Tag: Van Halen

Greatest Misses: Van Halen

Greatest Misses: Van Halen

Music
Even the most popular and successful bands have songs that speak only to a (relatively) devoted few. In Greatest Misses, I'll count off the least popular song on band's albums, not including brief interludes, joke songs, or generally any abnormally short song. I'm using the super scientific method of counting streams from a band's Spotify catalog, so you know it'll be accurate. First up: Van Halen. One interesting note about this first entry, that I would like to do some further research on. Of the 12 songs listed, 7 of them are the last song on the album. Do people just get to the end of a record and decide, "Nah I'm good, I'll listen to something else now"? Strange. Anyway, here's the list and then the Spotify playlist: "On Fire" - Van Halen "Outta Love Again" - Van ...
Cross-Pollination: Five Musical Autobiographies I Want to See (on Popdose)

Cross-Pollination: Five Musical Autobiographies I Want to See (on Popdose)

Blogstuff
When Popdose Grand Poobah Jeff Giles asked me to write a list article for his site, I couldn't say no. The only question I had for him was, "what content restraints am I working under?" He said, "none." I'm sure he'll come to regret that answer in the coming weeks, but hopefully not now. For today my chosen topic is music autobiography, or musiphy as it's known in the industry. We've seen some great ones in recent years -- Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, Ace Frehley's No Regrets, and Bob Dylan's Chronicles just to name three. But what about all the legendary musicians we haven't heard from yet? Like James Hetfield of Metallica, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, or... well, you can read all about that on Popdose.
Albums From the First Half of 2012 That Are Good

Albums From the First Half of 2012 That Are Good

Music
As I've mentioned previously in this here blog space, I've largely gotten out of the album review game. Unless a record really moves or I have something I really need to say, I'm gonna just wait to the customary year-end period to share my thoughts. But if you're impatient, you can always subscribe to my in-progress Spotify playlist. That said, here's a rundown of some records released in 2012 that I've been digging on, either a little or a lot (along with song clips where appropriate). The Beach Boys, That's Why God Made the Radio Django Django, Django Django Air, Le voyage dans la lune Ryan Shaw, Real Love Prong, Carved Into Stone Rush, Clockwork Angels Storm Corrosion, Storm Corrosion Jack White, Blunderbuss Imperial State Electric, Pop War Lambchop, Mr. M The Ex...
Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Graphicity: What Makes Van Halen Great?

Funny Stuff, Music
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 ...
Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Get to Know… David Lee Roth

Music
For a brief time following David Lee Roth's acrimonious departure from Van Halen in 1985, it seemed the flamboyant frontman would be able to match his former band mates step for step. But as the 1990s rolled on, Roth's commercial fortunes declined and he became a punchline of sorts. Quicker than you could say "bozedy bozedy bop!" Diamond Dave went from headlining arena shows to rolling out a much-ridiculed Las Vegas lounge act and getting busted for buying pot in New York City. And the less said about the short-lived 1996 Van Halen reunion the better. But defying all expectations, David Lee Roth officially came home to VH in 2007. The band -- with Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass -- hit the road in September of that year and raked in an astounding $93 million b
Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Track By Track: Van Halen — A Different Kind of Truth

Music
Because I dread the thought of writing yet another album review where I spend hundreds of words trying to frame an album in the proper context, or where I try to find yet another way to write about chord progressions, I’m just going to take it one song at a time and share my first impressions. So here we go with the long-awaited Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth. Let's do some level setting here before I get into this album. I have developed a belated appreciation for the Sammy Hagar era of Van Halen, but I am first and foremost a fan of the original lineup. Those first six albums are immortal. I've been a David Lee Roth fan for years, and like all of his solo albums. I make no apologies for this. I was inclined to like A Different Kind of Truth, and not assume it would
Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening booth — Van Halen, “Tattoo”

Listening Booth, Music
The day is finally here kids! It's the first song from a David Lee Roth-led Van Halen since 1996, and the first single for a DLR-led VH since 1984. From A Different Kind of Truth, it's "Tattoo." First impression? Well the video is clearly an afterthought so no point dwelling on that. As for the song, it's decent but not mind-blowing. It's clear that Dave had a hand in the arrangement and writing as the verses sound like his solo stuff, particularly from the DLR Band album. The rest reminds me of Balance-era Van Halen. I hope Alex brings it a little more on the rest of the disc, as he sounds rather plodding here. And it's still weird to not hear Michael Anthony singing those background vocals, but what are you gonna do? I'm still going to buy the super duper deluxe version ...
Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening booth — Van Halen, “I’m So Glad” (Caracas, Venezuela 1/16/83)

Listening Booth, Music
Guess what? I got Van Halen fever, and the only prescription is... more Van Halen! So here's one of my favorite VH boots, from the Diver Down promotional tour (dubbed the Hide Your Sheep Tour). It's I'm So Glad, a mono soundboard show sourced from the first night of the South American leg. It was the first of three shows in Caracas, Venezuela. The sound quality isn't fantastic for a soundboard, but it's a great setlist and the band is totally raging. I'm sure that playing in South America for the first time lit a fire under their collective asses. Eddie is in peak form as you would expect, while Alex and Michael are rock-solid as usual. As for Diamond Dave? Well, Dave is Dave. You know what to expect when you go to see VH with him as frontman, so you either love it or hate it. I lov