Saturday, July 15, 2017

"Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen

Song#:  2101
Date:  10/27/1984
Debut:  83
Peak:  56
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  Van Halen's album 1984 already featured a #1 hit ("Jump") plus two other #13 entries. To keep things going, this fourth single was issued. The song had a bit of a harder rock edge than the others, which didn't play quite as well on Pop radio and it ended up getting shut out of the top half of the chart. Rock radio didn't spin the track as much either and it peaked at #24 on that chart. Regardless of the results, the album was well on its way to becoming the band's best seller. By 1999, the LP would be certified diamond for sales of over 10 million. On the downside, this would be the last single released by the original lineup of the band. Soon, David Lee Roth would be gone and a new era for the band would begin.

ReduxReview:  While this is a solid song for the band, it was really the video (see below) that sold it and made the song more popular than it would have been on its own. What's awesome though is Alex Van Halen's double bass drum work throughout and the opening drum sound where he apparently strung together four bass drums. That agitated sound really gets your attention and he drives this song like a madman. And Roth saying "I don't feel tardy" was pretty classic. However, the tune itself is not all that impressive and it certainly didn't make for a good single. Luckily, the video kept the album selling for the band.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although this song was not a big hit on the charts, the video ended up being extremely popular on MTV. Co-directed by Van Halen's lead singer David Lee Roth, the video focused on kids in a school room, in particular the nervous nerd character Waldo. When the teacher arrives, the room nearly turns into a strip club with desks pushed together for a runway and the teacher stripping down to a bikini and wearing a "Miss Phys Ed" sash. The end of the video shows how the kids turned out in life with the members of Van Halen portraying them. Waldo, played by Roth, ended up a game show host while Eddie Van Halen's character ended up in an asylum. Although the song did not make the PMRC's "Filthy Fifteen" list, it was blasted by the parents org along with the video (which of course made it all the more popular).


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