|"Runnin' with the Devil"|
|Single by Van Halen|
|from the album Van Halen|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Length||3 min 34 sec|
|Van Halen singles chronology|
The track fades in with the sound of a car horn. In many ways, this track is the song that started it all, being the first song from the first album and that it sets the tone for the Van Halen attitude when David Lee Roth was the singer in the band. The song has the interesting distinction of being one of the few songs from Van Halen's early days where Eddie Van Halen used a guitar overdub. The car horns at the beginning were taken from the band's cars and linked together with a battery. Just before the main riff begins, the high pitched sound of the guitar being strummed behind the nut can be heard. "Runnin' with the Devil" is a song frequently played at games of the New Jersey Devils and Arizona State Sun Devils. This song was used as professional wrestler Davey Richards' theme music. The song lyrics were inspired by the Ohio Players song "Runnin' from the Devil".
This song is featured in the movie Ready to Rumble as sung by a bus full of nuns and followed by the actual version by Van Halen. This song is also featured in the movies Little Nicky and Detroit Rock City.
It was performed on nearly every tour after its recording while with Roth, including the current reunion tour. It was performed only a handful of times when Sammy Hagar was lead singer.
Musicologist Robert Walser argues that the song contrasts power and control, writing that, "the feeling of freedom created by the freedom of motion of the guitar solos and fills can be at various times supported, defended, or threatened by the physical power of the bass and the violence of the drums. The latter rigidly organize and control time; the guitar escapes with flashy runs".
According to the Megadeth episode of VH1's Behind the Music, lead singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine discovered original bass player David Ellefson when he played the bass line to "Runnin' with the Devil" early in the morning in the apartment under Mustaine's. "There was some guy living underneath me and he was playing bass first thing in the morning full blast and I have nothing against Van Halen, but that is the most horrible bass line to listen to if you're hung over."
The song briefly appears in the movie Ready to Rumble.
Smash Mouth played "Runnin' with the Devil" as well as "You Really Got Me" during Ephrata, WA's Basin Summer Sounds music festival.
- ↑ "Van Halen I." classicvanhalen.com.
- ↑ Walser, Robert (1993). Runnin' with the Devil, p.54. Quoted by James M. Manheim (1995), p.232. Untitled review, American Music, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer, 1995), pp. 231-234. Published by: University of Illinois Press.
- ↑ "spreadit.org music". Archived from the original. Error: You must specify the date the archive was made using the
|archivedate=parameter. http://music.spreadit.org/vh1-top-100-hard-rock-songs/. Retrieved on February 7, 2009.