Just finished listening the entire Van Halen discography...

Discussion in 'Music' started by Udet, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. Udet

    Udet Banned

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    So here it is...

    Having come across this band for the first time in my life only a few months ago -and after severe lecturing received for being so "musically ignorant"-, i finished my analysis of the band´s discography.

    Also, as part of this process, i found myself exposed to ideas and thoughts of some sort of heated debate fans have on the go: which Van Halen is better? Referring to the "initial era", when a vocalist named David Lee Roth was in the band, or, the "second era" with vocalist/guitarist Sammy Hagar as frontman.

    Well, i take the "initial era" -David Lee Roth- hands down.

    Yes, humans can not yet fight the "timeless tick tick" of the clock, and things change, people grow up -at least physically, which does not necessarily imply becoming more "mature"-, and it is clear that the first era has an intensity, energy and power that commences fading real fast from the "5150" album (1986) and through the releases that followed -Hagar´s first appearance-.

    This is not to say the "Van Hagar" era -as they referr to the Sammy Hagar time in the band- did not produce sound material. I was told Van Halen still reached high commercial success with Hagar.

    Still, i believe David Lee Roth displayed a type of frontman wit i do not detect in Hagar´s contribution; by saying this i am strictly referring to what you can get from hearing the album alone...if you go further and see live videos of the band with each of the two vocalists, the gap -in my view- grows even bigger. Roth´s antics would cleanly outmatch Hagar´s.

    The guys who introduced me to this band -btw, they are way older than me- would comment that although Hagar is "more a musician" than Roth is -Hagar plays guitar for instance, Roth does not-, it was clear something went missing after Roth´s departure.

    Surely opinions will vary, some might prefer Hagar´s time in the band.

    Real powerful track of the Roth era should be: "Mean Street", Girl Gone Bad", "Ain´t talking about love"...

    Any comments from the heavy metal guys in the forum?

    P.S. By the way, during my time in Mexico, i did visit a very cool bar in Cabo, named "Cabo Wabo"...little i did know the owner of such bar would be Sammy Hagar.
     
  2. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

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    Udet - I agree with you completely. Roth all the way!
     
  3. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    I agree with u 100% Adrian.... I will further ur comments by stating, IMO, that Mean Street is Van Halens best song ever, and combines everything that each man in the band had to offer into one song....

    Mean Street is in my Top Ten Favorite Songs of All Time....
     
  4. Udet

    Udet Banned

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    Mkloby...agreed!!

    Daniel: absolutely..."Mean Street" is a remarkable piece.

    By the way, i am listening to the song i mentioned above "Girl Gone Bad" (album "1984")...if you have it there go play it, and even if the whole track is brilliant, full of energy, pay special attention to Roth´s vocal performance in the closing part of the song...i can´t believe i will say this, but at 3:50 Roth´s makes a "woman like" scream that COMPLETELY KICKS ASS...then he goes "oooo....ooooo...oooo....oooohhh...YEAHHHH!!!!"...you have to believe me, that simple "YEAHHH" Roth made there is so full of rock passion and energy. (To be more exact the "yeahh" i am referring to occurs at 4:02).

    As one of these guys told me "As a heavy metal guitarist, i can tell you David Lee is THE FRONTMAN you want to have".

    That would be the perfect example of the type of vocalist/frontman wit i was referring to -which Hagar lacked-.

    Cheers!
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yep, Diamond Dave is one hell of a showman, and one funny guy. Remember the song "Top Jimmy"? That's a buddy of mine's band, back in the day, Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs. Dave used to jam with them.

    One of the first Metal songs I learned to play on guitar (besides Smoke on the Water) was "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love". All the early stuff just ROCKS.

    Now that you have tasted that, go pick up the first 2 David Lee Roth solo albums. Dave on vocals with Steve Vai on guitar, Billy Sheehan on bass and Greg Bissonette on drums. He proved a point that he can perform with other great musicians and do it well.
     
  6. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Well, like you said, opinions will vary.

    I really like the MUSIC of the DLR era, but as far as a front man, Dave is a clown. Sorry, I don't want to see lead singers doing cheerleader kicks.

    Sammy is the consomate (sp?) professional and just a hell of a nice guy. I have met him several times and he is just as open and friendly as the guy at the end of the bar. I have had the great pleasure of sharing a few drinks with him, and he even let me buy him a couple.

    Even strong DLR vans loved Sammy contribution to the band. And even strong DLR vans hated the way Eddie treated Sammy. Even months after Sammy was "fired", Sammy said he would play with VH any where, any time. When they were entered into the Rock -n- Roll Hall of Fame (yes, it's a joke, but still) Sammy hoped Eddie got good results from going through rehab and just hoped to get his buddy back.
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I actually like Sammy better as a solo artist. Albums like Standing Hampton and Three Lock Box were good solid albums with Sammy doing a great job. I was a little disappointed when he joined Van Halen because I figured he wouldn't do anything solo anymore.
     
  8. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    That's true Eric. Those were Sammy's best two solo albums, IMO. I remember after he joined VH that Sammy was still under contract to do one more solo album. I think it was called VHO and Eddie did a lot of collaboration with him. He had some great songs on that one too.
     
  9. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yeah, I think that was VOA. The one with "I can't drive 55".
     
  10. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Excellent analysis, Udet!

    I don't know if I'm one of the "old farts" you are referring to, but I definitely prefer Dave to Sammy. I've seen Van Halen live three times since 1980, twice with Dave, once with Sammy; I'd rather go see Dave perform any day, no matter how good a musician Sammy is.

    I suppose it might also have to do with which version of the band I was exposed to first; I was in high school when their debut album came out (1978), and that's all everybody at my high school was talking about and listening to for months. I would say that album is one of the top five debut albums in rock history (along with Led Zeppelin I, Bostin: Boston, Motley Crue: Too Fast For Love, Ozzy Osbourne: Diary Of A Madman).

    For me, it was the end of an era when Dave left the band; the fun was all gone. The music may have been more technically proficient after Sammy joined, but it just wasn't fun anymore.

    Anyway, your analysis is dead-on, Udet; glad to see we agree on something else.
     
  11. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Lemme guess: You ran into him down at Cabo Wabo.

    I understand he doesn't hang out down there as often as he used to. If you get real lucky, he might actually sing for you while he's there, but that doesn't happen too much anymore.
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Once at Cabo, once at Lake Tahoe.
     
  13. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Sweet! I didn't know he came up this way very often; I just figured he stayed down in So Cal and Mexico most of the time. Nice to know. . . .
     
  14. Udet

    Udet Banned

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    Evangilder: thanks for the recommendations! I will ask the heavy metal guys here if they have the material so i can give it a try.


    It would seem as a necessary remark to be made, but when it comes to musical taste i am one hell of an electro/dark/industrial/goth guy; bands like Ministry, Nine Inche Nail, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, etc. Also the type of "laid-back" electronics performed by bands like Massive Attack or Everything But The Girl are my stuff...a healthy dose of metal from time to time is also required: Mudvayne, Korn, etc.

    Of the old classics, well, Led Zeppelin is one of my favorites. A few tracks from the Rolling Stones. (and yes, i can not stand The Beatles).

    When on the beach, however, for surfing duties, i go quite typical with reggae...

    This heavy metal scene, that relying on what i heard reached its peak during the early/mid 80s, is new to me. Van Halen is the only one i have had the "urge" of listening as a consequence of an artillery barrage i had to swallow when asked what my thoughts on guitarist Eddie Van Halen were...


    Thorlifter...yes, that is what i said...these guys did say Hagar´s period was not by any means a "bad period"; sound material was indeed produced during such time...they did address the issue of Hagar being "more a musician" because he also plays the guitar, while David took care only of the vocals and show affairs. Also his voice, a good and very decent range as well.

    Nobody spoke of the personal nature of Sammy.

    Why would you call David Lee Roth a clown? See, with these same guys i watched a Van Halen concert on DVD -5150 tour-, which was the first album and tour with Hagar...on stage Hagar seemed too very energetic, with lots of interaction with the other bandmates and with the audience...as if for some reason, he would try to resemble, or possibly outmatch, Roth´s attitude?...and while there is no concert DVD available with Roth, we watched several videos where Roth is the frontman, and oh man...call it a matter of personal taste and choice, but if we talk about the energy displayed by each vocalist then Roth is way more "physically savy".

    I undestand your viewpoint, personal taste that is, but in Roth i see nothing but a superb vocalist and showman.

    If we were ladies, i am sure other factors would be in comment here; one girl that i hang out with here said "Roth is hot...Hagar is not". :lol: :lol:

    And Evangilder is correct...no matter how good Sammy Hagar is as a guitar player when you become a member of a band where the guitarist is Eddie Van Halen (considered by many seasoned people as "the best guitarist ever").

    So it would seem that upon arrival in the band, Hagar´s main business would be the vocals and not necessarily the guitars...eliciting a natural automatic comparison between his voice and Roth´s...a large number would not approve it, others might continue to follow the band, and perhaps new fans appeared with the new vocalist.

    SoDStitch...thanks!

    Sure there are many factors playing their influence in one´s musical taste; high school is for sure a remarkable time in our lives, and most of the times the music you heard during such period remains inside you.

    You hit the nail SoD...it seems like rabid fans of Roth´s era in Van Halen agree here: FUN. The fun would gradually dissappear with Hagar. As i said, was it the passing of time? Maturity of the members perhaps? I do not know, but -again these guys- said Eddie Van Halen, although a superb guitarist, is not necessarily a very "mature" individual; call it his alcohol and drug problems or whatever, but they said his behavior has been erratic in recent years.

    Talking of the lyrics (strictly the lyrics) with David Lee: party, drinking and girls...not what we´d call an intellectual challenge...but who cares...there are moments when even the most demanding and skilled minds would require a dose of lightheartedness and even sillyness. Not that i have any problem at all with partying and hooking up with girls.

    And...i would not dare considering the lyrics in Hagar´s time in the band anywhere near in the category of "Literary Cafe", huh?
     
  15. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Well, this shoots Van Halen from my "10 Songs from the Old folks" thread! :lol: Definately Diamond Dave period for me and 'Mean Streets' was the best album by them followed by VH 1 and 'Diver Down' ...(don't leave much but 3 albums left).

    I liked Sammy in his solo days before VH - "Three Lock Box" is one of his best - but I was turned off when he joined. Eddie seemed to lose that umphf that Dave brought and Eddie fed on.

    And you must take into consideration that at the time when VH first appeared - late 70s - his guitar work just blew everyone away. His triple licks and finger hits were something new in music, at least as well as he did them. Having another accomplished guitarist in the band may have sapped some of that creativity from Eddie or...the novelty was getting old.
     
  16. Udet

    Udet Banned

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  17. SoD Stitch

    SoD Stitch Banned

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    Thank you! I actually discovered Led Zeppelin rather late in life (1985, to be exact; but that's another story); however, I do think they're the best/most influential rock band in history. As I stated in another thread, every "heavy metal" band since then have tried to be Led Zeppelin, and only one has ever come close (Van Halen).

    Hey, what's rock roll all about, anyway? Get too intellectual, and it's not fun anymore (though Iron Maiden might be an exception to that rule). Even us "brainiacs" need to cut loose once in a while . . . .
     
  18. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    Yep, I play, although I haven't much in recent years. The days of bands and playing out are pretty much done. Michael Anthony was a solid bass player with good chops. I don't know what happened with him and the boys and none of them are talking about it. It's a shame.
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    :lol:

    Seriously though, I do find it rather difficult to believe that you had never heard of Van Halen until recently.

    Oh and Roth all the way!

    VH was allready posted in my 10 songs thread!

    So Hah!!! :lol:

    Oh well I need to get that one going again.
     
  20. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I heard a rumor that EVH was pissed because Michael Anthony and Sammy were still buddies and Sammy would have Mikey come play with his band sometimes doing VH songs.

    Strickly rumor though. I haven't heard that from people that I consider "in the know".!
     
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