A one-hour Japanese TV special on VAN HALEN, which was broadcast on Tuesday (August 7), can now be seen in four parts below.
BS-TBS‘s “Song To Soul” is a series of unique music documentary programs dedicated to songs and the artists who perform them. In each episode, the producers look at an iconic track from the past through the retrospective view of the composers, artists and performers.
The VAN HALEN “Song To Soul” special, focusing entirely on the single “Jump” from the band’s smash hit album “1984”, features brand-new interviews with David Lee Roth and Eddie and Alex Van Halen, filmed just two weeks ago at Dave‘s house. Also interviewed for the program were VAN HALEN producer Ted Templeman, Guitar World editor-in-chief Brad Tolinski and Margo Nahas, the creator of the “1984” album cover.
“Jump” introduced VAN HALEN to the 1980s pop audience and its success helped the band cross over from hard-rock icons to pop-rock superstars.
“I actually wrote it on a Prophet 10 and everytime I got the sound I wanted, the thing would start smoking,” explained Eddie. “So I got rid of that one, bought an Oberheim OB-Xa. That sound actually did not exist. We made that sound popular. All synthesizers after ‘Jump’ came out, came with that sound in it.”
“‘Jump’ was actually recorded on the first or second take, was the record version,” said Alex. “And then you spend another hundred takes to justify why it was so easy to record in one time. And that goes to demonstrate how people really get in the way of the creative process; your own ego wants to be in there and justify why it’s so good.”
Although Templeman initially thought that Roth‘s lyrics for “Jump” were written about someone who’s “going to commit suicide,” the producer began to understand the song’s true meaning after an explanation by the singer.
“It’s a commitment to a forward space,” said Roth. “There’s no wasted days. There’s no timing moves, like in chess. You’re always moving ahead, and maybe the only rationale that you can use is, Hey, might as well..’ That may be all you need to compel you into the next big move in your life, or your next big mistake. Either way, at least you have a life worth living, a live well-lived in.”
“Jump” is the only VAN HALEN single to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.