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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    It seems to me that the band was in a bit of a rut moving forward through the Sammy years until the end...at least guitar-wise.

    OU812 I respect because it really carries a lot of that fun, party feel that Roth-era albums had. The only problem with that album (to me) is that it sounds a bit unfinished. SOURCE OF INFECTION desperately needed lyrics (to make it more like a sort of GET UP). SUCKER IN A 3-PIECE sounds like desparate filler that probably would have stayed unreleased if the band had more material. Still, it's my favorite Hagar album because it IS so underproduced. Yes, the sound could be better. But it's the most fun listen. Still, the guitar-playing really relies on proven formulas.

    5150 I like, but all I can hear when I listen to the songs on it is what Dave could have done with them. Hats off to Hagar for his work in DREAMS, WHY CAN'T THIS BE LOVE, SUMMER NIGHTS and GET UP. They are all undeniably catchy. But I always felt he could have created better melodies for "5150"...in fact, there ain't one song on that album that I like as much as the material on OU812, except maybe SUMMER NIGHTS. (By the way, Eddie's guitar work on SUMMER NIGHTS, GET UP and "5150" are definitely THE step forward for that album.)

    To me, F.U.C.K. is where it started to really get stale. OU812 basically repeated 5150's formula (which admittedly worked). But F.U.C.K. seemed to be a step backward IMHO. It sounds like they just layered as many guitars as possible and Hagar sang the first melody that came into his head. Some of the lyrics are inane, and the melodies ruin potentially good music like THE DREAM IS OVER. I just don't like the album. He does produce sheer brilliance in PLEASURE DOME, and JUDGMENT DAY and RIGHT NOW are also excellent. As for the guitar work, too many funky chords and weird sounds...not enough adventurous soloing or interesting riffs. Before this album, it always felt like the band had found a way to turn Eddie's adventurous music into a hook-filled song. With this album, it sounds like Eddie wrote simpler riffs and arrangements in order to already have a song pretty much finished, but the creative tension was gone.

    I prefer BALANCE to F.U.C.K. It may be darker, but it's much more interesting (except for the first three cuts). The guitar work is so much better. This (to me) was the first album where Eddie's guitar work actually moved forward since 1984. In fact, even though Eddie became nuts after the 1996 Dave songs, there's no denying that he definitely became more adventurous with his guitar-playing. If only the hooks were there to back him up (except, of course, for the wonderful ME WISE MAGIC). BALANCE is great because it's so different. And no matter what people say about AMSTERDAM, I think BALANCE definitely has Hagar's best lyrics. FEELIN' and TAKE ME BACK contain excellent Sam vocals, and no matter what people say about the lyrics, I love the chorus hook in AMSTERDAM. Also one of Ed's best solos.

    VH3 was undeniably an interesting album for fans of Eddie's guitar playing. DIRTY WATER DOG, JOSEPHINA, ONE I WANT, BALLOT OR THE BULLET all contain insanely good guitar work. Problem is that nothing is there to turn these wonders into songs. Too bad. Ed is still an amazing and creative guitar player. Maybe we can see him conquer some more ground in the future.

    I do hope Dave comes back. I want the original band back more than anything. But at the same time, I am also a huge fan of Eddie's playing. I can disagree with so many of the creative decisions made between 1986 and 1998, but it doesn't mean I can listen to certain licks, riffs or solos and go: "Wow." [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  2. #2
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    04.17.12 @ 02:02 PM
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    Originally posted by Rikk:


    I do hope Dave comes back. I want the original band back more than anything. But at the same time, I am also a huge fan of Eddie's playing. I can disagree with so many of the creative decisions made between 1986 and 1998, but it doesn't mean I can listen to certain licks, riffs or solos and go: "Wow." [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Somehow putting Dave with the band is like putting uranium with plutonium, It creates a chemistry and energy that is lethal. I really believe the hatred & tension of having Dave in the band, is the catalyst for some of Van Halen's best music. I think the edgiest Sammy song was "Human Beings". Coincidentally enough, this song was done when tension with Sammy reached an all time high. Evidently, Ed is at his best creatively when he is in a hostile tension filled, environment.

  3. #3
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    I absolutely agree, DROPDEADLEGS. Listen to GIRL GONE BAD...heck, listen to JUMP. Those are guys that almost hated each other. It's amazing to think about how 5150 would have turned out if Dave stayed. That would have been one tension-filled album. In fact, when people are really mad at each other or completely depressed, they often produce their best work. Pete Townshend was almost suicidal when the band recorded WHO'S NEXT, Fleetwood Mac were all completely messed up emotionally when they did RUMOURS, The Beatles were full of anger and dissatisfaction when they did ABBEY ROAD (a fucking masterpiece).

    And yes, Hagar and Eddie were almost at each other's throats when HUMANS BEING was laid down. And what an amazing track. Eddie really does "shine on" for that one.
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  4. #4
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I agree, Humans Being is by far the best hagar track and it was when they were pissed off at each other. u can tell in the music that they were pissed off. Also, I love amsterdam, i like the guitar and i even like the chorus. I also think that one of Eddies best solo's ever is on A year to the day, when was the last time u heard him play a solo with that much feeling. I wonder everyday what it would have been like had dave not left the band. One sees all of these VH1 shows where GnR and ACDC and groups like that are rated above Van Halen, I think that is rediculous and if Dave had stayed in the group I can only imagine to what heights they could have gone. They were well on their way(with dave) to becoming one of the greatest rock bands ever, and in my mind they are, but when dave left, so did his attitude and the sound. Now, i think the sammy years are OK and i have the albums, but in my mind they pale in comparison to the Dave years, and I think the main reason is because of the tension between Dave and Eddie.
    Lets Hope VH gets some Sensible Shoes that lead them back to Dave.

  5. #5
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    04.17.12 @ 02:02 PM
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    How could I have forgotten. The "Fair Warning" album was made at a time when Ed alledgedly was fed up with Dave, and close to quitting the band. 20 years later, "Fair Warning" arguably features some of Ed's finest playing.

  6. #6
    Eruption
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    06.07.16 @ 09:10 AM
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    .....I like Ed's ((( steroid strat tone )))...all the way up to 1984....5150 was great....it seems that he sports this wolfy bottom end with sam at the vox...it was still incredible...but we seem to miss all those small little magical things that only come with a life-time of practice and a deep love for the guitar....
    ..In 1984 Van Halen Jumped Panama
    Topped Jimmy & Dropped Dead Legs
    ..Ill Wait in this House of Pain with the
    Girl Gone Bad while I am really Hot for Teacher..


    ..Think it was easy ?..you stare at an album
    Cover that long..

  7. #7
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    This is an interesting thread!
    Overall, I don't think Ed's playing has changed that much over the years. I think the "ground breaking" was done on VH I. Everything after that was basically a repeat, with a new trick or two thrown in. What does seem to vary a little through the years was his intensity and his technique. His intensity and technique seemed to wane a little over the years.
    The reason why I don't think his style has varied much over the years it is fairly easy to pick our similar sounding riffs and textures:

    Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love - The Dream is Over
    Push Comes to Shove - Dirty Water Dog
    Meanstreet - Ballot or the Bullet
    Hot For Teacher - Source of Infection
    I'm the One - Source of Infection (solo breaks only)
    Unchained - Good Enough - Don't Tell Me (Lots o' open D strings flyin' around)
    Summer Nights - Me Wise Magic (Lots o' Trans Trem action)
    Can't Get This Stuff No More - (Could have been on Diver Down!)

    You might have Ed playing an acoustic guitar on Spanish Fly, noodling with the volume on the guitar in Cathedral, a drill in Poundcake, and a sitar in Primary, but for the most part you have:

    FANTASTIC rhythm playing, finger tapping, artificial harmonics, lot's o' wammy action.

    Again, nothing new or ground breaking past the first album.

    I think the first four albums feature Ed's most aggressive guitar playing. (Same goes for Mike Anthony as well. He ripped it up on those albums! For some reason, he wasn't brought forward in the mix like he should have been. I know Ted and Don have gotten the blame for this, but if you listen to the first Montrose album, which they produced and engineered back in '73, Bill Church has a great bass sound....) I think the "new" Van Halen was starting on Diver Down, but was clearly developed by 1984. On those albums Ed's rhythm guitar is top notch (as always), but his solos stopped standing out as much.
    What difference in style is their between 1984 and 5150? How different is the outro to Drop Dead Legs and the guitar solo in Summer Nights?? I think the only differences extant are because of the singer change. Otherwise, most of the songs on 5150 could have been on 1984 and vice versa.
    The whole "if Dave has stayed with Van Halen" lament is silly to me. It sounds just like the "if Jimi Hendrix were still alive he would be blowing everyone away and oh man, just imagine what he would have done....." BS! Van Halen peaked with 1984, period. If Dave had stayed with them they wouldn't have been able to top 1984. What would he have done differently on the 5150 riffs that he hadn't already done in the past? His approach to writing songs was EXACTLY the same with Steve Vai, Dave even dragging him down to his Dad's basement. Has Mick Jagger done anything new and different and exciting with the last few Rolling Stones albums that he didn't do in the "Brown Sugar" days?!
    What is different about the Hagar and Roth VH songs released in '96 when compared to older material? The finger tapping? The great riffs.....??
    Dave couldn't have written songs using 99% of the riffs in the Hagar era?? I think he certainly was talented enough to do so. (Yes, I think he could have even come up with something for the music to "Dreams".....it would have been different, but cool nonetheless.... He did great on I'll Wait and Jump.)
    The best guitar solos were on the first four albums, though Ed still pulled a good one out occasionally after that. (Pleasure Dome is a GREAT guitar solo!) The guitar solos on later albums were still good, but not on the same level. I think if you listen to the outro on Don't Tell Me, you know that at that time, there was no way Ed could have played the solos in I'm the One. His technique wasn't as crisp.
    Actually, I think Dave leaving the band helped VH's longevity. I think Dave's schtick was near its end by 1984. It peaked with Eat 'em and Smile (the funny videos he released). After that album, he dropped with Skyscraper and then fell off the map after that. Hiring Sammy Hagar put a new attitude and vocal sound on top of Eddie's standard bag of riffs. Plus, the controversy generated by changing singers lasted for years!

    [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    Originally posted by TyndellE:
    This is an interesting thread!
    Overall, I don't think Ed's playing has changed that much over the years. I think the "ground breaking" was done on VH I. Everything after that was basically a repeat, with a new trick or two thrown in. What does seem to vary a little through the years was his intensity and his technique. His intensity and technique seemed to wane a little over the years.
    The reason why I don't think his style has varied much over the years it is fairly easy to pick our similar sounding riffs and textures:

    Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love - The Dream is Over
    Push Comes to Shove - Dirty Water Dog
    Meanstreet - Ballot or the Bullet
    Hot For Teacher - Source of Infection
    I'm the One - Source of Infection (solo breaks only)
    Unchained - Good Enough - Don't Tell Me (Lots o' open D strings flyin' around)
    Summer Nights - Me Wise Magic (Lots o' Trans Trem action)
    Can't Get This Stuff No More - (Could have been on Diver Down!)

    You might have Ed playing an acoustic guitar on Spanish Fly, noodling with the volume on the guitar in Cathedral, a drill in Poundcake, and a sitar in Primary, but for the most part you have:

    FANTASTIC rhythm playing, finger tapping, artificial harmonics, lot's o' wammy action.

    Again, nothing new or ground breaking past the first album.

    I think the first four albums feature Ed's most aggressive guitar playing. (Same goes for Mike Anthony as well. He ripped it up on those albums! For some reason, he wasn't brought forward in the mix like he should have been. I know Ted and Don have gotten the blame for this, but if you listen to the first Montrose album, which they produced and engineered back in '73, Bill Church has a great bass sound....) I think the "new" Van Halen was starting on Diver Down, but was clearly developed by 1984. On those albums Ed's rhythm guitar is top notch (as always), but his solos stopped standing out as much.
    What difference in style is their between 1984 and 5150? How different is the outro to Drop Dead Legs and the guitar solo in Summer Nights?? I think the only differences extant are because of the singer change. Otherwise, most of the songs on 5150 could have been on 1984 and vice versa.
    The whole "if Dave has stayed with Van Halen" lament is silly to me. It sounds just like the "if Jimi Hendrix were still alive he would be blowing everyone away and oh man, just imagine what he would have done....." BS! Van Halen peaked with 1984, period. If Dave had stayed with them they wouldn't have been able to top 1984. What would he have done differently on the 5150 riffs that he hadn't already done in the past? His approach to writing songs was EXACTLY the same with Steve Vai, Dave even dragging him down to his Dad's basement. Has Mick Jagger done anything new and different and exciting with the last few Rolling Stones albums that he didn't do in the "Brown Sugar" days?!
    What is different about the Hagar and Roth VH songs released in '96 when compared to older material? The finger tapping? The great riffs.....??
    Dave couldn't have written songs using 99% of the riffs in the Hagar era?? I think he certainly was talented enough to do so. (Yes, I think he could have even come up with something for the music to "Dreams".....it would have been different, but cool nonetheless.... He did great on I'll Wait and Jump.)
    The best guitar solos were on the first four albums, though Ed still pulled a good one out occasionally after that. (Pleasure Dome is a GREAT guitar solo!) The guitar solos on later albums were still good, but not on the same level. I think if you listen to the outro on Don't Tell Me, you know that at that time, there was no way Ed could have played the solos in I'm the One. His technique wasn't as crisp.
    Actually, I think Dave leaving the band helped VH's longevity. I think Dave's schtick was near its end by 1984. It peaked with Eat 'em and Smile (the funny videos he released). After that album, he dropped with Skyscraper and then fell off the map after that. Hiring Sammy Hagar put a new attitude and vocal sound on top of Eddie's standard bag of riffs. Plus, the controversy generated by changing singers lasted for years!

    [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Great post! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img] I agree with some of your comments, but I don't think Dave leaving did really help the band's longevity. I always felt Dave eventually fell from popularity because the music wasn't really there to back him up. He was like the great showman, but the show was becoming mediocre.

    I agree that 5150 is in a way an extension of 1984, but I think Dave would have come up with some really interesting variations that I (with my tastes) would have preferred. I think it even had the potential to top 1984, because the music was mostly there, and the tension would have pushed through an amazing album. But it just wasn't meant to be (the same way I will never hear the truly completed Jimi Hendrix album FIRST RAYS OF THE NEW RISING SUN). I agree: it's incredible what Roth came up with for I'LL WAIT. For a man who didn't want anything to do with the song, he sure put helped put together a hit, and a great Van Halen song. It sounds like nothing they or anyone else has ever done.

    I think Ed's playing has changed in some ways, in terms of his way of expressing things. 1984 is amazing, because he balanced keyboard and guitar perfectly. 5150 was just a bit too keyboard-heavy for me. It's still a very good record, but I prefer OU812.

    Keep up the thread. I love discussing this shit! [img]smile.gif[/img]
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  9. #9
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I agree with Rikk on the fact that the show behind dave was mediocre. Dave and Eddie were the songwriting team there and Dave/Vai and Eddie/Sammy just wasnt the same. So i dont believe that you could compare Dave writing the same way with Vai, because Vai had his own style. I do agree that the first four albums were his most aggressive guitar playing, but on the solo aspect I disagree. There were some great solo's on 1984, and some of his best solo's were on that album. Also, his changes through the Sammy years werent great but the attitude behind the song was different. One other thing, people will always question what it would have been like had hendrix not died, and i do believe that another album with Roth would have topped 1984. They were finally mainstream with that album and those people that bought 1984 that wouldnt have normally purchased a VH album probably would have bought the next one had they had a hit single.
    Lets Hope VH gets some Sensible Shoes that lead them back to Dave.

  10. #10
    Romeo Delight
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    10.19.07 @ 01:00 PM
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    Yo!!! Great thread indeed! Well.......hmmmm.......I'm gonna have to say that the reason Eddie wrote such great tunes when Dave was in the band is because Dave relies on a lot of boogie type of material and not so much on the melodic type stuff. Eddie would write the heavy riffs to keep the song moving and interesting, but to me that is what made VH's music so friggin great. Sammy is a great vocalist with incredible range, and he's a good guitarist, but Van Halen's heritage comes from old school roots and Sammy did not embrace the old boogie the way that Dave did. With Sammy in the band, Eddie started writing real mellow type, melodic stuff. No doubt, the music is well written, I mean c'mon it's Eddie writing it, but I really wish that Eddie would go back to his roots more. Get his old Cream live cd's out and listen to that awhile, along with some Ritchie Blackmore and Leslie West. Eddie was out to prove to the world that he could play and write the most smokin stuff around with VH1, and he did. Nobody can do it better. But I wish that Eddie would just forget about love and mellow feelings for a while (with this divorce thing lurking about, I can see it happening) and concentrate on aggresive, in your face, tear it up and spit it izzout boogie. I guarantee you that it would be the best thing that they have done in the past 18 yrs. as long as Dave is handling the lyrics and singing. C'mon Eddie, get off of your ass and do what you know you should have been doing a long long time ago. Shit.......
    "Be yourself, even if you have to fake it"

  11. #11
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    04.17.12 @ 02:02 PM
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    Dave era songs definitely had a more freewheelin', spontaneous feel to them. I loved most of the Sammy era songs but IMO they were way too contrived in comparison to the first 6 albums. They were very Journey or Foreignor like, which I don't happen to think is a bad thing. However, that's what set Van Halen apart from those kinds of band at the time. With Sammy era songs, a lot of VH music just blended in with all the other stuff we were hearing.

  12. #12
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    Originally posted by dropdeadlegs:
    Dave era songs definitely had a more freewheelin', spontaneous feel to them. I loved most of the Sammy era songs but IMO they were way too contrived in comparison to the first 6 albums. They were very Journey or Foreignor like, which I don't happen to think is a bad thing. However, that's what set Van Halen apart from those kinds of band at the time. With Sammy era songs, a lot of VH music just blended in with all the other stuff we were hearing.
    The problem with Sam fans (and this is of course subjective) is that they don't really understand what made those Dave songs unique. They don't understand why they were groundbreaking or what Dave was doing as a vocalist that nobody else has done before or since. I always thought of early VH as heavy-metal meets James Brown with incredible guitar-playing. In the late 80's, I wasn't buying all the new VH albums. I had moved on...I eventually moved back. But I remember hearing a Van Halen song on the radio and not recognizing it as VH (at least not being sure it was VH) until the DJ announced that it was. Eddie's playing and style are definitely unique, and you can recognize his style in almost any piece of music he does. Yet, it truly seemed like he was trying to homogenize the sound a bit on the latter albums (until VH3, anyway). And the song structures and ideas became to similar to other stuff at the time. 1984 was one of the biggest albums of that year, but can you name another album from the same period that sounds anything like it? Doubt that. OU812, however, while still a very good album, sounds like a lot of albums from 1988. And the problem for me is that Sammy had a way of simplifying everything...he never created his own sound. His lyrics and a lot of his melodies could be anybody's. He's a very creative and talented guy, but he really isn't that unique, and that's what bored me about the Sammy albums. I also don't like that style of high singing (the Journey, Michael Bolton screams of "baby, why"...I can't get into that).

    But yes, DropDeadLegs, the tension indeed created more of a spontaneous and free-wheeling sound. And that's why I love every single Dave-era album more than any other VH album. Hey, hate breeds creativity. Gimme some more of that hate! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  13. #13
    Romeo Delight
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I disagree that VH & Dave were "groundbreaking or what Dave was doing as a vocalist that nobody else has done before or since" DLR seems to have borrowed from James Brown (which was mentioned) and Little Richard when it comes to vocal style. Was DLR the only guy in rock-n-roll to yelp and scream? He was not as Little Richard was doing it while Dave was in dipers. Ian Gillan, Steven Tyler, Paul Rogers.... DLR could cover the Free song "All Right Now" really well, in my opinion, because his voice sounds so much like Paul Rogers (not the other way around!) Even if he WAS the only guy in rock-n-roll to yelp, that would hardly be enough to define him as a completely original, ground-breaking singer. I've written this before and I'll write it again: I still consider the first Montrose album (Sammy Hagar on vocals, produced by VH alum Ted Templeman and engineered by Don Landee, another VH alum) that was recorded in '73 to be a proto-type for what VH was to become. Listen to the song "I Don't Want It" or the song "One Thing On My Mind" .....You'll discover that VH didn't break a lot of ground after all. What made VH "ground breaking" was that Ed was the best guitar player around. However, he was the next step up from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, not some totally unique player from out of nowhere.
    As far as Sammy era VH sounding like everyone else.... Well, as you know, once a style becomes popular, it is copied. VH peaked in 1984 and record companies signed VH style bands. (Extreme comes to mind as an obvious example...Nunno is a EVH disciple!) By the time Sammy arrived, the market had plenty of VH sound-alikes. (If you've ever seen the band Bullet Boys.....my GOD, I thought that singer had BALLS for ripping off DLR like he did.) I noticed the same thing when Nirvana and Pearl Jam became popular. When I heard the song "Plush" I couldn't believe it! The singer sounded just like Eddie Vedder. (I believe that song was by the Stone Temple Pilots?) Soon it became the "Seattle sound" where if you wore wool sweaters and wrote depressing lyrics about how life sucked, you got a recording contract. (Have you ever looked at the lyrics to Pearl Jam's "Alive".....Sweet Mother o' God, those are some strange lyrics....)

    Again, this is a great thread!

  14. #14
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Try this link (I did a search on "montrose hagar" on Barnes & Nobles' page) and listen to "I Don't Want It":
    http://music.barnesandnoble.com/sear...an=75992732925

    I figure this is an easier way to hear the song, rather than picking up the CD on eBay. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    If you read the review section, someone out there actually agrees with me! -chuckle-

  15. #15
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    04.17.12 @ 02:02 PM
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    Originally posted by TyndellE:
    I disagree that VH & Dave were "groundbreaking or what Dave was doing as a vocalist that nobody else has done before or since" DLR seems to have borrowed from James Brown (which was mentioned) and Little Richard when it comes to vocal style. Was DLR the only guy in rock-n-roll to yelp and scream?
    Bro, I don't think anyone is sayin' that Dave pioneered his style of singing. But that baritone, was very unique for a hard rock group at the time. I was not particular a fan of hard rock, until I heard Ed's guitar interwined with Dave's unusual vocal delivery. Dave's approach was to borrow from all those old time rock 'n roll singers. I think he spoke about this in his book. He was doing a kind of satire or take off on all those old guys. To me, it just fit with the music. He's not often credited for it, but I think Dave recognized the genuis of Ed's playin' and he didn't want to bog the songs down with 7 minute lyrical extravaganza that many rock groups were doing at the time.

 

 

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