"Jump" is a song by the American rock group Van Halen. It was released in December 1983 as the lead single from their album 1984. It is the only single the group released in their career to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.[1] 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 the standard 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.


 [hide*1 "Jump" and the breakup of the original Van Halen

"Jump" and the breakup of the original Van Halen[edit]Edit

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 Heatmovie. 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."

[1][2]Van Halen performs "Jump", November 10, 2007

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".[2]

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.[3]

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."[4]

Music video[edit]Edit

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.[5] 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.[citation needed]



Chart (1984) Peak


Australia (Kent Music Report)[6] 2
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[8] 28
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1
France (SNEP)[9] 7
Germany (Media Control AG)[10] 4
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 2
Italy (FIMI)[12] 1
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 29
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 12
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 11
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 4
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[17] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 1
US Billboard Mainstream Rock[18] 1

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1984) Peak


Australian Kent Music Report 28
Canadian RPM Top Singles[19] 14
German Media Control Charts 44
Italian Singles Chart[20] 36
South African Singles Chart[21] 13
UK Singles Charts 86
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Cashbox Top 100[22] 5


"Jump" was ranked #15 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s. It has also become somewhat of a sports anthem, an example of this being that it is the song that is played on the PA system every time A.C. Milan score a goal at their home ground, San Siro, or the song played before the start of each home game of Olympique de Marseille.

Following the terrorist attacks on September 11 attacks, the song was placed on the list of post-9/11 inappropriate titles distributed by Clear Channel.

Cover versions and culture impact[edit]Edit

  • In 1984: Kids Incorporated performed a cover of the song as the first stage performance of the show's first season. It was also released on the album Kids Incorporated from 1984.
  • Aztec Camera did a downtempo acoustic version of "Jump" on the B-side of their single "All I Need Is Everything"; this cover gained popularity and was eventually added to later releases of their album Knife. Played in this manner, the song's lyric contemplation of suicide becomes far more obvious.
  • In 1999: An uptempo dance remix was made by Bus Stop for the Dancemania compilation Speed 2.[23] This was later included on the 2000 greatest hits compilation Dancemania Speed Best 2001 Hyper Nonstop Megamix.[24]
  • In 2005: Paul Anka included a swing jazz cover of "Jump" in his album Rock Swings.
  • Canadian pro wrestler Chris Benoit used a remix of "Jump" as his theme music in New Japan Pro Wrestling, where he wrestled under the names Pegasus Kid and Wild Pegasus.
  • DJ Felli Fel used the sample of the song in his single "I Wanna Get Drunk" featuring Three 6 MafiaLil Jon and Fatman Scoop.
  • The song was used as the theme for the 2009 Japanese television drama, Mr. Brain, starring Takuya Kimura.
  • This song is also sung by The Wolfman in the Beetlejuice Rock N'Roll Graveyard Review at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
  • The song was covered in Glee in the episode 12 of season 1 as part of a TV mattress commercial.
  • This song is often played after a try is scored by the Melbourne Storm in their NRL games.
  • "Jump" is used as the entrance anthem for the home games of the French football team Olympique de Marseille.
  • The song was featured in an episode of An Idiot Abroad, much to the dismay of the band, which led to the band banning the broadcast of the song in the US and its presence on the DVD.[25]
  • The song was briefly used on the answering machine in Adam Sandler's film, "Big Daddy", where 'Jump' was replaced with 'Leave a message'.
  • The song is covered by The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps.
  • The song was used by the Winnipeg Jets hockey club of the National Hockey League from 1984-1996 as the music that was played when the players entered the playing surface at the beginning of home games.
  • The song was used by the opening Jump ball basketball game in the Philippine Basketball Association from 1995-1998 as the music that was played when the players started jumping the center court at the beginning of the game.
  • The song was used in the 2005 film Herbie: fully loaded in the demolition scene.
  • The song is used by the Danish soccer team Brøndby IF, as the music that is played when the players are entering the field at the beginning of home games.
  • American pro wrestlers Eddie Guerrero and Art BarrLos Gringos Locos, used the song as their entrance music, while wrestling for the Mexican wrestling promotion, Asistencia Asesoría y Administración.
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