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Van Halen 
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Post Van Halen
Ken wrote:
I was saddened to learn that Eddie Van Halen didn't survive the zombie apocalypse, though. I guess everybody taps their last harmonic eventually.


He's been a zombie for 25 years now. IMO, 2 good songs is it since 1984.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:16 pm
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Most rock musicians lose their ability to write after a while, but for a guitarist like Eddie, playing is more important than writing anyway. Having seen the band on both tours within this decade, his chops are far better now than they were five years ago. He's definitely no zombie. (I might have had a different opinion back in '04, though.)

And give the post-1984 material another chance. With the possible exception of III, there are at least a couple decent songs on every album the band has put out.

Uh, yeah, and something about Zombieland.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:06 pm
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Ken wrote:
And give the post-1984 material another chance. With the possible exception of III, there are at least a couple decent songs on every album the band has put out.


Its an exercise in futility. If there's more than 2 songs, it's 4, and its so not worth it. And FWIW, they are nothing without DLR. Even the 2 songs I am talking about, Finish What Ya Started and Me Wise Magic, were both DLR songs, even though "Finish" was sung by Sammy.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:43 pm
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
DLR has the personality and Sammy has the voice, but the writing is all down to Eddie and Alex. If anything, Roth was never much without Van Halen. He certainly doesn't deserve credit for a Sammy-era song that almost certainly was conceived of like any other Van Halen song: as a jam between the drums and guitar.

I mean, come on. Look at Roth's solo stuff. He was holding on alright when Billy and Steve were around, but he was a man without a country after they left. You can't sincerely say that a few memorable songs on the Sammy-era VH albums is worse than a series of albums from Dave that nobody can remember at all.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:51 pm
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Ken wrote:
DLR has the personality and Sammy has the voice, but the writing is all down to Eddie and Alex. If anything, Roth was never much without Van Halen. He certainly doesn't deserve credit for a Sammy-era song that almost certainly was conceived of like any other Van Halen song: as a jam between the drums and guitar.

I mean, come on. Look at Roth's solo stuff. He was holding on alright when Billy and Steve were around, but he was a man without a country after they left. You can't sincerely say that a few memorable songs on the Sammy-era VH albums is worse than a series of albums from Dave that nobody can remember at all.


The voice is nothing without the songs. And DLR certainly deserves credit for that song, since it was written back when and with him in mind. It's DLR's personality that brought out the great writing in Eddie and Alex, (and Michael as well, who's voice was vital too.)

Dave's two initial albums were terrific with Billy and Steve, and I have no problem with him being the sensation that makes others write well. Billy and Steve are not the writers Eddie and Alex were, but those two albums were mostly terrific, though somewhat dated now. The Sammy albums with VH were mostly bad. And I do not go hunting for good songs on albums. Either the album is full of them or its a waste of energy. One or two bad songs on an album are forgivable, but thats about it.

Dave is a great performer and a rock singer with terrific range. He brings out great writing in others. Sammy was never more than a moderately good guitarist with a gutsy voice.

And say what you will about this, but some of the best radio I ever heard was when Dave was on K-Rock and focusing on his days with VH and their songs. He had some amazing tales to tell, and fascinating introspections on their songs. He was very underrated as a radio personality from a music standpoint.

Oh yeah, and Zombieland was ok too. Actually, its becoming less memorable for me. Maybe it wasn't SO great :)


Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:36 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
In case anybody's wondering about the Zombieland references, it was originally from the Zombieland thread.

Oh and Roth over Hagar any day of the week. It's a shame neither of you commented in the Polling Station when Roth vs. Hagar was on.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:13 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Patrick wrote:
Oh and Roth over Hagar any day of the week. It's a shame neither of you commented in the Polling Station when Roth vs. Hagar was on.
Got nothing against or for either of them. I'd buy a whiskey for Dave and a tequila for Sam. I'll put it this way: when I decided to pick up the electric guitar, the guy responsible for it wasn't the singer.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:40 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Ken wrote:
when I decided to pick up the electric guitar, the guy responsible for it wasn't the singer.


It was John Denver for me, when I was 4 years old. True story.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:46 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
John Denver is definitely a beast, but less in a "OMFG listen to all those NOTES" way and more in a "standing before Congress, testifying in favor of the First Amendment" way.

Incidentally, Frank Zappa is both kinds.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:10 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Ken wrote:
Incidentally, Frank Zappa is both kinds.


Zappa is interesting and had his moments, but I think he is overrated by those who worship him...

Todd Rundgren on the other hand, genius...

Guitarwise, John Denver got me started. Dave Gilmour & Alex Lifeson taught me how to play.

I always found Eddie a challenge to play, but nothing more than that. Steve Hackett was far more challenging to figure out, and far more emotive.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:30 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Zappa's body of work is large enough that some of it is overrated, some is underrated, and some is so esoteric that it can't be said to be rated at all. For the record, I lean strongly towards the jazz and guitar stuff, but don't care much for the potty humor or the straight-up electronic music. The stuff I like is well represented in Dweezil Zappa's "Zappa Plays Zappa" tours.

To me, Ed stands for the pure exploratory possibilities of the instrument. He's like Jimi Hendrix or Chuck Berry--a mad scientist before anything else. He does the emotive stuff here and there, but it's not really his bag. To me, he stands out amongst the shredders of his day because his approach is less technical and more sonic. Yeah, you can figure out the notes, but the notes are secondary to the sound. He has more in common with Gilmour and Lifeson than he does Satriani or Gilbert. (Not that Satriani and Gilbert are bad.)


Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:17 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Ken wrote:
To me, Ed stands for the pure exploratory possibilities of the instrument. He's like Jimi Hendrix or Chuck Berry--a mad scientist before anything else. He does the emotive stuff here and there, but it's not really his bag. To me, he stands out amongst the shredders of his day because his approach is less technical and more sonic. Yeah, you can figure out the notes, but the notes are secondary to the sound. He has more in common with Gilmour and Lifeson than he does Satriani or Gilbert. (Not that Satriani and Gilbert are bad.)


Im not a big fan of Hendrix, so still not catching me much there, though I have heard some of Jimi's NON popular stuff lately on Sirius and there is something there.

Satriani has his moments, though I think there are more bad than good. Gilbert is crapola.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:52 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Ken wrote:
To me, Ed stands for the pure exploratory possibilities of the instrument. He's like Jimi Hendrix or Chuck Berry--a mad scientist before anything else. He does the emotive stuff here and there, but it's not really his bag. To me, he stands out amongst the shredders of his day because his approach is less technical and more sonic. Yeah, you can figure out the notes, but the notes are secondary to the sound. He has more in common with Gilmour and Lifeson than he does Satriani or Gilbert. (Not that Satriani and Gilbert are bad.)


Really Ken, you're making me blush. No love for Slowhand?


Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:55 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Clapton is good in Cream. He's kind of like a less awesome version of Alvin Lee.


Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:01 pm
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Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Ken wrote:
And give the post-1984 material another chance. With the possible exception of III, there are at least a couple decent songs on every album the band has put out.


Indeed. While I lean towards the DLR era (like 90% of Van Halen fans) I do say the Hagar era did produce some great songs.

As far as the albums themselves go, here's my ranking. Scale of * to **** obviosuly

Van Halen-****. Rated highly for You Really Got Me, Running With The Devil and Aint Talking Bout Love alone.
VH II-***1/2. Not up to the level of the first. But has some good songs on it.
Women and Children First-***1/2 Roth does go overboard a bit here. But it's still one of the best they did and one of the more underrated VH albums.
Fair Warning-****. This one is their masterpiece. The dark urbanized vibe on it is effective and the songwriting and musicianship sync up perfectly here. The only drawback is it's too damn short.
Diver Down-**1/2. A misstep. Too many covers, 2 of whicvh are pretty good and the originals aren't up to snuff.
1984-***1/2. Heard Jump too many times to ever totally enjoy it again. But I do love Panama, Hot For Teacher and I'll Wait. A good note to bow out on.
5150-****. I rank this one highly because the songwriting on it was quite good. This is easily the best of the Van Hagar era.
0u812-***1/2. Not as consistent as 5150. But still worthy. The last truly great album they would make.
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge-**1/2. Another misstep. Formulaic. SOunds like what one would expect a Van Halen album to sound like.
Balance-***. Better than the previous one. But it's clear that they're in a holding pattern.
VHIII-**. Production bad and why wo why does Gary Cherone try to sound like Sammy. It wouldn't have worked if Sammy tried to sound like Dave.

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Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:39 pm
Profile
Post Re: Van Halen
This thread is baffling to me. Some say Re: Zombieland and some say Re: Van Halen. Mine should be the latter. But WHY? I don't understand.


Sat Apr 02, 2011 10:47 pm
Post Re: Van Halen
Pedro wrote:
This thread is baffling to me. Some say Re: Zombieland and some say Re: Van Halen. Mine should be the latter. But WHY? I don't understand.


Maybe you should learn to read every post...it's very obvious if you did.


and yours does say RE: Van Halen


Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:45 am
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Jeff Wilder wrote:
Ken wrote:
And give the post-1984 material another chance. With the possible exception of III, there are at least a couple decent songs on every album the band has put out.


Indeed. While I lean towards the DLR era (like 90% of Van Halen fans) I do say the Hagar era did produce some great songs.

As far as the albums themselves go, here's my ranking. Scale of * to **** obviosuly

Van Halen-****. Rated highly for You Really Got Me, Running With The Devil and Aint Talking Bout Love alone.
VH II-***1/2. Not up to the level of the first. But has some good songs on it.
Women and Children First-***1/2 Roth does go overboard a bit here. But it's still one of the best they did and one of the more underrated VH albums.
Fair Warning-****. This one is their masterpiece. The dark urbanized vibe on it is effective and the songwriting and musicianship sync up perfectly here. The only drawback is it's too damn short.
Diver Down-**1/2. A misstep. Too many covers, 2 of whicvh are pretty good and the originals aren't up to snuff.
1984-***1/2. Heard Jump too many times to ever totally enjoy it again. But I do love Panama, Hot For Teacher and I'll Wait. A good note to bow out on.
5150-****. I rank this one highly because the songwriting on it was quite good. This is easily the best of the Van Hagar era.
0u812-***1/2. Not as consistent as 5150. But still worthy. The last truly great album they would make.
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge-**1/2. Another misstep. Formulaic. SOunds like what one would expect a Van Halen album to sound like.
Balance-***. Better than the previous one. But it's clear that they're in a holding pattern.
VHIII-**. Production bad and why wo why does Gary Cherone try to sound like Sammy. It wouldn't have worked if Sammy tried to sound like Dave.
I may get around to appending these with comments when I have a few minutes.

TOP TIER:
Van Halen
Fair Warning
1984

UPPER-MID TIER:
Van Halen II
5150
Best Of Vol. 1 (new songs only)

MID-TIER
Women and Children First
Live Without a Net
OU812
Balance

LOWER-MID TIER
Diver Down
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Live: Right Here, Right Now
Van Halen III

BOTTOM TIER
Best of Both Worlds (new songs only)

We'll have a new album to add before too long. Here's hoping it lands somewhere in the upper half of my list.


Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:14 pm
Post Re: The differing subjects in one topic
Patrick wrote:
Pedro wrote:
This thread is baffling to me. Some say Re: Zombieland and some say Re: Van Halen. Mine should be the latter. But WHY? I don't understand.


Maybe you should learn to read every post...it's very obvious if you did.


and yours does say RE: Van Halen


Peddy, I'm reasonably sure that one of the mods noticed that the Zombieland discussion went too far off topic with the discussion of Van Halen. They simply snipped the relevant section and created a new topic. Trevor would do this all the time. At first, I found it irritating, but I've since seen the light. It can actually be a really good way to generate additional discussion.


Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:05 am
Post Re: ZOMBIELAND
Ken wrote:
I may get around to appending these with comments when I have a few minutes.

TOP TIER:
Van Halen
Fair Warning
1984

UPPER-MID TIER:
Van Halen II
5150
Best Of Vol. 1 (new songs only)

MID-TIER
Women and Children First
Live Without a Net
OU812
Balance

LOWER-MID TIER
Diver Down
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Live: Right Here, Right Now
Van Halen III

BOTTOM TIER
Best of Both Worlds (new songs only)

We'll have a new album to add before too long. Here's hoping it lands somewhere in the upper half of my list.


C'n'Ping some capsule reviews I wrote a while back:

VAN HALEN
Bar tunes, with all the positive and negative connotations. Still, with this much energy, who cares if the record treats technique purely as a means to bring hammered people to their feet?

VAN HALEN II
This one might just commit the cardinal sin of boring the listener, but at least it has better production than its predecessor. And Edward seems to have realized he doesn’t need to play a billion notes per song to craft a good solo. Sandwiched amidst the mid-tempo chuggers are “Dance the Night Away” and “Beautiful Girls,” which function almost as a throwback to 1960s California rock. Far out.

FAIR WARNING
In the midst of a mostly unsuccessful experiment with variety that begins with Women and Children First and ends with Diver Down, Van Halen tried their hand at sleazy, densely tracked funk rock. Aside from the creepy shit at the end, Fair Warning is a welcome oddity.

1984
If there’s a philosophy behind this lean cut, it’s “Forget the bullshit and know thy self.” They get funky, they get poppy, they boogie—and yet, it all holds together as the closest thing to a unified Van Halen mission statement so far. Ed backs off on the distortion so you can really hear the strings grind, as though to emphasize the album’s clarity of vision.

5150
Despite his reputation, Sammy isn’t the problem with this album. Blame it on the wafer-thin production and the dearth of good quality rockers. “Best of Both Worlds” can’t hold the line on its own.

FOR UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE
For all the fans who begged Van Halen to get back to writing wall-to-wall riffy hard rock, here it is, but caveat emptor. The words “lackluster,” “uninspired,” and “formulaic” became critical clichés for a reason.

VAN HALEN III
Never mind the new face. This incarnation of the band is back to the old WACF/Diver Down tricks, throwing in everything but the kitchen sink in the desperate scramble for a fresh idea. If it weren’t for the fiery leads, you might forget who you’re listening to.


Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:50 pm
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