Couch Boy Music

Van Halen

by on May.21, 2012, under artists of note, nostalgia

Too long since the last post… Last chance to revive this blog…? Who knows…

Notwithstanding the new album, and Sammy Hagar’s recent comments, I put forward a case for Van Halen:

Recently, I’ve been listening to Van Halen… a lot.  Spotify seems to encourage nostalgia (in me, at least). So, I’ve been revisiting the sounds of my youth, and VH were quite a big part of my life. For a few years, anyway.

There are lots of reasons not to like VH (bad hair, egos, non-PC lyrics).  They’re just not cool now. After the DJ plays ‘Jump’ (ironically?) at a wedding, there’s not much of a recovery job that can be done… or is there?

Although they invented the ‘hair metal’ genre (arguably), they’re better than all of their peers.

Better (and more consistent) songwriting.  Where Extreme had ‘Get the Funk Out’ and ‘More Than Words’, and one decent album (‘Pornograffitti’), VH had at least one stand-out album track (i.e. not a single) every time they released

In Eddie Van Halen, they had (again arguably) the best guitar player since Jimi Hendrix.  Innovation, style, emotion, song-writing, funk… he had it all, in the rock genre, anyway.

And, like him, or not (and I’m not his greatest fan by a long way), David Lee Roth was a great frontman.

Of course they also had a sense of humour. Take ‘Hot for Teacher’ (not to mention the video) for example!

Don’t forget their great choice of cover versions – You Really Got Me, Ice Cream Man, Oh Pretty Woman and Won’t Get Fooled Again.

So, avoiding the obvious big hits, here are some tracks worth checking out:

  • Ice Cream Man (Van Halen)
  • Top Jimmy (1984)
  • Right Now (For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge)
  • Mean Street (Fair Warning)
  • Best of Both Worlds (5150)
  • Finish What Ya Started (OU812)

Here’s a Spotify playlist with some of my favourite tracks.

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