We all know about the Van Halen saga with singers. David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, the horrible stint with Gary Cherone. But what about Paul Shaffer on his Hammond organ??? Thank goodness this was just a jam session…Cool video to see but the Hammond is not my favorite sound in rock n roll history.
I did hear that VH was actually contemplating using a bunch of popular singers as replacements after DLR’s departure. An All-Star cast would have been interesting, but, I think the Sammy thing worked out ok for them. The only name I heard for the All-Star album was Phil Collins…hmmmm…
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!
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.
Last night was the big show I’ve been looking forward to for basically 28 years.
It has always been a regret of mine having never seen the original Van Halen lineup with David Lee Roth, even though, I have seen them a handful of times with Sammy Hagar since.
After going to the concert last night my first thought is….I really wish I would have seen them with DLR back in the day!
They have lost their fastball. The show lacked a rockin’ forward motion that I have seen in their past shows. They have also had some recorded tracks in the background(unless they have musicians behind the scenes)
David Lee Roth is a nut job. Good to see him back in the band but he looked like he should have been in a Broadway show…and glad he loves dogs but didn’t really get the video montage of his dogs herding sheep.
The crowd! They should have started the show at noon cause I think everyone was asleep. I have never seen so many people sitting down at a rock concert. There are still plenty of bands in Van Halen’s age group that the fans are up on their feet.
I could hear all of Eddie’s guitar riffs and licks clearly and although Dave didn’t really have anything important to say you could definitely hear him.
The whole band sounded great, instrumentally!
Eddie played guitar the whole time…no keyboards (although as mentioned before they were recorded or played by someone behind the scenes)
The setlist was awesome! “Beautiful Girls,” “Romeo Delight,” ” Women in Love,” “Hear About it Later,” etc. It was great to hear lots of the old songs! View Setlist
I like the fact that they have dropped some of the Rockstar histrionics and focused more on the music.
Smart idea to have Kool & The Gang as opening act. I think it made the concert more fun for the wives of all us guitar geeks.
The greatest thing for me was to see Eddie! He looked and played really good. He has been through so much the last several years with the cancer, addictions and crazy cat lady pictures. He just looked healthy even put on some weight.
You probably know by now that I’ve dubbed this Van Halen Week in San Diego. Eddie, Dave, Alex and Wolfgang are coming to San Diego for the first time since DLR leaving the band after their “1984” tour. Unfortunately, as a kid I missed this last chance to see the original lineup although I saw them several times with Sammy Hagar.
Now they are back touring the world again! Yeah, they are older and a bit kookier, but, no way I was going to miss them this time. Of course it still isn’t the original lineup as Eddie’s son Wolfgang has taken the place of original bassist Michael Anthony.
Eddie was my biggest guitar influence growing up and to this day, as well. The new album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” is sinking into my brain more and more as I catch the nuances that Eddie always supplies…crazy rock star or not the guy is an incredible musician.
The setlist looks great too. I thought they would go with a lot of their more poppy tunes but it looks like they have gone with a healthy mix of their hits, as well as, some of their more obscure classics.
I am really stoked to hear songs that I never thought I would hear live. “Women in Love,” “Ice Cream Man,” and my all time favorite Van Halen song, “Hear About it Later,” from the album, “Fair Warning”.
Seeing how it has been 28 years since they made an album and toured with David Lee Roth, I thought I would offer some historical perspective.
Things we never heard of:
Global Warming, carbon footprints, declining California Home prices, CD’s, cell phones, Internet, DVD’s, Taliban, Clinton, G.W. Bush, Obama, ‘President’ Bush (The first one was still VP for Regan who was still in his first term when “1984” came out.), Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, St. Louis Rams, Taliban, 911(may we never hear of another), DVR, reality TV, American Idol, Aerosmith reunion, flat screens, Wii, Like A Virgin, boy bands, Grunge, Death Metal, Satellite Radio, Derek Jeter, Brett Farve, High Definition, Van Hagar, bungee jumping, Fresh Prince, The Terminator….
Now that is a long time to wait for a concert…a wait that ends this Thursday!