Fair Warning is definitely my least favorite VH album of the DLR era. Very uneven and not really having anything remotely resembling a hit. There are some cool songs and innovative playing on the part of Eddie. But it's not enough to give it much more than the rating it gets.
Fave Songs: Dirty Movies, Mean Streets, So This Is Love and Unchained.
The last time I actually even heard them play anything off of Fair Warning on the radio here was late 80's. I just never really thought it was that big of a hit even though it's still played regularly during their live sets.
I don't get the negativity directed at Diver Down from friends over the years that I have had discussions about all things Van Halen. Yes, half the album consist of covers. Who the fuck cares? It's how you give old songs a new spin and make it your own. And boy, they make it their own. So much so that I actually find it very hard to even listen to the originals anymore because the VH-infused versions are permanently embedded into my psyche.
I played Diver Down probably just as much as I have 1984 with repeated listens over the years. I never get tired of it. It's a great party record IMO.
What's not to love about this one? From Where Have All The Good Times Gone to Oh, Pretty Woman to Little Guitars. Even the "sappy" songs Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) and Happy Trails just leaves a big grin on my face.
And let's not forget about Eddie. It has Cathedral, Little Guitars (Intro) and my personal favorite of the bunch, Intruder. As great as Eruption from Van Halen (Self Titled) is for obvious reasons, I personally have always liked Intruder more with its wall of squeals and noises, the kicker being his "Elephant" technique which consisted of a used beer can.
Fave Songs: Every last fucking one of them!!!!!!!
I won't be listening to any other Van Halen records for the rest of the night tonight as this one will get repeated spins till I fall asleep.
A lot has already been said about 1984 here in this thread and abroad. I do understand why some people choose VH1 over this one as the greatest of all time. And they are all valid points. As great as Van Halen's first album is, the songs are just better here with an overall cohesive feel from start to finish. And where VH1 does feel dated (well it was recorded in 1978) when playing it back, this one has aged like fine wine. Doesn't sound dated at all. If anything, it sounds like it was recorded last week.
I will admit that when I picked up 1984 when it was released, that I was very nervous about the direction the band had taken after listening to the title track and it's follow up Jump. But my fears were quickly allayed when Panama came blasting out of the speakers.
Top Jimmy. God I love this song. I think it's probably my favorite of the entire album. But it's really hard to just choose the best of the bunch when I consider the entire album to be one of the greatest of all time. It has been in my Top 3 since it's release.
No sooner do I say that Top Jimmy is my fave when Drop Dead Legs comes on. So, now I gotta change that to my fave. It's a great predicament to be in to constantly pick another song as the best. The rest of the album is just as kick ass with Hot For Teacher, I'll Wait, Girl Gone Bad and House Of Pain. As for I'll Wait, I can't get enough synth. What a great sing-along-song.
FYI...one of the greatest covers of all time, if not THE best of all time IMO. Wanna know what the sticker price says on my cover? $6.99 from Licorice Pizza. Brand new, the day it was released. Man, how times have changed.
Girl Gone Bad is my favorite right now.
Fave Songs: All of 'em!
Does anyone else remember Licorice Pizza? I miss that place. All the free licorice you could ask for.
For me, easily, the first VH. Every song is stellar and well coming out of the gate it was just exciting, perfect and a rocker. II is just about as strong.
I personally liked the change with 1984.
and while some of the other albums were not as strong, I find something on each one. I do like Diver Down for those odd little songs. It's great that even considered, let alone, record and add to the album those kind of tracks.
I'm just clearly disappointed the van halen bro's have issues with personnel. I know bands can be volatile, but I just think about what we may have missed.
It does eat at me at that we most likely missed out on some great music when DLR left. But then again, we would have never gotten some great music that came by way of Sammy Hagar. As for Eddie and Alex....I just don't know exactly what their deal is at times. They make some bonehead decisions that affect the band in such a negative way that it tarnishes their legacy in the eyes of fans. Being brothers plays a big part in their solidarity that Dave, Sammy and Michael Anthony will always be outsiders, regardless how "close and tight" they may be as a band.
I won't go into how they handled the situation with Michael. But it does leave a bad taste in my mouth.
Well lets face it Eruption gets a little tiresome after 50 million plays. Luckily some radio stations play Eruption just before You really got me, the pause between the 2 is perfect.
As much as I love the self title "Van Halen" I am unashamed to say Sammy is my favorite, by far. So with that F.U.C.K. is my favorite, I could listen to evey track over and over without getting sick of it. Everyone is on the top of there game on that album. Its also got great songs for the mass markets top 40 stations of the time and the kick ass songs like "Man on a mission" and the opening to "The dream is over" is just kick ass Eddie, Alex, and Mike.
If not the world wide favorite VH album it is by far the best Sammy era VH album, but definitely my favorite over all.
The changing of the guard. Exit Diamond Dave, enter Sammy Hagar. When I first heard about Roth leaving (or getting fired. To this day I still don't know what story to believe), I pretty much wrote Van Halen off as dead. Nothing against Sammy as I was a fan of his long before him joining VH. It wasn't a knock against him as a singer or guitar player. It was simply that he was stepping into some pretty huge shoes left vacant by Roth. That's a lot of pressure for anyone and my expectations for 5150 were set so low that I couldn't be disappointed with the final product.
A friend of mine who was a huge VH fan at the time kept telling me everyday not to bail on VH. His enthusiasm was infectious. He never wavered as we waited for the release day. Just before the album was set to drop, I had finally heard Why Can't This Be Love on the radio. I was like, "holy shit, that song fucking rocks!". It was so different from anything I had ever heard from Eddie and the gang. So, it gave me hope that ok they were not going to try to turn Sammy into Dave and replicate what they had done before.
Upon picking up 5150, I played it non stop. The entire album brings back a lot of fond memories of that summer. It's actually one of my favorite Van Hagar records because every song reminds me of specific things I did during that summer. The solo to Love Walks In is still a fave of mine. This is the first time I have listened to it top to bottom in years. It's still a great record, but a couple of songs I could do without now.
The guitar intro to 5150 was and still is some of the best rhythm playing of Eddie's career IMO.
Fave Songs: Good Enough, Why Can't This Be Love, Summer Nights, Love Walks In and 5150.
OU812 is an above average record due in large part to being extremely uneven with regard to pacing and song structure. What I had a problem with back when it was released as I do now is the track order. I'm so used to a certain formulaic order of songs. Usually for a band with the caliber of Van Halen and hard rock bands in general, you have 3-4 hard rocking songs to kick off an album and then bring it down with a ballad. But with this one, they open up with Mine All Mine and then immediately follow it with When It's Love. Whatever momentum has been built up from the previous song comes to a screeching halt. It's not that I don't like When It's Love. I actually like it a lot. I just think somebody fucked up when constructing the track list and it doesn't serve the album well at all IMO.
As for the rest of the album, there are more misses than hits on this one. I can listen to Feels So Good a couple of times before it starts to grate on me, only because it's too drenched in "pop" music. Where they failed on that song, they succeed with Finish What Ya Started. What a great finger-picking song. A Apolitical Blues is interesting, but so far removed from what you would expect from VH that it sounds out of place.
Fave Songs: Mine All Mine, Cabo Wabo, When It's Love, Finish What Ya Started, Black And Blue
FUCKUmaine! Hey, it's not what you think. Just pointing out that he digs For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and rightly so. This is the definitive Van Hagar album. He pretty much hit the nail on the head. Every song is about as close to perfect as you can get. I played this nonstop when it came out, but it has been awhile since I've played it. It's nice revisiting this one. So many great songs on here from Poundcake to Runaround to In N Out to Right Now. This is how you put a track list together. Compare this to that of OU812 and you will see what I mean.
Fave Songs: All of 'em.
The only problem with FUCK being as great as it is. It just makes it all the more glaring at how awful Balance is. I really don't wanna listen to that next. I listened to that one maybe 2-3 times when it came out, trying to like it and hating it more each time. Haven't bothered with that one since then. We shall see if time has made it better....or shittier.
FUCK Music Videos (Yes, I'm aware of what this title implies)
Poundcake is a horrible fucking song, but Runaround does kick major ass. Right Now I didn't dig at the time but it's grown on me now that I haven't been hearing it constantly.
Don't be so hard on Balance. Can't Stop Loving You is 20 times the song Poundcake ever will be. I would agree that FUCK overall is a stronger album, but Balance has its moments.
Well, this is the first time I have listened to Balance in 15 years. So I was hoping that time would give me a new perspective on it and not be as bad as I remembered it to be. The best song of the entire album is The Seventh Seal without question. Honestly I can do away with the first 2 of Eddie's instrumental songs on Balance. There is absolute nothing memorable about either one of them. Baluchitherium on the other hand is what I would expect to get from him if he ever released a full-on instrumental album ala Satch, Vai, etc... And that's a good thing. Not Enough. Ugh. I hated it then and I hate it now. It's just...saturated with so much sugar that I'm getting cavities just listening to it. Take Me Back (Deja Vu) is only slightly better.
Is Balance better than what I remember it to be? Yes. But it's still my least favorite of the Van Hagar era, putting OU812 ahead of it. Overall, Balance is well, unbalanced IMO.
Fave Songs: The Seventh Seal, Can't Stop Loving You, Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do) and Baluchitherium.
As far as Poundcake sucking I would love to know why you think that. Lyrically yeah its not brilliant but I'm not sure why anyone would look to Van Halen for spiritual fulfillment. Its the perfect lets kick this album off and its a great concert opener too.
I also have to defend Balance, well at least a few songs. The Seventh Seal is a great rocker. Mikes bass moving double timing in the intro and then moving into the grinding riff of the first and second verse is as good as it gets. The first 4 Seventh seal, can't stop loving you, don't tell me what love can do, and Amsterdam are Sammy and Eddie showcases and not really as big on the whole band like all the songs on FUCK. I do think there are songs on Balance and OU812 that are interchangeable. Both albums it seems the band was trying to do something different and missed the hardcore fans in a big way, well except for me. Its like what Def Leppard tried to do with Slang which I still really like. There are still some poppy tunes on Balace but over all Balance misses the mark like OU812.
Ah yes. The most controversial Greatest Hits package ever. Seriously, can you think of any other that cause so much shit as this one did? For those that are not fans of Van Halen and don't really know the inside scoop, here's a refresher course.
Sammy Hagar was still in the band at the time. But Eddie and Alex at the urging of their manager decided to put out a GH package, which Sammy objected to. His words were for naught as Eddie had the final say so. But to give this new package a hook to increase sales, Eddie, Alex and their manager felt that having David Lee Roth on board would be just what the Doctor ordered (pun intended ).
So, with Sammy still a member of the band, Eddie, Alex and Michael "secretly" began working on 2 songs with Diamond Dave. Sammy found out. So, he either quit or was fired. Who knows. Depends on who is telling the story. In later interviews, Michael had come clean about not even playing on those songs.
With Sammy now out of the picture, Dave for obvious reasons thought it was now his gig. Depending on once again who is telling the story, Dave was told point blank that he was in fact back in the band. But he has been known to tell stories.
Fast forward to the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards show, where the "reunited" Van Halen made their grand appearance to a rip roaring standing ovation. Personally, I was pissing myself cause I was so happy to see it unfolding. It was what I had been clamoring for since 1984.
As for the actual GH package it was IMO incomplete. Just way too many omissions to make this a must have. Now if you want to pick it up for the 2 new DLR songs, I would say yes. Is it on par with vintage VH? No. But personally I enjoy both Can't Get This Stuff No More and Me Wise Magic. Also included on the disc is Humans Being from the Twister soundtrack.