Friday, December 2, 2016

"I'll Wait" by Van Halen

Song#:  1868
Date:  04/14/1984
Debut:  44
Peak:  13
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  For a few songs on Van Halen's 1984 album, the synth took on a significant role. It paid off quite well when the the LP's first single, "Jump," became their biggest hit spending five weeks at #1. This next single expanded the role of the keyboard even further and it pretty much drove the song. While it went to #2 at Rock, the tune ended up stopping short of the Pop Top 10.

ReduxReview:  Although this song is not as brilliant or exciting as "Jump," it's still a great tune and once again I think the added keyboard worked. The band still retained their signature sound while adding in the synth element. The keyboard riff is excellent as is the chorus. Solos are typically a highlight of their songs, but the one included here was slightly lackluster for me and it drags the song down a bit, but they rally back to finish out the tune.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Up until the 1984 album, all of Van Halen's songs (with the exception of cover tunes) were listed as being written by the band. That was to continue for this album, but as this song was being developed, the band was having a difficult time with it - specifically with the lyrics. David Lee Roth typically handled a lot of the lyric writing for the band and for some reason it just wasn't clicking with this tune. Producer Ted Templeman thought a little outside inspiration might help and he called on another artist he had been working with for a while - The Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald. Templeman sent McDonald a tape of the music and McDonald began forming some ideas. He eventually met up with Roth and the pair hammered out the lyrics. It marked the first (and last) time that Van Halen had collaborated with a non band member for one of their songs.


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