I’ve been listening to A Different Kind of Truth regularly since it came out. Despite being an excellent album, I still read a lot of griping from Van Halen fans about how it’s not really Van Halen because Michael Anthony’s not there. I can see where they’re coming from, but I think that’s stretching things a bit.
But really, people have been arguing about Van Halen for years. If it’s not Michael Anthony, it’s the vocalists. So I decided to go through the Van Halen catalog and perform a scientific analysis of their sound. I wanted to know — what really makes Van Halen tick? What, more than anything else, really makes a Van Halen record sound like Van Halen?
Is it Mikey’s signature background vocals? Eddie’s guitar pyrotechnics? Alex Van Halen’s thunderous drumming? David Lee Roth’s showmanship and antics? Sammy Hagar’s singing and lyrics? Gary Cherone’s… well, let’s just forget about Gary. Nice guy, though.
So here it is, the definitive answer to the question — What makes Van Halen great?
Granted, I may be off by one or two percentage points.