Van Halen’s “Women and Children First” Turns 33

VH Women&ChildrenFirst

I cant believe this album is 33 years old today. I was young when Van Halen originally debuted in 1978 and I didn’t really know about them until after their fourth album, “Fair Warning,” my favorite VH alum, which was released in 1981. The upside to this was I had four incredible guitar albums to digest at one time including this one. When you are 12 years old and have nothing else to do, I really got to delve into these collections, “Van Halen,” “Van Halen II,” and the two previously mentioned albums.

Last night I watched, “Argo.” Yes, I know I am the last to see it. Director, Ben Affleck, utilized Van Halen’s, “Dance the Night Away,” to create the vibe of 1979/1980. This did put into perspective how old these albums are. Images of Jimmy Carter, Ayatollah Khomeini and the whole Iranian Hostage Crisis were memories from my childhood. Glad the music sounds fresher today than these old news stories!

“Women & Children,” the bands third album, was a little heavier in sound then their first two albums. A trend that continued through, “Fair Warning,” which was the bands worst selling album, although critically at least in my opinion and the fans I know, their best! Of note, on Women and Children, was Eddie Van Halen a notable pianist, as well as, guitarist’s first effort using keyboards on a VH recording. Ironically the sound of the keyboards on “And the Cradle Will Rock…,” was masked by running the sound through a guitar amplifier and virtually sounding, well, like a guitar. Also ironic is the fact that the use of keyboards propelled Van Halen’s popularity with songs like, “Jump,” “I’ll Wait,” and many of the Van Hagar Era hits.

In 2012 the boys teamed up once again with frontman David Lee Roth for a new album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” and subsequent tour. The best part of this tour was the fact they could play the true Van Halen songs that Sammy Hagar would never sing. From, Women and Children, they included, “Everybody Wants Some,” “And the Cradle Will Rock…,” and “Romeo Delight.” Check out the Setlist from the San Diego show, June 14, 2012.

Here’s to listening to these albums in another 33 years! Watch out grandkids cause you will be the wrath of my old man tunes!!!

This video contains the complete album, 33 minutes in length.

Enjoy!

The Oscar for Best Original Score, Goes To…

The Oscar For Best Original Song, Goes To…

The 2013 Academy Awards are all set to be broadcast this weekend. A time for movie goers Oscarto celebrate their favorite films and actors of the year. A time for millionaire actor$ and billionaire $tudios to finally be bestowed some actual credit for their hard work. 😉

Of all the yearly award shows the Oscars is my favorite. Much more than the Grammys, my own industries honors. Even more than the ESPYs…wait do we really need a sports award show? Isn’t that why they play the games to figure out who’s the best?

Of course my favorite awards of the night are for my favorite part of most movies…the music! Best original score and best original song.

Nominees for Best Original Score:

While all are very well composed scores with interesting soundscapes, there were none that were truly unique or mind-blowing, over the top. That said…

Anna KareninaDario Marianelli

Perhaps the most artistic of all the nominees. Reminiscent of the Russian Romantic composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

ArgoAlexandre Desplat

A nice combination of modern technology and middle-east flavors. In my opinion the synth driven background is not as difficult in compositional nature as Lincoln and Anna Karenina.

Life of PiMychael Danna

Danna sets a very nice mood with the peaceful score in Life of Pi. The use of eastern instruments and ideals lends perfectly to the movie. In my opinion the score is a bit too minimalist and might suffer from its demure sonic atmosphere.

Lincoln–  John Williams

I am really impressed with this one. When I first heard Williams was penning the music for Lincoln I kind of rolled my eyes. ‘Lets use the biggest name in the film scoring business.’ He tends to be bombastic and his moves often have a similar style. However, I really like what he did for Lincoln. Williams did a great job composing Americana music, as well as, setting traditional songs of the day. Maybe not some of his most memorable sounds, but, some of his truly best artistically and structurally!

SkyfallThomas Newman

This is a cool fun score. Newman did a great job interpreting the James Bond theme we all love with some techno beats and backgrounds. I think this nomination will suffer from being a 007 film and similar to Argo I don’t think this piece had the same compositional chops as Lincoln and Anna Karenina.

So you can probably already tell where I am going with this pick. In my opinion it is definitely between Lincoln and Anna Karenina. My personal vote would be for Lincoln. I am torn on who I think the Academy has picked. The slightly superior Lincoln or the more artistic Anna Karenina.

Gotta go with my gut…

The Oscar for Best Original Score, Goes To…John Williams for Lincoln!!