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Van Halen [The first six albums anyway]

Started by kalowski, November 19, 2021, 08:50:06 PM

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November 19, 2021, 08:50:06 PM Last Edit: November 19, 2021, 10:29:39 PM by kalowski
I love VH with Diamond Dave. Not too fussed about Van Hagar and I've not heard anything after OU812. This is a thread about the first six records only. A thread about their amazing brown sound.
Van Halen (1978) - Jesus, what a debut. I have loved this since the day I heard it. Not many albums have as strong a start as Runnin' with the Devil. I love every track but I have realsied that some of the tracks I loved as a kid (I'm the One) have now been eclipsed by other tracks like On Fire and Atomic Punk.
Van Halen II (1979) - The first album I bought on CD! A perfect example of that party rock, sonic pop sound of VH, with amazing harmonies and some of Eddie's best playing. It was recorded in something like 6 days. You get incredibly hard rock stuff like Somebody Get me a Doctor, and beautiful, clean pop-rock like Dance the Night Away. Love the harmonic intro to Women in Love, too.
Women and Children First (1980) - An interesting and heavier record. Stuff like Fools and Everybody Wants Some!! are slightly looser and more free form than they'd every been. This album also has possibly my favourite VH track In a Simple Rhyme. That simple silliness they had allowed them to record Could This be Magic and make it sound great.
Fair Warning (1981) - This is a rifftastic record: Mean Streets, Dirty Movies, Sinner's Swing!, Unchained - all contain amazing riffs. More synthesizers here, pushed to the from in Sunday Afternoon In The Park. I am still gobsmacked by the intro to Mean Streets. How the hell did he do that?
Diver Down (1982) - When I was a kid I'd have said this was their weakest album. I was wrong. It's full of brilliant tracks, even though it has a number of cover songs. The original tracks Hang 'em High, Secrets, Little Guitars and The Full Bug stand up to most other stuff in their catalogue. And I like (Oh) Pretty Woman more than I should. Hell, I like Dancing in the Street more than I should. Not keen on Where Have all The Good Times Gone, thought.
1984 (1984) - This is their weakest album, but it does contain three absolute stormers: Jump, Panama and Hot for Teacher. No surprise they were the singles. But I struggle with some of the other tracks. I like the AOR of I'll Wait but I don't really care for Top Jimmy or Girl Gone Bad at all.
Anyone else?

Famous Mortimer

"I'll Wait" is an absolute banger, I reckon, easily the equal of...well, not "Hot For Teacher", which is the greatest thing ever, but the rest of them definitely.

I'll take a compilation of Van Hagar over actually listening to any of their complete albums. Sammy has a radio show on Sunday afternoons in my neck of the woods, and even though he forgets peoples' names (on a show that isn't live, so he could just pause and go check), plays way too much of his own shit and thinks Montrose should be in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, I love listening to it. I'm also pretty sure he never played a Van Halen song that he didn't sing on, a level of pettiness which I kind of admire.

But back to the topic of the thread (sorry). "Fair Warning" is probably my favourite, based around how incredible "Unchained" is. I first heard it when a radio station played it in its entirety one night, and I loved it immediately.


I think my favourite is Women and Children First, but I find it easy to change my mind.


By the way, I'm drinking whiskey and listening to Diver Down and Little Guitars is incredibile.

Pauline Walnuts

November 20, 2021, 11:24:44 AM #5 Last Edit: November 20, 2021, 11:54:02 AM by OnlyRegisteredSoICanRead
I love the arrogance on the first album, We're taking "You Really Got Me", and it's going to be ours!

Obviously they fail, what with being err, Van Halen, but I can still admire their ambition.


My favourite band of all time.  Was gutted when Eddie died, their albums really formed a HUGE part of my teen years when I was going through some personal shit and I have so much sense-memory from them.  I don't listen much any more as I know every nuance backwards but things like this are great, since EVH went there seems to have been a lot of new videos etc emerging.

This is a video about the recording studio, clip here is room-mikes of Eruption and you see why there is a fade out in the middle of it:

Head Gardener