Van Halen

Van Halen (Warner Bros.)

Just the idea of choosing my favorite album of all time starts my head swimming. There have been many love affairs with incredibly diverse records over this lifetime. From Joni Mitchell to Frank Zappa, AC/DC to Wu-Tang, how does one choose? Well, my first conscience awareness of any song, of any sound was that of the mighty Van Halen. I choose Van Halen.

The debut from this band set the bar for rock & roll so high that it is almost laughable. If any one has the desire to create music in the arena of rock this album is the blueprint for how to do it. It can also terrify you and send you straight to college. Van Halen is so good that it almost seems like a cliche answer. It’s the one record that I have continuously had a copy of on cassette, vinyl or CD. It still sounds fresh, it still sounds relevant and it’s absolutely part of my DNA. From the opening sirens of the record to the mad falsetto screams of “On Fire” at the close, Van Halen commands all of my attention every time its played. Van Halen is the top of my list.

Hippie Death Cult plays with Fallen Suns, Void Vator and Yeghikian at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 11 at the Viper Room.

(Warner Bros.)