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Help me listen to Van Halen

Dr. Tweedbucket

Deluxe model available !!!11
1. Superglue yourself to your bed.

2. Blow $1000 or more on the best headphones you can purchase, and put them on your head.

3. Have a multi CD player with all the remaster versions, VH though 1984 on set on continuous loop.

4. Have the volume cranked up to an uncomfortable level and then back off about 5%

5. Lock your house, room, hide your car, call off sick from work for a week and stop the mail.

6. Go over and hit the play button!

You didn't superglue yourself to the bed yet, did you? :waiting


OP, based on your “drop the needle” explanation of why you want suggestions, make sure you also listen to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” after listening to some of the Van Halen records.

That song came on last week and I really listened closely. Two observations:

It’s definitely part of the Van Halen legend - greatest rock guitarist plays on biggest record of all time by most gigantic pop star of the 80’s. It is an "80's moment".

Completely disregarding all of that narrative baggage, the solo is just mind-bogglingly perfect. It is bizzare that a guitarist can play in a style that idiosyncratic, and yet still play the perfect thing for the song. Every element is the exact right thing at the exact right time.
I remember the day that Beat It aired for the first time on FM radio. Me and a few friends were picking up some albums at Discomat (a record store in NYC) and as soon as the solo came on we all looked at each other slack jawed and said in unison “Holy s**t! That’s Van Halen playing that solo!”
To be able to have such a unique playing style and sound that Eddie did is testament to the impact he’s had on music. There was no way possible that solo at the time we heard it could have been played by anyone other than Eddie. Even someone attempting to sound like him would have been a dead giveaway that it wasn’t EVH.


Silver Supporting Member
Just skip it. EVH is a great guitar player, but David Lee Roth is like nails on a chalkboard. I grew up in the exact era they dominated and let me tell you, you're better off listening to some Ramones and Dead Boys. No amount of good guitar playing is worth the drivel coming out of Roth. They had a few good songs, but most of it was bland songwriting interspersed with guitar solos. Too much technique, not an ounce of soul.
Now I await the angry rebuttals.
Listen, this is just my opinion, I've been having this argument with friends since the late '70s.
Strongly disagree. In fact, I'd say that DLR was more a critical part of VH than Eddie was. Eat Em and Smile is a way better album than 5150 to that point.


Silver Supporting Member
Y'all, I went and listened to Beat It and paid attention to the solo for the first time... well, in my life. Yup, definitely EVH. He really did have a voice.

VHI continues to be on around my house. I'm quite impressed, and I *like* DLR's voice. I think he adds a lot, and pushes the whole thing over the top.

Looking forward to moving on this weekend.


Silver Supporting Member
I logged back on tonight to share this story.

Thanks to the Beato video someone posted about Jump, I watched it yesterday. That meant this morning during breakfast I put the song on and my daughter and I listened to it. (She's 3, and her mom is out of town for a few days, so it's just been the two of us. We've had a blast.) She dug it.

So tonight, we got a pizza and ate in the family room while watching a movie (a very rare treat!). Afterwards, she pulled me off the couch and said "Daddy, let's have a dance party!" I said okay and asked what song, and she said "Jump!" We rocked out for the whole song, including jumping every time the song said "Jump" and air-guitaring a solo.

And I always thought that song was silly.


Kramm, wanted to let you know because of this thread I went back and watched a couple of the "Live without a Net" videos on youtube for the 5150 tour - songs "Summer Nights" and "Best of Both Worlds". Now, understanding that I grew up in the 1980s and VH was my band, I still was surprised at how "FUN" the whole thing was. I shocked me, because bands today rarely do the fun thing anymore. Sammy, Eddie and Mikey just running around on stage having fun, jumping off stuff, doing a line dance, cracking jokes - just how loose and free-wheeling the whole thing was. After VH and hair of late 80s happened it seems like so much of rock music became this serious thing with serious faces, rough exterior look, and dark songs - and I'd forgotten just how FUN the 80s rock vibe was.

Rick Lee

Didn't anyone mention Beautiful Girls? Geezus, that's some of the coolest VH swing and swagger there ever was. Yeah, I'm the One is the benchmark, but BG is every bit as good. I got the first album when it came out. I was a Kiss fanatic then, in second grade and hadn't yet started on guitar. But man, what a ride those first six albums were. Oh, and check out Girl Gone Bad. You need a cigarette after that song.


Platinum Supporting Member
Didn't anyone mention Beautiful Girls? Geezus, that's some of the coolest VH swing and swagger there ever was.

i'm gonna go back and edit my "skimming through the hits" overview, that one has to be in there
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Silver Supporting Member
California, summer ‘78
Candy apple red ‘68 Firebird Conv.
Annie sitting shotgun
Bottle of Meyers,gallon of OJ bag of ice
VH1 Cassette on loop

It didn’t matter if you didn’t own the tape you could hear VH1 reverberating through the streets

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