Van Halen’s 1978 Debut Album Turned Rock Music Around and Made It Entertaining Again

“We came here to entertain you!” So begins “I’m the One,” from Van Halen‘s bulletproof 1978 self-titled debut.

One of the most groundbreaking rock albums of its time, Van Halen was reissued a few weeks ago, along with 1984. Today (July 10) the rest of Van Halen’s classic David Lee Roth-era albums are being reissued as well: 1979’s II, 1980’s Women and Children First, 1981’s Fair Warning and 1982’s Diver Down.

Also this week, 75% of the lineup that recorded those albums—Roth, guitarist Ed Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen (with Ed’s son Wolfgang replacing the exiled Michael Anthony on bass)—hits the road for another tour. In other words, it’s a great week to be a Van Halen fan.

Related: Van Halen Announces a Massive 2015 Summer Tour

But let’s get back to that 1978 debut album, because its impact was significant.

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