I decided to go with "Jump" from Van Halen. That song was real big when I was a senior in high school and my memories are associated with that memory. And it does sound good on a good set of speakers.
"Jump" is a song by the American rock group Van Halen. It was released in 1984 as the lead single from their album1984. It is the only single the group released in their career to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song breaks the mold of earlier Van Halen songs, mainly in its rolling synth line (played on an Oberheim OB-Xa), although the song contains a typical Eddie Van Halen guitar solo, which Eddie claims as his favorite solo he never wrote. This refers to the fact that the producer spliced parts of two different takes to create the one heard in the song.
"Jump" may be Van Halen's most popular and instantly recognizable composition, perhaps because its sound embodies the key aspects of both of the two genres of popular music most associated with the 1980s in America: synth-driven pop and "arena"-style metal. It was inspired by famed martial artist Benny Urquidez, of whom David Lee Roth was a student. The song changed the future and style of Van Halen from being a predominantly hard rock band to one of more radio-oriented popular music.
This stylistic change was further cemented when it seemed to create severe tensions between Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth. It has been claimed Roth wanted the band to avoid using synthesizers and focus more on traditional hard rock. This conflict eventually ended in Roth's departure from the band. In the 1995 Rolling Stone cover story on/interview with Eddie Van Halen (RS #705, dated April 6) the circumstances surrounding Roth's leaving are discussed. In this interview Eddie claims that the main reason for the split was that Roth and [long-time Van Halen producer] Ted Templeman both disliked the fact that he had built his own studio and was able to work on music away from their influence. He said that "the first thing I did up here was 'Jump' and they [Roth and Templeman] didn't like it. I said 'take it or leave it', I was getting sick of their ideas of what was commercial ... At first [Roth's solo EP] Crazy from the Heat was great because Roth laid off me a bit. Little did I know he was testing the waters. Then he called me up and asked me to go to his house and said he was going to make a Crazy from the Heat movie. He had some deal that fell through. But at the time I was depressed. I cried, then I called my brother and told him the guy quit."
Nevertheless, Roth and Templeman did work on "Jump" at Eddie's disputed new studio, with Roth providing the lyrics and the vocal melody.
Ted Templeman recalls that "'Jump' was recorded at Ed's studio. [Engineer] Donn [Landee] and Ed put the track down alone in the middle of the night. We recut it once in one take for sonic reasons. Dave wrote the lyrics that afternoon in the backseat of his Mercury convertible. We finished all vocals that afternoon and mixed it that evening".
The song thereafter secured its place among rock music's most popular songs, and is now considered by some to be one of the most influential rock songs of all time.
Live performances of "Jump" are preceded by Eddie's synthesizer solo "1984". During the reunion tour with Roth, the two songs were used for the band's encore. Roth often waved a large red flag during the synth section while the stage was still coated in dark cover lights.
According to Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, "[Eddie] Van Halen told me that he copied the synth part from 'Kiss on My List' and used it in ‘Jump.’ I don't have a problem with that at all."
The music video for "Jump" was directed by David Lee Roth. It is a straightforward concept, much like many of the hard rock videos of the time. It shows the band performing the song at a mock concert. It was nominated for three MTV Video Music Awards, and won "best stage performance" for the video.
The version of the song used for the video differs slightly from the album version. During the keyboard solo prior to the final refrain, David Lee Roth is heard (and seen) yelling out. He did this during the band's mock performance for the video's filming, and it is believed that afterwards he overdubbed this yell especially for the video version since it is not present in the song to begin with.