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Van Halen in 2017...

post #1 of 196
Thread Starter 

My favorite band since I was a kid and I can think of no other band who has fucked around and squandered their fans goodwill like these guys. Despite not having a new album in 13 years (!), numerous false starts and the egregious booting of Michael Anthony, it seems like theses guys have finally learned their lesson. So far, everything they've done in anticipation of the new album and tour have been things that are actually generating buzz, the show at Cafe Wha in New York tomorrow is a particularly cool move.

 

So fingers crossed the new album delivers and the tour isn't a lame greatest hits cash grab.


Edited by Mike J - 3/21/15 at 9:17pm
post #2 of 196

I saw the last tour and it was the best concert I've ever seen. The set list was outstanding! Along with the hits they did Little Guitars, Little Dreamer, I'm the One, Romeo Delight, and Mean Streets. I'm psyched for the new album and tour!

post #3 of 196

 

Hopefully they won't be using Michael Anthony's backing vocals to cover Eddie/Wolfgang's "singing" this time.

post #4 of 196

Apparently they played "She's The Woman" last night at the club gig, which will be on the new album.  That song has been around for a long time, though-- I have a boot of it from the '70s, and if I remember right, they already used a piece of it elsewhere.

 

Anyway, April 19 in Atlanta! Whoop!

 

post #5 of 196
Thread Starter 

I will say based on the crappy clips I saw on YouTube, they at least taught Wolfgang to play the bass. He sounded really good. Here's a 30 second clip of the single coming out on Tuesday:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE6LI1xISto

 

 

I like it well enough but I have a feeling Michael Anthony's background vocals are really going to be conspicuous in their absence. And there's no faking them, either.

 

post #6 of 196

Hmm, not terribly optimistic about this. I think Van Halen were an amazing band back in the DLR days - it's just straightforward good time rock and roll but even aside from Eddie's technical skill there was an unusual amount of brains and good songcraft in their stuff, and they're just tons of fun. But I can't stand Van Hagar to the extent that I barely consider it the same band, so from that angle this is their first new album in 30 years, and they're adding to an almost flawless run. Unfortunately for me this sounds more like a Van Hagar track with Dave singing than new material from the DLR-era band.

post #7 of 196
Thread Starter 

Well, it's only 30 seconds. The opening riff and the refrain will be what makes or breaks this as a DLR-style track, though again, there's no denying it will be missing something without Michael Anthony.

 

Usually when a band returns to its "roots" (see The Rolling Stones and Metallica), it doesn't work for me. I like what I've heard so far (including She's The Woman, an old unused track from the 70s), so here's hoping it works this time.

post #8 of 196

post #9 of 196
It's a good track. When the back up vocals came up I immediately realized the absence of Michael Anothy's back vocals. Shame they had a fall out. Still, I look forward to hearing the rest of this album. I got into Van Halen exactly 10 years ago and only dreamed of a DLR/Eddie record happening again during those years, especially when they finally reunited I was just eager to hear a new record, I'm glad it's finally happening.
post #10 of 196

Wow that is serious dogshit. Sounds like temp lyrics.

post #11 of 196
Thread Starter 

I like it well enough, which is a surprise. I had really given up on this band. While I expect the new album to come nowhere near the first six albums, I'm still guessing it will be a notch above other "return to roots" albums like The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang or Metallica's Death Magnetic.

post #12 of 196

I liked the initial incarnation of VH way back in the day...this song on the other hand is pretty much is the epitome of boring genera-rock.

 

I always find it incredibly sad to watch these washed up rock stars try and hold onto or attempt to recapture whatever fame they had back in their heyday.

 

Your huge popularity, much like the long hair you used to enjoy putting mousse into...is now gone. You just need realize it and just Let  It  Go....

 

DLR - you need to move to Vegas and just be satisfied doing your lounge lizard act for all the 50 something's 

Eddie VH - put the guitar down and call up some movie/TV studios and move into the "old rock star - TV music composer" phase of the musicians life....maybe some producer will give you a break and let you score his movie.

the other guys- sorry, don't care.

 

While there are a few exceptions, for the most part you can't keep doing the same shit over and over without people eventually getting bored with it, especially these days.

 

I've always said that if bands/musicians don't evolve and try and do something new and hopefully attract new fans,  they will be doomed to a quick death.

 

 

 

post #13 of 196
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

I liked the initial incarnation of VH way back in the day...this song on the other hand is pretty much is the epitome of boring genera-rock.

 

I always find it incredibly sad to watch these washed up rock stars try and hold onto or attempt to recapture whatever fame they had back in their heyday.

 

Your huge popularity, much like the long hair you used to enjoy putting mousse into...is now gone. You just need realize it and just Let  It  Go....

 

DLR - you need to move to Vegas and just be satisfied doing your lounge lizard act for all the 50 something's 

Eddie VH - put the guitar down and call up some movie/TV studios and move into the "old rock star - TV music composer" phase of the musicians life....maybe some producer will give you a break and let you score his movie.

the other guys- sorry, don't care.

 

While there are a few exceptions, for the most part you can't keep doing the same shit over and over without people eventually getting bored with it, especially these days.

 

I've always said that if bands/musicians don't evolve and try and do something new and hopefully attract new fans,  they will be doomed to a quick death.

 

 

 

I will be sure to pass this career advice on to the band. I guess I would want you to define "evolve." Van Halen does what they do very well, regardless of whether or not you like the new song. So if they're not going to do hard rock anymore, what should they do? A concept album? I would make the argument that Van Halen III was an attempt by the band to evolve and look what happened there. Shit, even Balance was all serious and introspective in spots and while that sold well, it marked the last album with Hagar and when Hagar came back in 2004 for the greatest hits cash-in, the songs they recorded were nothing like Balance (and sucked. I hated the 2004 songs).

 

Keep in mind Van Halen has already toured with this incarnation and it did very well. Now, granted a lot of it was nostalgia but it showed an interest by the public regardless. Van Halen can keep things interesting without "evolving" (still not entirely sure what you mean exactly). Look at Bruce Springsteen and Rush. Have they ever done anything that are really outside their comfort zones, save for Springsteen's acoustic album nobody bought and Rush's foray into synthesizers in the 80s? And all that was a LONG time ago. But they keep things interesting with their live shows by playing classic albums in their entirety and being all-around good showmen. And fuck, look at The Rolling Stones, save for that album a few years ago, that's a band that stopped "evolving" in the late 70s but they still pack them in.

 

So you may not like the new music but thinking the band should hang it up because of that is a little narrow-minded. The reviews for their club show were overwhelmingly positive. That's what's going to keep them alive.
 

 

post #14 of 196

 

Quote:
Springsteen's acoustic album

 

post #15 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post

 

 



I meant that Ghost of Tom Joad thing he did. Christ. Excuse me for not being the foremost expert on Springsteen.

post #16 of 196

Michael Anthony was fantastic live and it's obvious that Van Halen never really understood how important his backing vocals were.  Even a lot of the maligned Van Hagar stuff I like for no other reason than him.  I'm not thrilled that Van Halen seems to be pushing this as a reunion of the band because DLR is back, when 1/4 of the band still isn't there.

post #17 of 196


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike J View Post

I will be sure to pass this career advice on to the band. I guess I would want you to define "evolve."

 

my definition of "evolve" in the context of the music industry would be to "not play/create the same kind of music over and over for years" 

 

Quote:

 

Van Halen does what they do very well, regardless of whether or not you like the new song. So if they're not going to do hard rock anymore, what should they do? A concept album? I would make the argument that Van Halen III was an attempt by the band to evolve and look what happened there. Shit, even Balance was all serious and introspective in spots and while that sold well, it marked the last album with Hagar and when Hagar came back in 2004 for the greatest hits cash-in, the songs they recorded were nothing like Balance (and sucked. I hated the 2004 songs).

 

 

Instead of attempting to milk past success and wrangling in old fans, maybe try and cultivate a new audience.

I would love to have heard a VH-ized album of old blues covers...hell, some VH-ized covers of Hank Williams songs would have been more interesting than that boring song they released. 

Now I know the idea of doing cover songs isn't a new idea, but for VH, it could have been an interesting experiment. It may not have worked but they at least tried something 'new' and different.

 

For reference, there are 3 albums that jump to mind: The Clash's "Sandinista", Prince's "Around the World in a Day" and Metallica's "Black Album" 

 

All 3 albums were different from what they had done in the past and alienated alot of 'fans'...especially in the case of Prince- everyone was expecting Purple Rain 2, but it turned out to be a 60's sounding pop record. I know many Metallica fans had thought that they had gone soft and were no longer metal (they cut their hair!!) 

When Sandinista came out, I was like "what the fuck is this" but I started to like it more and more after listening to it (admittedly, it doesn't ALL work)

But they were all different and new and it made me interested in seeing what they could do next.  

 

Quote:

Keep in mind Van Halen has already toured with this incarnation and it did very well. Now, granted a lot of it was nostalgia but it showed an interest by the public regardless. Van Halen can keep things interesting without "evolving" (still not entirely sure what you mean exactly). Look at Bruce Springsteen and Rush. Have they ever done anything that are really outside their comfort zones, save for Springsteen's acoustic album nobody bought and Rush's foray into synthesizers in the 80s? And all that was a LONG time ago. But they keep things interesting with their live shows by playing classic albums in their entirety and being all-around good showmen. And fuck, look at The Rolling Stones, save for that album a few years ago, that's a band that stopped "evolving" in the late 70s but they still pack them in.

 

So you may not like the new music but thinking the band should hang it up because of that is a little narrow-minded. The reviews for their club show were overwhelmingly positive. That's what's going to keep them alive.

 

The Stones are a perfect example....they should have stopped years ago. You have a great history of music, be happy with it instead of trying to wring that last $$ out of your fans.

 

Same goes for U2, REM, Nirvana, etc.

 

 

 

post #18 of 196

Yeah those Nirvana guys really need to call it a day already, Cobain hasn't had an original thought in his head for almost 20 years now.

post #19 of 196
No interest in the new stuff but I'm totally fucking there to see them live. May 19 at the X, baby.
post #20 of 196

I didn't like "Tattoo," which is actually just a reformatted "Down in Flames," a bootleg around the time of the second album.  The earlier version had more energy.  Eddie's been saying for years now that he has tons of new songs written, but "Tattoo" and "She's the Woman" are both old.  

 

Still looking forward to the album. 

post #21 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Yeah those Nirvana guys really need to call it a day already, Cobain hasn't had an original thought in his head for almost 20 years now.

 

:-]
yeah, not the best example....(I was on the way out)   but, if you don't think that some music industry executive out there would attempt to re-animate Cobain a la Herbert West so that some more $$ could be made....(not that Cobain would be into it.)

 

 

 

 

post #22 of 196

post #23 of 196

I can't tell if that video makes the song more awful or not, but it doesn't help any.

post #24 of 196
Hard to believe that that is the 'best' song on the album...the tune that will get everyone excited about the band again. It wouldn't make the grade as a filler song on DIVER DOWN.
post #25 of 196

If it wasn't for the Eddie solo, that sounds like a Side 2 track from one of DLR's solo albums.

post #26 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post



I meant that Ghost of Tom Joad thing he did. Christ. Excuse me for not being the foremost expert on Springsteen.



Hence not realizing how "that acoustic Springsteen album" didn't really narrow it down for the rest of us. They're your words, figure out how to use em.

post #27 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil View Post



Hence not realizing how "that acoustic Springsteen album" didn't really narrow it down for the rest of us. They're your words, figure out how to use em.



Wow. Any interest in the discussing the topic at hand? No? Cool, thanks for stopping by.

post #28 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

Hard to believe that that is the 'best' song on the album...the tune that will get everyone excited about the band again. It wouldn't make the grade as a filler song on DIVER DOWN.


For what it's worth, I rarely like the single (or singles) the best, at least when it comes to my favorite bands.

post #29 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey View Post

I can't tell if that video makes the song more awful or not, but it doesn't help any.


Certainly not. Obviously it's meant to be a companion piece to Jump, the whole "look at us now!" approach. Say what you will about Van Halen III, at least they kicked it off with an expensive music video that was done by a reputable director. That should have been done here.

 

post #30 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post


 

 

my definition of "evolve" in the context of the music industry would be to "not play/create the same kind of music over and over for years" 

 

 

Instead of attempting to milk past success and wrangling in old fans, maybe try and cultivate a new audience.

I would love to have heard a VH-ized album of old blues covers...hell, some VH-ized covers of Hank Williams songs would have been more interesting than that boring song they released. 

Now I know the idea of doing cover songs isn't a new idea, but for VH, it could have been an interesting experiment. It may not have worked but they at least tried something 'new' and different.

 

For reference, there are 3 albums that jump to mind: The Clash's "Sandinista", Prince's "Around the World in a Day" and Metallica's "Black Album" 

 

All 3 albums were different from what they had done in the past and alienated alot of 'fans'...especially in the case of Prince- everyone was expecting Purple Rain 2, but it turned out to be a 60's sounding pop record. I know many Metallica fans had thought that they had gone soft and were no longer metal (they cut their hair!!) 

When Sandinista came out, I was like "what the fuck is this" but I started to like it more and more after listening to it (admittedly, it doesn't ALL work)

But they were all different and new and it made me interested in seeing what they could do next.  

 

 

The Stones are a perfect example....they should have stopped years ago. You have a great history of music, be happy with it instead of trying to wring that last $$ out of your fans.

 

Same goes for U2, REM, Nirvana, etc.

 

 

 



I don't know, man. Eric Clapton has been milking old blues song and to me, that sounds way more tired and lazy than new material. I guess Van Halen is in weird spot because given they had three singers, two of which are very distinct and opinionated, it's not like they spent their whole career trying to recapture the first album or Fair Warning. Van Halen III didn't work but it was an attempt at something different and I like to view the serious parts of Balance as a way to progress past a lot of the really, REALLY stupid lyrics that are on the F.U.C.K. album. So now they're back and the first single isn't blowing everyone one away. Maybe the rest of the album will be different. Or maybe I just like it because my opinion of the band had gotten really, really low. Either way, I'm sure the live show is going to kill. Can you imagine Fair Warning played in its entirety?

post #31 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post



I don't know, man. Eric Clapton has been milking old blues song and to me, that sounds way more tired and lazy than new material. I guess Van Halen is in weird spot because given they had three singers, two of which are very distinct and opinionated, it's not like they spent their whole career trying to recapture the first album or Fair Warning. Van Halen III didn't work but it was an attempt at something different and I like to view the serious parts of Balance as a way to progress past a lot of the really, REALLY stupid lyrics that are on the F.U.C.K. album. So now they're back and the first single isn't blowing everyone one away. Maybe the rest of the album will be different. Or maybe I just like it because my opinion of the band had gotten really, really low. Either way, I'm sure the live show is going to kill. Can you imagine Fair Warning played in its entirety?

 

no argument from me regarding Eric Clapton.

He's a great guitarist and I enjoy listening to his music but the whole of his career has revolved around him playing "blues guitar"...even with regards to his early music: "Cream" et al.

I'd be interested in hearing him try something along the lines of  traditional Mariachi music or maybe play around with African rhythms or a full blown bluegrass album (he may have done this already...I'm not that familiar with his catalog of work) ....anything but the somewhat stereotypical blues record.

 

But, if VH did a blues record......?

 

I can imagine Fair Warning played in it's entirety...I put the CD in and listen to it. 

That being said, when I go to see a band play live, I don't want to hear the exact same version of the song that was on the CD/LP. I would hope that the band/artist would interject some variation in their performance.

 

For example- I saw "Mazzy Star" perform live years ago in a small club. For all I know they were playing the CD; lipsyncing and going though the motions like they were playing "live" just like bands did on American Bandstand (I just dated myself...)

Now, I wasn't expecting a big light show or anything "crazy" and it sounded good, but I kept thinking to myself, if I wanted to hear the CD, I could have stayed home. 


 

 

post #32 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

no argument from me regarding Eric Clapton.

He's a great guitarist and I enjoy listening to his music but the whole of his career has revolved around him playing "blues guitar"...even with regards to his early music: "Cream" et al.

I'd be interested in hearing him try something along the lines of  traditional Mariachi music or maybe play around with African rhythms or a full blown bluegrass album (he may have done this already...I'm not that familiar with his catalog of work) ....anything but the somewhat stereotypical blues record.

 

But, if VH did a blues record......?

 

I can imagine Fair Warning played in it's entirety...I put the CD in and listen to it. 

That being said, when I go to see a band play live, I don't want to hear the exact same version of the song that was on the CD/LP. I would hope that the band/artist would interject some variation in their performance.

 

For example- I saw "Mazzy Star" perform live years ago in a small club. For all I know they were playing the CD; lipsyncing and going though the motions like they were playing "live" just like bands did on American Bandstand (I just dated myself...)

Now, I wasn't expecting a big light show or anything "crazy" and it sounded good, but I kept thinking to myself, if I wanted to hear the CD, I could have stayed home. 


 

They're great live and even if shaking it up is just Dave rambling about God knows what, it would not be the same as staying home and listening to the album. I saw Rush do 2112 on the Vapor Trails tour and it was amazing.
 

 

post #33 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post

For what it's worth, I rarely like the single (or singles) the best, at least when it comes to my favorite bands.


A valid point.  Hell, the best Van Hagar song by a mile was 'Source of Infection' off of OU812, and the never got any airplay at all that I'm aware of.

 

post #34 of 196

 

re: the topic of music evolving

I just stumbled across this docu. trailer

 

Re:generation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLlxvrXURoo

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/regenerationmusicproject/

 

 

post #35 of 196
There was some sort of listening party for the CD the other night for promoters and distributors. Word coming out is pretty mixed, but it's supposedly heavier than expected.
post #36 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

re: the topic of music evolving

I just stumbled across this docu. trailer

 

Re:generation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLlxvrXURoo

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/regenerationmusicproject/

 

 

 

Interesting idea but The Doors will always suck, regardless of what new spin you give the music.
 

 

post #37 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post


A valid point.  Hell, the best Van Hagar song by a mile was 'Source of Infection' off of OU812, and the never got any airplay at all that I'm aware of.

 



I heard D.O.A. on Sirius the other day and granted I've heard it before on the radio but I think that's the best song off of Van Halen II and Dance the Night Away was the hit/ single from that album.

post #38 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

There was some sort of listening party for the CD the other night for promoters and distributors. Word coming out is pretty mixed, but it's supposedly heavier than expected.


Heavy doesn't surprise me. I figured between mining their old 70s demos and Roth's adamant dislike of the "soft" elements of the Hagar era, I figured this would be heavier. I just hope nobody is thinking Fair Warning.

post #39 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post



I heard D.O.A. on Sirius the other day and granted I've heard it before on the radio but I think that's the best song off of Van Halen II and Dance the Night Away was the hit/ single from that album.

For my money, 'Light Up the Sky' off of VAN HALEN II is their best DLR era song to never get released as a single. It's a monster.
post #40 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post

 

Interesting idea but The Doors will always suck, regardless of what new spin you give the music.
 

 



I hope you can prove that with an etch-o-sketch.

post #41 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanW View Post



I hope you can prove that with an etch-o-sketch.



No need, I have ears. I hope you're not one of those deluded people that regards Jim Morrison as a "poet."

post #42 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post


For my money, 'Light Up the Sky' off of VAN HALEN II is their best DLR era song to never get released as a single. It's a monster.


Yes. Probably my second favorite track off that album, followed by Women In Love.

post #43 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post



No need, I have ears. I hope you're not one of those deluded people that regards Jim Morrison as a "poet."



No, but the man had charisma, it's a shame the cult of Jim Morrison overshadowed the rest of the band.

post #44 of 196

   I'm not a huge Doors fan, but I do think that Morrison was a good writer and he had a cool voice. I don't think he was on some kind of road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom trip. He just liked being drunk. He was a kinda functioning alcoholic.

 

  Months ago I heard the guitarists from Creed say the new Van Halen is great. For as much as I want the new CD to kick ass, I have to take the word of a member of Creed with a grain of salt.

 

 

My favorite Van Halen album cut is Little Guitars.

post #45 of 196

Little Guitars is amazing. There's a riff in the intro that's better than most rock bands could come up with in a career, and they play it exactly twice and never return to it again. Such are the pleasures of early Van Halen. Surprised no one ever sampled it for a hip hop beat.

 

That's ultimately what's disappointing about the new track. It's not so much that they haven't evolved their sound, it's just that it's so lacking in real creativity and inspiration. It's only got one riff in it and it's something any bog standard rock back of the last 40 years could've knocked out. The jazzy chords in the final seconds of the song is the only bit that reminds of what Eddie used to be capable of. I don't think it's *terrible*, just completely unremarkable.

post #46 of 196

post #47 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Little Guitars is amazing. There's a riff in the intro that's better than most rock bands could come up with in a career, and they play it exactly twice and never return to it again. Such are the pleasures of early Van Halen. Surprised no one ever sampled it for a hip hop beat.

 

That's ultimately what's disappointing about the new track. It's not so much that they haven't evolved their sound, it's just that it's so lacking in real creativity and inspiration. It's only got one riff in it and it's something any bog standard rock back of the last 40 years could've knocked out. The jazzy chords in the final seconds of the song is the only bit that reminds of what Eddie used to be capable of. I don't think it's *terrible*, just completely unremarkable.


This. It's hard to believe that when it came out, Diver Down was generally regarded as pretty half-assed by most critics, yet save for Dancing in the Streets, it's still an awesome album. There was such an effortlessness to this band, even in the early years of the Hagar era.

 

post #48 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post


 Diver Down was generally regarded as pretty half-assed by most critics, 

 


It IS pretty half-assed.  5 of the 12 songs are covers and some of the original songs are utter crap ('Big Bad Bill', for instance).  'Little Guitars' is a full on masterpiece, though.  Killer riffs with a great melodic throughline, and it also features one of DLR's better vocal performances (he actually hits a couple of notes).

 

If I were to rate the DLR era albums, it would go like this:

 

VAN HALEN A++

FAIR WARNING A+

VAN HALEN II A

1984 A-

 

 

WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST B

 

DIVER DOWN D

 

post #49 of 196

From what I understand Warner Bros wanted a album ASAP; that is why Diver Down is only half new material. That said I love it! Those dudes where so good, they made an awesome album without trying.

post #50 of 196

Big Bad Bill is a cover as well. I like it though! 'Secrets' and a couple of the covers are good but I have to agree that album's pretty slight on the whole.

 

Last time I had a Van Halen itch I developed a new appreciation for Women and Children. That one's just full on high speed rock and roll for pretty much the whole thing, aside from the equally delightful couple of mellow tracks at the end. Also no matter how many times I hear it I don't think I'll ever get my head around what's going on with the rhythm in Loss Of Control.

 

I'm not sure if this is considered controversial, but I think VHII is my least favourite of the Roth albums. Couple of great tracks, but on the whole it just sounds like a less memorable version of the first album.

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