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Why didn’t EVH make more music?

musekatcher

Member
Messages
2,334
I think he was super intelligent, not to release some pablum jazz, showtunes, coffeehouse, bluegrass - he knew those are a) tiny markets, 2) the definition of those styles is fixed, so anything so classified, is a repeat, 3) a master artist doesn't do things just because they can. He made his statements that cover the creativity and virtuosity essential to all music, and thru shear will and intellect, got the LP-buying world to like harder rock again. Without using his voice or hips. That was a heck of an accomplishment, especially in the disco-drenched, synth string pad 70's. And to double down, he created one of the most recognizable opening riffs with a synth.
 
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KestnerGS

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
392
More money than you can spend, and probably having to suffer through what he did health wise. I don't think anyone probably understands unless they were close to him. Very private.
 

DRS

Member
Messages
11,509
Artist make art. Guitar was not popular when the band broke. They made it popular. I have not sold a thing but the desire to create never diminishes
In 78 disco and new wave were huge. There was a reason Simmons couldn't get them a deal. I think some of you are really living revisionist history. The bands everyone are mentioning were already well established, legacy acts in 78. No one was signing hard rock bands at that time
More accurate would be that hard rock was not projected to be popular in 1978. New wave and punk were still mostly guitar driven (Police, The Cars, etc.), and disco, while popular in urban centres, was pretty much dying by 1978 and despised by most kids I knew except when a girl wanted to dance. I was a 17 year old lower middle-class suburban white boy in 1978 so I was pretty much the bullseye of the target demographic then. Van Halen was certainly swimming against the current and ignored or dismissed by all mainstream music critics right up until 1984. But we (my peers) all loved guitar and guitar music from the late 60s on forward so we loved Van Halen. Like it or not, hair metal was a direct reaction to Van Halen's success.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
22,573
More accurate would be that hard rock was not projected to be popular in 1978. New wave and punk were still mostly guitar driven (Police, The Cars, etc.), and disco, while popular in urban centres, was pretty much dying by 1978 and despised by most kids I knew except when a girl wanted to dance. I was a 17 year old lower middle-class suburban white boy in 1978 so I was pretty much the bullseye of the target demographic then. Van Halen was certainly swimming against the current and ignored or dismissed by all mainstream music critics right up until 1984. But we (my peers) all loved guitar and guitar music from the late 60s on forward so we loved Van Halen. Like it or not, hair metal was a direct reaction to Van Halen's success.
Album sales were still a big thing in the 70's, so let's look at what was topping the charts in the years preceding the release of Van Halen's debut:

1976: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_200_number-one_albums_of_1976

Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Bob Dylan, Eagles, Peter Frampton, Wings, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, George Benson, Stevie Wonder

1977: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_200_number-one_albums_of_1977

Stevie Wonder, Wings, Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Barry Manilow (for one week), Linda Rondstadt

1978: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_200_number-one_albums_of_1978

Fleetwood Mac, Saturday Night Fever OST, Gerry Rafferty, The Rolling Stones, Grease OST, Boston, Linda Rondstadt, Donna Summer, Billy Joel

1979: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_200_number-one_albums_of_1979

Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel, Blues Brothers, Rod Stewart, Bee Gees, Doobie Brothers, Supertramp, Donna Summer, The Knack, Led Zeppelin, Eagles

1980: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Billboard_200_number-one_albums_of_1980

Donna Summer, Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, Bob Seger, Billy Joel, The Rolling Stones, Jackson Browne, Queen, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers, John Lennon and Yoko Ono

I see plenty of guitars there, but nothing in the way of Hard Rock, with the exception of Zeppelin.
 

Alchemist XP

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,703
Eddie and Jimi are the reason I picked up a guitar. Love VH! I keep wishing we had more music to listen too. I wish Eddie would have made more recording. I’d love to hear an EVH instrumental album.
People always ask the question about Jimi or SRV: what could have been if they would have lived longer? Well, Eddie lived a longer life but didn’t really add much to his body of work.
Seriously, Eddie recorded a ton of music ... 12+ albums ... lots of live stuff ...
 

Cpt Adama

Member
Messages
4
Most creativity comes when your younger. If you look at geniuses throughout history most of them made their biggest contributions in their mid twenty's to mid thirty's. That goes for almost any field like physics i.e. Einstein, Electricity i.e. Tesla, Etc. As you age that tends to drop off as you age. In addition as you get older and more successful, life gets more complex and you have more time soaks in your life. i.e. families, kids, divorces, health and drugs, pets, finances, touring, dealing with record companies, etc.
 

jrockbridge

Member
Messages
4,495
Prince died alone, ODing on drugs.
True. That’s certainly another significant difference between the two. I’m not sure how it plays into the points about being a prolific songwriter and recording entire songs but I can make a guess, I suppose.

I think Ed was more about family in the end. I’m not sure he had the same level of interest in producing material. Anyway, what EVH did produce is amazing. It’s actually quite a lot of great material regardless of any comparison to other people.

Prince tried to be a family man but that did not work out. He was more of a loner in that regard in the end. I’m not sure how happy Prince was in his personal life. I think he was a bit more of a tragic figure in his personal life and seemed to pour himself into his music to try not to think about the disappointment of his life. Because he was a singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, capable of recording as a one man band, and possibly because he was essentially by himself a lot, he was very prolific in creating completed music.

I think Ed was possibly capable of doing a lot of creating on his own but he was a backup singer who did not seem that interested in writing lyrics. He seemed to complete songs with a singer, lyric writer to work with him. Whether or not Ed was capable of doing everything by himself, he seemed to only produce complete songs in a partnership with another person. Sammy Hagar has said that EVH could not write songs alone. Just one opinion from someone who was close to EVH for a time.
 

Celticdave

Seeker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,184
This may've already been mentioned, but there should probably be a separation between music written and music released. Check out around 2:20 of this interview:

 

Cpt Adama

Member
Messages
4
I never stated that Edward was a “one trick pony” although others here have made that assertion. My point was he never removed himself from the framework of the band Van Halen (save for the occasional cameo or stylistic exercise such as the great tunes you mentioned) rather, he never put himself in a different situation in which he would be forced to make new music with others- even those of equal stature.
Pretty sure MJ was of equal stature, so that argument doesn't really hold water. There is no requirement to remove yourself from what works for you to be creative and put yourself in possibly uncomfortable or inconvenient structures to prove yourself a musical genius, it was obvious to everyone he was a genius. Well, almost everyone.
 
Messages
95
All the love in the world for EVH and total respect for what he did for the guitar. His ability to think out of the box could have also been useful for other technologies and processes - like Jeff Baxter for example who did (or does) work for US defense agencies.
I'm wondering if there was only so many places left for him to go with the guitar tricks he used. Every album moving forward couldn't have less Floyd Rose and dive bombs and crazy harmonics than the one prior. His fans insisted on that.
I wished he would have gone into different style. Maybe he did. If you've seen the recent YouTube of the tour of the 5150 studio focused on the racks of tapes of both finished product and ideas. There may be some gems hidden in that library. I hope we find out.
 

Rorer714

Member
Messages
38
according to what Alex and Wolf have said, there are hundreds of hours of stuff. whether any of it is song quality remains to be seen-and heard.
 

Imem

Member
Messages
174
I wonder how they handle the unreleased stuff, seems people are assuming Wolf and Alex will just curate and release a bunch of it, but what if Ed's wishes were it not to be released? I'd think if he had something there he wanted out in the public he could have done it over the years. And I'd guess Wolf will be more respectful of his father's wishes in that regard. Doesn't seem like there is an 'estate' that would be trying to ring as much value out of the unreleased stuff there. Then again maybe Ed didn't care and they can do whatever they want with it.
 

John Hurtt

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
18,789
Good point--you can't just take unfinished work tapes and make finished "songs" out of them after the writer dies.

Fair point, but the Hendrix material being released has caused some discord among fans. It is especially a problem when the material is deemed substandard, and can be looked at as a simple cash grab.
 

seward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
942
Eddie was in the machine. It just wanted to make money from him, and when it got what it wanted - stadium-filling sounds for the masses - it spit out a 3x5 card with rehab contact info and canceled his key cards. He was a victim of corporate rock. Really.
 

JoeB63

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,608
I think you make a good point here. For all his talent, Eddie's music was in the service of fairly sophomoric material. It's unfortunate that there in no "All Along the Watchtower" , "Day In the Life" , or "Ramble On, etc. in his catalogue, because he was certainly capable of producing that kind of timeless music
To be fair, Ramble On was about Hobbits.
 




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