Archive for Eddie Van Halen

Great Metal Albums of 1979: Van Halen II

Posted in 1979, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by 80smetalman


Since I finished the tour of 1978 with their first album, I thought it was only fitting that I ended my tour of 1979 with their second one. This was definitely one of the albums that converted me to metal and some might say I’m crazy, but VHII is my all time favourite Van Halen album. It could be argued that this is because I listened to this one before I listened to their first one but still, for me, this album is Van Halen at their very best.

This album goes back to a time when they were a tight outfit and the quality of the songs on it show why. Yes, there’s the single “Dance the Night Away,” which I was told got played in a disco. (Can’t say for sure because I never went to those places.) Still, I know many a rocker, like me who really got into this song. Then there’s one of my favourite metal drinking songs, “Bottoms Up.” Great memories of trying to sing the chorus after sinking a few cold ones, okay many cold ones but you get my point. I still strain my ear when the instrumental “Spanish Fly” is played in order to appreciate the guitar work by one of the masters Eddie Van Halen. Of course, after all the other great tracks, what better way to end the album than “Beautiful Girls,” even if David Lee Roth gets shot down at the end of the song.

Track Listing:

1. You’re No Good

2. Dance the Night Away

3. Somebody Get Me a Doctor

4. Bottoms Up!

5. Outta Love Again

6. Light Up the Sky

7. Spanish Fly

8. D.O.A.

9. Women in Love

10. Beautiful Girls

Van Halen

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- vocals

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

Before they would get entangled with in fighting and other things, Van Halen made some excellent music. Their second album is proof of this and for me, it was a great way to end the 7os. This concludes my tour of 1979 but stay tuned for we will now proceed to what I consider the golden decade of heavy metal and I hope you will come for the ride to see why I feel that way. But first, I thought I would take a little one post break, (see below).

Next post: A Rock/Metal Poll

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Great Metal Albums of 1978: Van Halen I

Posted in 1978, Heavy Metal, Music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2012 by 80smetalman

I thought what better way to end the tour through 1978 than to visit the very first album by Van Halen. Like so many great rock and metal albums that came out in this year, this album didn’t come into my fields of vision for another year when I heard a marine buddy blasting it through the barracks. I only heard part of the album, but I was hooked. The weird thing was that I actually bought II before I bought this one.

Some metal officiandos have compared Van Halen to Led Zepplin and I admit there are some similarities. But Van Halen I gave Van Halen a unique sound of their own. To me this was just as heavy as Ted Nugent and it opened my eyes to a whole new world out there in music. You could say that Van Halen I was the final rock in the stream that caused the rivers of rock to overflow.

What really made this album for me was the fantastic guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. “Eruption” totally blew my mind and the way they metalised a classic Kinks song let me know that heavy metal was the road I wanted to travel down. I can’t really think of a track I don’t like but if you were to ask my favourite, it has to be “Ice Cream Man.” I loved the way it starts with the accoustic and then rips into a full metal frenzy. Yes, I can say that for me and others, Van Halen I was the album that paved the way.

Track Listing:

1. Running With the Devil

2. Eruption

3. You Really Got Me

4. Ain’t Talin’ About Love

5. I’m the One

6. I’m on Fire

7. Jamie’s Crying

8. Atomic Punk

9. Feel Your Love Tonight

10. Little Dreamer

11. Ice Cream Man

Van Halen

David Lee Roth- lead vocals, accoustic guitar

Eddie Van Halen- guitars, backing vocals

Michael Anthony- bass, backing vocals

Alex Van Halen- drums

I hope you have enjoyed my little tour through the rock and metal history of 1978 and will continue on the ride to 1979. There will be plenty of albums to come in that year. So, I will leave you for now with one artist I first discovered in 1978 on the Saturday Night Live show. I admit, I like some of Kate Bush’s eccentricities and her early music. It is also probably why I have a thing for British women, after all, I married two of them.

Next post: 1979- The Year the Damn Began to Burst

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Great Guitarists of the 70s

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by 80smetalman

When people think of the great rock guitarists in the 70s, they will almost always mention what I call the big 3, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Eddie Van Halen.  

These three were considered by many to be the top of the heap back then. Eric Clapton thrilled many with his gutsy blues style and Jimmy Page opened a door with a new style for the many metal axemen which would follow him. Eddie Van Halen was the late comer, arriving on the scene in 1978 and carrying on into the 80s, he set the standard which other guitarists could only hope to achieve.

I’m sure many would put forward arguments for many other guitarists and rightly so. The 70s did have its share of those who could smoke the fingerboard. Of that many, the three I wish to put forward here are Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Ted Nugent.

As a teenager in the mid and late 70s, I heard many would be guitarists copying the famous riffs on “Smoke On The Water” first played by Ritchie Blackmore when he was in Deep Purple. Blackmore had a style all his own. However, considered by many to be the “master of the riff” was Tony Iommi. You only have to listen to classic Sabbath songs like “Paranoid” and “Iron Man” to see why. Like Van Halen, Ted Nugent was a late comer for me. Sure, he had been around before then but it wasn’t until 1977 when I heard “Cat Scratch Fever” on my little AM only radio, that I would eventually realise that I was listening to one of the guitar greats.

As in the above, I am definitely sure that many would suggest a lot of guitarists for the final category, the “underrated guitarists.” There were many guitarists who are considered great but didn’t fully get the recognition they deserved. However, I am going to list the three who I feel were definitely underrated back then; Brian May, Gary Richrath and Craig Chaquico.

Most of the British readers may be a little shocked that I am including Brian May here. It is true that in Britain, he was already being put in the above category. However, this wasn’t the case in the USA. While Queen were often in the charts, I don’t remember much talk about May’s guitar skills back in the 70s. In fact, one person shot him down saying that the guitar was dubbed in fifteen times when Queen albums were being produced. Boy, I wish I had a time machine. That is why Brian May didn’t get the respect he deserved as a guitarist.

The problem is when people think of REO Speedwagon, they tend to think of their more commercial stuff in the 80s and don’t realise what a hard rocking band they were back in the 70s. I am going to touch on this more in the future. But this is why their guitarist Gary Richrath, still probably doesn’t get the respect he deserves. I challenge anyone to listen to the song “Roll With the Changes” of the album “You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish” album and say differently. When I listen to that song and most of their other 70s stuff, I fully appreciate the guitar work of Richrath.

Back in the 1970s, Jefferson Starship were considered a band that made “mellow out love songs” and just about all of their singles were that. That is why their guitarist, Craig Chaquico, didn’t get the recognition he deserved back then. However, when I hear his solos on the songs “Run Away” and “Ride the Tiger,” I know that I am listening to a man who knows how to work the six string. Chaquico was a great guitarist and fortunately for him, Jefferson Starship changed to a more rocking sound in the 80s and his talents were given more appreciation.

I know there are many more axemen I could name here and everyone is invited to contribute who they think might have been a great guitarist in the 70s.

Next Post: Great Rock Albums of the 7os, Aeromsith- Toys in the Attic

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