Song of the Day #4,947: ‘I’ll Wait’ – Van Halen

Here’s an album that would have been a better fit last week, in that I’m very familiar with the hit singles but less so with the rest of the album. I couldn’t find room for it there, but I certainly wasn’t going to exclude an album that is named after the year I’m covering.

Van Halen’s 1984 was the hard rockers’ sixth album, and remains tied with their self-titled debut as their top seller. Powered by hit singles ‘Jump,’ ‘Panama,’ and ‘Hot For Teacher,’ the record sold more than 10 million copies in the U.S. and spent five weeks at #2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, kept from the top spot by Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

That was a good time to be Eddie Van Halen, who played a prominent role on Jackson’s ‘Beat It.’

Eddie was also the primary architect of 1984‘s sound, introducing synths against lead singer David Lee Roth’s wishes. The resulting album is a mix of the guitar-heavy hard rock for which the band was known and the glossier sound most evident on lead single ‘Jump.’

I know the three hits quite well, but I wasn’t familiar with the album’s fourth single (actually, the second one released), ‘I’ll Wait.’ The song was co-written by Michael McDonald, who was recruited by the album’s producer, Ted Templeman, a longtime collaborator of The Doobie Brothers.

1984 runs for just nine songs and a little more than 30 minutes. It’s tight and raucous, with songs about little more than the adolescent sex drive. In other words, a true work of art.

[Verse 1]
You’ve got me captured, I’m under your spell
I guess I’ll never learn
I have your picture, yes, I know it well
Another page is turned

Are you for real? It’s so hard to tell
From just a magazine
Yeah, you just smile and the picture sells
Look what that does to me

[Chorus]
I’ll wait till your love comes down
I’m coming straight for your heart
No way you can stop me now
As fine as you are

[Verse 2]
I wrote a letter and told her these words
That meant a lot to me
I never sent it, she wouldn’t have heard
Her eyes don’t follow me
And while she watches, I can never be free
Such good photography

[Chorus]
I’ll wait till your love comes down
I’m coming straight for your heart
No way you can stop me now
As fine as you are
[Guitar Solo]

[Verse 3]
You can’t imagine what your image means
The pages come alive
Your magic greets everyone who reads
Heartbreak in motor drive

Are you for real? It’s so hard to tell
From just a magazine
Yeah, you just smile and the picture sells
Look what that does to me

[Chorus]
I’ll wait till your love comes down
I’m coming straight for your heart
No way you can stop me now
As fine as you are

I’ll wait till your love comes down
I’m coming straight for your heart
No way you can stop me now
As fine as you are

I’ll wait

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,947: ‘I’ll Wait’ – Van Halen

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Some of my group of friends in junior high were passionate Van Halen fans, so I was exposed to Van Halen I and 2, as well as Diver Down, through them as well as the singles being played on rock stations.

    When 1984 came out, these friends and many loyal fans viewed the more commercial sound as the band selling out, though there was certainly enough of the older VH sound to like.

    I personally really liked the album and I’m fairly sure those friends came around.

  2. Peg says:

    “A true work of art” LOL

  3. Amy says:

    There’s nothing not to like here. It’s such fun music. Hot for Teacher? I mean, come on! 🙂

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