Heavy Metal in the 1980's

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Heavy metal in the 1980's is hard to describe. Its static style did not change much from the 1970's, but the lyrics, image, and theatrics took a step forward. Heavy metal had a huge impact in the 1980's and there were many successful bands. Van Halen took heavy metal to new heights. After more than two decades of playing sold-out concert halls, selling millions of albums and enduring various lineup changes and solo projects, Van Halen is recognized as one of the most resilient and successful rock bands to emerge from the 1970s and continue into the 1980's. Eddie and Alex Van Halen were raised in Pasadena, the children of Dutch immigrants who immigrated to California in 1967. The Van Halen brothers grew up taking classical piano lessons. Eddie played guitar and Alex played the drums as teenagers. In 1974, they hooked up with David Lee Roth (vocals) and Michael Anthony (bass), while gigging around town in their band Mammoth. Within a few years, they had become one of the most popular bands on the Los Angeles scene. Fans packed L.A.'s smoky rock clubs to check out Eddie's unconventional guitar riffs and Roth's over-the-top showmanship. In 1976, Gene Simmons noticed the group at a local club and gave them a recording session, and soon after Van Halen was signed to Waner Bros. Their debut album, Van Halen, was released in 1978 and included the hit singles "Runnin' With the Devil" and a cover of the Kinks' "You Really Got Me." Eddie Van Halen took electric guitar technique to new heights with his patented two-handed tapping and pull-off effects, while Roth's tongue-in-cheek histrionics proved to be a refreshing alternative in an industry chock full of self-important rock stars. Within six months of its release, Van Halen was certified platinum. The album not only launched Van Halen's career, but it came to influence countless American rock bands during the next decade. During the next few years, Van Halen became one of the hardest working and most profitable...
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