van Halen had learned to play piano before he picked up guitar and had always maintained an interest in keyboards.

Of the keyboard part, Van Halen said, "I just knew what sound I wanted to noodle with; not necessarily for 'Jump,' but just to noodle with. Whenever I sit down, I know what kind of sound I'm looking for."

For the song, Van Halen also recorded a guitar solo, which he said wasn't originally planned. "The solo on 'Jump' was spontaneous; I don't know if it was a first take. I just figured I'd cut the solo out (in concert) because it's such a short little thing, or play it on keyboard, which I did."

Van Halen has acknowledged that the seeds for "Jump" were sown by a Casio synthesizer lick used on the song "Sunday Afternoon In The Park" from 1981's Fair Warning album.

The keyboard on "Jump" was an OBX-A, which the manufacturer discontinued shortly after the song was recorded.

Of synthesizers, Van Halen once told Guitar World magazine, "I don't know crap about 'em, really. I can play keyboards, and I twist the knobs until I get the sound that I like."

The video for "Jump" was a bare-bones affair featuring the group lip-syncing the song. It cost a paltry $6,000 and was recorded on home video equipment.

Nevertheless, the clip won the best stage performance award at the first MTV Video Music Awards on September 18, 1984.

The 1984 album peaked at Number Two on the Billboard 200 and at Number 15 in the U.K. It's sold more than 10 million copies.

1984 was the group's first album to be recorded at Edward Van Halen's 5150 home studio.

Some U.K. record sellers banned 1984 because of its cover, which depicted an infant smoking a cigarette.