"Eruption" is an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo that leads into "You Really Got Me," Van Halen's first single. It started as a warm-up exercise Eddie used. The band's producer, Ted Templeman, thought it would make a great addition to the album, so they included it.
Eddie Van Halen's work on this song marked a giant leap forward in the progression of rock guitar. "His playing, especially on the instrumental, 'Eruption,' upped the game for everyone," longtime Guitar Player editor Jas Obrecht explained in the book Shredders! "The technique of tapping the fingerboard had been around for decades, but it was sparsely practiced, and almost always as a novelty. Eddie brought finger tapping into mainstream rock'n'roll."
"His impact was enormous. Within six months of the release of the first Van Halen album, young guitarists all across the country and in Europe - and especially Japan - were sporting copycat guitars and playing pale versions of 'Eruption.' But no one surpassed the original, because the real genius of Eddie Van Halen has always been in his hands and his imagination. I saw this myself one day in 1980, when Eddie showed me how he plays 'Eruption.' He did this with an unplugged Strat, and you know what? The whole song was there."
Eddie Van Halen explained:
"We recorded our first record on Sunset Sound in Hollywood, and we were warming up for a weekend gig at the Whisky. And I was just rehearsing, and [engineer] Donn Landee happened to record it. It was never planned to be on the record. So the take on the record was a total freak thing. It was just an accident. He happened to be rolling tape."
Eddie insisted there is a mistake in this song near the beginning."Whenever I hear it, I always think, Man, I could've played it better," he said, making a great argument against perfectionism.