Despite it being Van Halen’s only song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart, “Jump” tends to still divide fans to this day, even Ted Templeman who produced the band’s first six studio albums.
Templeman spoke at length to Rolling Stone about his working and personal relationship with Eddie Van Halen. (It’s an outstanding interview, and you should set aside time to read the whole thing.) When asked if he and the guitarist had any disagreements over the years, he said, “The only falling out we ever had was over ‘Jump,’ because I didn’t – I don’t like it.”
When asked if he still doesn’t like the super-popular and successful tune, Templeman added, “It’s not one of my favorite things. It’s stupid because I produced it, but the keyboards just hit me as wrong.”
He continued, “[Eddie] would call me up in the middle of the night and say, ‘Ted, you’ve got to hear this. I’m gonna come and get you.’ And he drove down in his Porsche to Century City and picked me up at three in the morning and drove me up there: ‘Listen to this.’ And they had ‘Jump’ down. [Recording engineer] Donn [Landee] had worked on it. And it did work; it sounded great. And I said, ‘Yeah, OK.'”
Templeman admitted, “But I wasn’t wild about the keyboard trend. I was wrong because it was Number One, but I don’t even listen to it. To me, they were a heavy-metal f—ing band that could do pop tunes; that’s what I liked about ’em. But that took it into another arena. It reminded me of those bands that play in arenas, and then the f—ing thing ended up getting played at every arena before a game. But look, I was wrong.”
So, if he still hates “Jump,” which Van Halen songs are Templeman’s favorite? He has two: “Panama” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” As far as picks go, those are pretty great.