Hello

Hello

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My favorite albums: Van Halen

I just wanted to take a quick second to thank all of you guys(and gals, hey Randomnerd:) that stop by and comment on this mad little experiment that is my blog.

I want you all to know how much I truly appreciate the interest and time you all take out your busy schedules to drop me a line, disagree or agree with me, and so on.

So here's a big thank you, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!:)

Today's post is about another of my favorite rock albums of all time.

Some of you my agree on this week's selection, some of you may not; but there's no denying how influential this week's band has been on rock music in general.

I ain't talkin' 'bout love, I'm talkin' 'bout Van Halen.

If you were there(and I wasn't because I wasn't even born yet) 1977 was a crazy time in rock, and music in general.

You had punk, the new wave of metal(both British and American) rock, and disco all fighting it out for supremacy of the charts.

And in the midst of all that, out came this band from Pasadena, California, Van Halen.

I won't get into their whole history, as that would take up way too time, but if you interested, and don't already know, here's the Wikipedia.org link to get you up to speed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_halen

Today, I'm talking about their debut album, and what a blast of fresh air that album was, and what tracks I love(just about all of them!)


At first glance, you may be asking yourself, what's so special about this album? It looks like every other rock album put out around that time period.

And that's where you'd be wrong.


First off, the cover, while not a super revolutionary concept, is one I don't think was used on a lot of covers back then.

Seriously, look at it.

All the band members are in motion, with a wicked time-distorted, blurry effect thing going on.
To me, they all kind of look like Led Zeppelin, especially lead singer David Lee Roth in his "I'm the sexy, cool, lead singer" pose.

But trust me, inside that album, they seriously kick a whole lotta' ass!

Don't believe me? Just hit play and listen to the blistering licks and heavy sounds of the intro song "Eruption".

Yeah, it's like that motherfucker!

I kid you not, that intro was an immediate game-changer for 1977, and put all the other rock bands on notice that this band wasn't to be taken lightly.

To me, it's one of the best intros/lead-ins out there, as it goes from here to a cover of a famous song by The Kinks, "You really got me."

Of course I'd be remiss, if I didn't state that the very first song on the album, "Running with the devil". This song is pretty much a rock anthem if there ever was, you know, since rock music has long been dismissed and labeled as "Devil/Satan music".

If that's the case, sign me up for a long tour of hell. At least they're will be plenty of company:)

Here's "Running with the Devil":
Damn! Now that's rock and roll right there!

Moving on, is the famous "Ain't talkin' 'bout love."

Obviously an ode to one-night stands, this songs rocks while being pretty honest and up-front about what Diamond Dave wants.

Here's some of the lyrics, just to show you how smooth, but up-front Dave is on the subject:

"I heard the news baby
All about your disease
Yeah, you may have all you want baby
But I got somethin' you need. Oh, yeah!
Ain't talkin' 'bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain't talkin' 'bout love
Just like I told you before. Yeah, before

You know you're semi-good lookin'
And on the streets again
Ooh yeah, you think you're really cookin' baby
You better find yourself a friend, my friend

Ain't talkin' 'bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain't gonna talk about love
Just like I told you before! Before! Uh, before! Uh, before! Before!"

Would believe this song was written by guitarist Eddie Van Halen? Yeah, I didn't either until I looked it up.

"I'm the one" is pretty good too, but the next series of songs are better, and much more popular.
Like, how about "Jamie's Cryin" or "Atomic Punk", a very timely song for that era. Its definitely one of my favorites.

Here, take a listen:

Damn that's heavy, isn't it? Awesome, awesome guitar riffs!

"Feel your love tonight" is another pretty good song, but I prefer the next one after that, "Little Dreamer". Again vintage Eddie Van Halen riffs on this one. Well hell, the whole band sells, it, but those opening cords, ohhhh, yeah baby!

Now as for the meaning of the song, I'm not too sure there. By reading and listening to the lyrics, you get a sense this song's about a person that society's kind of given up on, and and written off. The person still dreams and reminisces about the fun times he/she had back in their earlier days, so I guess maybe they used to be on top of the world, and aren't? IDK, but it's still a damn good song nonetheless.

Next to the last song is "Ice Cream Man", another one of my personal favorites, and yes, it's dripping with sexual innuendos. God I miss the days of clever wordplay like that. True there's nothing wrong with being direct and to the point, but it really takes some thought and imagination to come up with ways to say "I want to fuck you" but in coy and sly manner.

Here's the lyrics, and then the song:

"Dedicate one to the ladies...
Now summertime's here babe, need somethin' to keep you cool
Ah, now summertime's here babe, need somethin' to keep you cool
Better look out now though, Dave's got somethin' for you
Tell ya what it is
I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
Oh my, my, I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
See now all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy
Hold on a second baby

I got bim bam banana pops, dixie cups
All flavors and push-ups too

I'm your ice cream man baby, stop me when I'm passin' by
See now all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy Hold on, one more

Well I'm usually passin' by just about eleven o'clock
Uh huh, I never stop
I'm usually passin' by just around eleven o'clock
And if ya' let me cool you one time, you'll be my regular stop

All right boys!

I got bim bam banana pops, dixie cups
All flavors and push-ups too

I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
See now all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy, yes
I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
They say all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy Ah one time

(Guitar Solo)

I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
I'm your ice cream man, stop me when I'm passin' by
They say all my flavors are guaranteed to satisfy

One time boys!
I'm your ice cream man
I'm your ice cream man
B-B-B-B-B-B-B-Baby!
Ah my my my
All my flavors are guaranteed......to satis-uh-fy
Ow!"

Now how can't you not love that?

I did a little digging to find out it's not a Van Halen original, but was written by famous blues musician John Brim. Well sir, I'd like to thank you for providing us, and Van Halen, with a damn fine song:)

And finally, to close out the album, there's "On fire."
Not a bad song in and off itself really. It just fucking rocks!

Here's the live version to help me sell it for ya':
Interestingly enough, that's exactly what Richard Pryor said when that crack pipe he was smoking exploded and set him........ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!:)

Yeah, I went there. And yes, that's a true story. Look it up kids:)

This is also a song I could easily see the Red Hot Chili Peppers covering, since it has that Flea-like bass riff that the band's so famous for.

So that's their first album in a nut-shell.

Of course all know Van Halen would go on to sell millions....and millions of albums, and became world famous. But it all started somewhere, and it started right here, with their first album.

Now you should already know the band's back together again with Diamond Dave on lead vocals, minus long-time bassist Michael Antony, who was more or less let go or booted out, in favor of Eddie's son Wolfgang. 

Yeah I don't get that one either.

But they did release a new album called "A different kind of truth", and are currently touring the US and around the world, so at least there's that.....I think.


No comments: