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Best Van Halen Song

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by typefitter, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    See, I think they became more interesting with Hagar. There isn't much in the first six albums that can hold a candle to Cabo Wabo, Finish What you Started, Right Now, Summer Nights, Best of Both Worlds, etc. Those are just superior songs.

    Not sure how Hagar is generic. Great voice, even better stage presence. I saw Roth on the 1984 tour. He was awful. And he's far worse now. Couldn't sing then, but was a virtuoso compared to present day. Hagar can still sing now and he's, what, 70? The thing I love about Hagar, and loved about Van Halen during his years with the band, is you could tell they were having fun. Hagar never stops having fun. He managed to drag Eddie, as miserable a fuck as there is, into that fray for about seven years, before he remembered what an ass he was and got back to that.

    The reality is, they were two different bands, each great in its own way. The Roth years were awesome for many reasons. Roth was a big part of that. But he was awful. Awful singer, awful songwriter, awful lyricist. Doesn't mean you can't enjoy the shit out of it, though. Much like Kiss has always been awful, but a ton of people loved them anyway (and, remarkably, still do). With Hagar the music improved in quality as a whole. The Roth years had some good stuff, but a lot of pure shit. The Hagar stuff seemed pretty solid across the board.

    And don't you dare compare Hagar to Billy Squier. Don't you compare anyone to Billy Squier. There is only one Billy Squier.
     
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.
  2. Chef2

    Chef2 Well-Known Member

    Van Halen was 2 completely different groups with those two guys.
    For example: Could you imagine hearing Janie's Crying with Hagar, or hearing Right Now with DLR?
     
  3. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member

    I always liked Jamie's Cryin'. Spring of 1978, I was a soph in HS and my best friends's older brother, a SR, had a van right out of That 70's Show. Shag carpet, huge speakers and soooo much weed. I didn't smoke but I remember being at a party at an overlook and drinking beer in the van with those 2 guys and 3 very cute Sr girls. He just bought this tape by Van Halen and we were blown the fuck away. I never really stayed a huge fan but every time I hear something from that album I go right back to that night. Great memories.
     
    garrow likes this.
  4. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    I was a DLR guy 5150 came out in 1986. I wanted to hate 5150 and I scoffed at it.

    When OU812 came out in 1988, I liked it. The following summer, I’m on a church trip to Panama City and another 14-year-old had 5150. I popped it in my Sony Walkman and was blown away by how good the entire album was. The first eight songs were magnificent. Instantly, my view on Van Hagar shifted.

    Two nights later, even kissed my first girl at the Days Inn as Love Walks In played on a small boom box. Then I put on Blame it on the Rain by Milli Vanilli. And she vanished.
     
  5. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    Good Sir, I will fucking fight you.
     
    Huggy likes this.
  6. Junkie

    Junkie Active Member

    I should’ve noted in my post that I am among those who have loved them, and still do. Thinking of taking my five-year-old son to see them on this last tour so that we would both have the same first concert. But they nonetheless are godawful. The guiltiest of guilty pleasures.
     
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Kiss was also my first concert. Old Omni in Atlanta when I was in sixth grade -- Animalize tour. Krokus opened up for them.

    I find the DLR version of Van Halen almost unlistenable now. I was a Hagar fan during his solo career before Van Halen, so I was thrilled when he joined the band.
     
  8. John B. Foster

    John B. Foster Well-Known Member

  9. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member


    Milli Vanilli that’s classic! LOL. I went to Panama City once, beautiful water and beaches.
     
  10. DanielSimpsonDay

    DanielSimpsonDay Well-Known Member

    Eat 'Em and Smile and Skyscraper were incredibly fun albums and in no small part because, either through smarts or dumb luck, DLR put together an all-star band of young hotshots (Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan and Greg Bissonette) that could, in the words of Donald "Duck" Dunn, turn goat piss into gasoline.

    I think much of the derision Hagar and his era of VH gets is unfair because I think a lot of what people don't like is less attributable to him than to when he showed up.

    Think about being of a certain age and hearing Eruption, Atomic Punk or Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love for the first time. Who was doing anything like that? Who had ever heard anything like that? If you liked rock or metal and heard those tunes, you were changed. That "you before VH" and "you after VH" contrast was all because of Eddie Van Halen.

    None of the WTF?!?!?! moments on those '78-'84 albums are due to DLR. The differentiation he offered was when he was seen, not when he was heard. DLR was a fantastic performer (not singer - performer) but you could have placed Kevin DuBrow, Klaus Meine or *Sammy Hagar* in his spot and VH's place in our culture wouldn't be significantly altered.

    Nothing - nothing - in the Hagar years could ever match what you felt when hearing that other stuff for the first time. EVH had left his mark. What more could he do creatively to up the ante? He'd sent legions of young men to their bedrooms to and basements to practice for hours on their modified gear to start their own revolution on the instrument. The drill at the beginning of 1991's Poundcake? Neat, but already done (and done better) as far back as 1986 by Paul Gilbert when he was in Racer X.

    VH of that era revolutionized rock but, like Daffy Duck's epic magic trick, you can only do that once.

    The band was ready for a change (note the increase in synths on 1984) and the switch from DLR to Sammy allowed for a clear delineation from one era to the next. If EVH is as much of a control freak as is rumored, it's difficult to believe that the affable Sammy Hagar came in and pushed them in a new direction. Hell, DLR's Skyscraper was criticized for its use of keyboards, too.

    The 5150 and OU812 style was going to happen anyway, regardless of the frontman. That the songs are well crafted and the albums are more consistent does not happen without Sammy Hagar. The new guy always gets the blame.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
    Captain_Kirk likes this.
  11. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Listened to Ain’t Talking ‘Bout Love for first time in a year or two and Eddies rift was magical...like Simpson above says, at 16 I was blown away.
     
  12. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Sammy Hagar was the "system quarterback" of Van Halen and a damned good one.
     
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