The Beatle-esque Album Cover
Van Hagar’s 2nd album, “OU812,” turns 25 today.
This album was 3rd in a line of alpha numeric titled Van Halen albums. The Roth era was ushered out with, “1984,” while the Hagar era began with, “5150,” this album, “OU812,” and then, “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge,” which is really just an elaborate play on the words in the title’s first initials…..shhh I think it was a bad word, but, dont tell anyone!
How does, “OU812,” stand the test of time? Well, when I was a kid, I loved this album. As time has gone on I lost touch with this album, as well as, “5150.” I guess that doesn’t bode well for its longevity.
There are some great songs, “Mine All Mine,” “When It’s Love,” “Cabo Wabo,” “Feels So Good” and “Black and Blue.” There are some forgettable songs too… Van Halen reached a new ‘chic’ status with “Finish What You Started.” It displayed a kind of hip adult coolness that appealed to a whole new audience for the band.
The summer of ’88 was great and I remember cranking this album at the San Diego beaches and having a great time. However, the production on this album and the thin guitar sound Eddie utilized leave a little to be desired in the history of VH’s storied output. Time, in my opinion has not been kind to, “OU812.” Eddie reached back for a heavier sound for his recordings after this one. While not in the caliber of those amazing Roth Era recordings, the guitar sound and production on subsequent albums has been much better.
That said…a slightly lackluster Van Halen is better than a lot of other bands strongest efforts!