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The Van Halen Appreciation Thread


WyattSheepMask
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Rather than clog up the 2020 Celebrity Deaths thread purely with Van Halen talk, figured it thread worthy following Eddie Van Halen's death yesterday.

I'm gutted that I never got to see the group live in any form, they last played in the UK in 1995 (a 1998 date on the III tour was cancelled) but even in the later stages when David Lee Roth couldn't do it anymore, crossing the band off of the list would've been something as the band itself were still great.

I also can't help but feel that, despite a brilliant catalogue of work, they tend to get overlooked having not had the marketable look of a KISS or as many tales of debauchery as an Aerosmith or a Motley Crue.

Also, where do you stand on the different eras. Are you Diamond Dave all the way? or are you more into Sammy Hager, and that's not to say that you can;t like both

Edited by WyattSheepMask
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1 hour ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

I know how great EVH was by reputation, but Van Halen is a band I’ve never really listened to that much. What are people’s essential songs by them to appreciate Eddie’s talent?

Eruption was his showcase piece and the one that really cemented him as a guitar God, but he's been pretty consistent over his career.

The classics, if you like, are generally Jump, Panama, Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, Why Can't This Be Love?, Right Now, Hot For Teacher, and most famously the guitar solo on Michael Jackson's Beat It.

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22 hours ago, WyattSheepMask said:

Also, where do you stand on the different eras. Are you Diamond Dave all the way? or are you more into Sammy Hager, and that's not to say that you can;t like both

DLR all the way baby! Hager just ushered in an era of AOR. DLR is totally over the top and cringeworthy but he just manages to keep you going "haha ok Dave" whereas Hager is just cheesy.

The thing that EVH brought to guitar for me was a whole new level of shred BUT it was never excessive, he'd take it to the limit but it would be part of a song that had an absolutely ripper of a riff - compare this to all the unfortunate shred shit you here where its just notes flying at you.

His rhythm guitar playing is just as impressive to me as his lead guitar - he really played in a Hendrix style where you can learn the song and it'll sound like it but he's throwing in all these little bits and small changes that make him really hard to replicate exactly.

I was really tempted to go see them when they reformed with Roth, but I didn't because I'd read some pretty bad reviews, both of Roth and Eddie. The albums are so good that I didn't want to tarnish that. I regret it somewhat.

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I was around in their heyday, though never a particular fan of the band (bit too American). He was an excellent guitarist though. I believe he was heavily influenced by Allan Holdsworth, though the 1 album I bought of his was virtually unlistenable. The solo during Beat It was possibly the best ever (in a pop song), Eruption was great and had he patented his style, he'd have been worth an absolute fortune. If anyone can get hold of the Pasadena, Oct. '77 gig, it's a particular favourite of mine, from years ago. I imagine it's on youtube; full of energy, raw & dirty. It also went by the bootleg title of Midnight Cash & contains some soundcheck material as well. R.I.P Eddie.

-Edit- Guitars101 currently have a lot of VH bootlegs posted (mostly in 'Lossless'). So if you fancy some unreleased, live performances or studio demo's, you might want to head there.

Edited by KingofSports
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21 hours ago, KingofSports said:

I believe he was heavily influenced by Allan Holdsworth, though the 1 album I bought of his was virtually unlistenable.

Having heard about Holdsworth being the "king of legato" for years I was quite excited when I got an opportunity to hear him for the first time, expecting to hear something similar to other well known legato players like Satch and Malmsteen. What I heard could only be described as the CD pretending it was a tape being chewed up by the machine.

Just disjointed spasms of random notes over chords that sounded like drunken doorbells and with no identifiable rhythm. I tried to listen to that track a few more times over the next year and it would just make me really angry and irritable.

He is - as they say - an acquired taste.

Unsolved Urban Myth Alert

Dweezil's 1992 album "Confessions" features a shit load of guest stars, and the cassette/CD inlay lists every part of every song they play on. Right the bottom is a comment about two musicians who don't appear, but just happen to be great players, and he lists Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai.

Rumour has it that Eddie was approached but his record label refused to allow him (possibly due to bad, bad history between Warner Bros Music and Frank Zappa), and so similar to his contribution to Back To The Future, he contributed anyway uncredited. The solo in this song is a similar style to Eddie, but Dweezil was taught by Eddie, so who knows. It would explain Eddie's outfits and guitars appearing though.

Edited by Nostalgia Nonce
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4 hours ago, Nostalgia Nonce said:

Having heard about Holdsworth being the "king of legato" for years I was quite excited when I got an opportunity to hear him for the first time, expecting to hear something similar to other well known legato players like Satch and Malmsteen. What I heard could only be described as the CD pretending it was a tape being chewed up by the machine.

Just disjointed spasms of random notes over chords that sounded like drunken doorbells and with no identifiable rhythm. I tried to listen to that track a few more times over the next year and it would just make me really angry and irritable.

 

Glad it wasn't just me then. Can't even remember which album I had, "IOU"" rings a bell. Bought it around '88 anyway. Sporadic, scratchy, tuneless, anti-music. Utterly pretentious in my opinion (as you tend to find with jazz / fusion music). I didn't know until yesterday that he was English.

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Strangely never got into Van Halen, despite always knowing of them. I was massively into Extreme from a real early age and their early material was seen as a straight VH rip off but it made no difference to me. 

This is one of those cases where someones death has prompted me to check out the catalogue. Outside of the hits i aint heard anything. Starting points?

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On 10/9/2020 at 8:30 PM, KingofSports said:

Glad it wasn't just me then. Can't even remember which album I had, "IOU"" rings a bell. Bought it around '88 anyway. Sporadic, scratchy, tuneless, anti-music. Utterly pretentious in my opinion (as you tend to find with jazz / fusion music). I didn't know until yesterday that he was English.

I don't think you know what jazz fusion is.

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2 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

Strangely never got into Van Halen, despite always knowing of them. I was massively into Extreme from a real early age and their early material was seen as a straight VH rip off but it made no difference to me. 

This is one of those cases where someones death has prompted me to check out the catalogue. Outside of the hits i aint heard anything. Starting points?

Second post in this thread - @Nostalgia Nonceprovided me with a brief greatest hits to start with as I’m in a similar Van Halen boat to you ☺️

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