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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Donor

    When do y'all think the band was at its creative peak?

    I've always wished that Diver Down hadn't been rushed into the studio. I think the originals on that album are some of the band's very best work, and the music is great throughout.

    I wish more material would have been created around FW and DD. There are some absolutely magical moments in those albums. I wonder why?

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I think the creative peak was from 1981-1986. My reasoning? For the first 3 records, they were rushing in the studio to get records made, and were still relying heavily on music they had written and performed for years. After WACF, they seemed to start almost completely fresh, writing new stuff FOR the record, not recording older material for a record.

    We all know about WB's reasoning for pushing for covers on Diver Down, which in turn finally got Ed to build his studio, and 1984 was ANOTHER high point of creativity. And finally 5150, which had a different level due to having a new voice in the band.

    But I agree that the creative peak certainly began around 1981.
    Don't bark at me...<b>I</b> didn't name ya.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Donor

    Yeah, I think a lot of that had to do with being done working off the old demo and club material. Perhaps success was finally becoming comfortable? That was right about the time that Ed met Val too ('81), wasn't it?

    It'd be interesting to come up with a timeline of major events in the band member's lives and their correlation to what was being recorded when.

  4. #4
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Donor

    I'd have to say that the bands' most creative period was (approximately) between 1974 and 1977. Odd as that sounds, it was within that time frame that they wrote the largest number of usable songs.

    Looking beyond 1977, obviously all of their debut album was written pre-1977, and then the 1979 studio album contained Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Bottoms Up!!, DOA, and Beautiful Girls, all of which existed in one form or another before 1978. Not to mention You're No Good bears a lot of resemblance to their early song Down In Flames, plus I've always thought that Outta Love Again sounds a little like their WB demo song called I Wanna Be Your Lover.

    The 1980 studio album had Fools, Take Your Whiskey Home and In A Simple Rhyme, all of which date back at least to 1976. Plus part of Romeo Delight existed in a studio song called Get The Show On the Road.

    The 1981 studio album had Mean Street which is basically just a reworked version of Voodoo Queen from the old days.

    The 1982 studio album, apart from having 5 cover songs, had Hang Em High, which was just the early tune called Last Night with different lyrics.

    And the 1983 studio album had House of Pain reworked on it from the club era.

    After that, into the Hagar era, their studio albums came out so infrequently that I can't say that they were at their creative peak during those years at all.

    All in all, I'd say it's pretty clear from that that as touring took so much time, and probably drugs and lifestyles altered things for the band, their early period before (and just after) being signed to WB was their most creative period.

  5. #5
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 05:34 PM
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    I would say 78-88 - they nailed down 8 studio albums in 10 years(man, those days are GONE) & toured constantly. Its a nearly unprecedented period of work and commercial payoff. You could narrow it down to a smaller period, but if you look at the big picture of these guys output, that first ten years was pretty intense, and they were operating at a VERY high level. You could squeeze a lot of hip hoppers and 'boy bands' careers into a 10 year span [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

    In a way I think they worked so hard in that first half of their careers, its kinda burned them out for the second
    [img]smilies/devil.gif[/img]
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    12.13.17 @ 08:37 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Glenn:
    I'd have to say that the bands' most creative period was (approximately) between 1974 and 1977. Odd as that sounds, it was within that time frame that they wrote the largest number of usable songs.

    Looking beyond 1977, obviously all of their debut album was written pre-1977, and then the 1979 studio album contained Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Bottoms Up!!, DOA, and Beautiful Girls, all of which existed in one form or another before 1978. Not to mention You're No Good bears a lot of resemblance to their early song Down In Flames, plus I've always thought that Outta Love Again sounds a little like their WB demo song called I Wanna Be Your Lover.

    The 1980 studio album had Fools, Take Your Whiskey Home and In A Simple Rhyme, all of which date back at least to 1976. Plus part of Romeo Delight existed in a studio song called Get The Show On the Road.

    The 1981 studio album had Mean Street which is basically just a reworked version of Voodoo Queen from the old days.

    The 1982 studio album, apart from having 5 cover songs, had Hang Em High, which was just the early tune called Last Night with different lyrics.

    And the 1983 studio album had House of Pain reworked on it from the club era.

    After that, into the Hagar era, their studio albums came out so infrequently that I can't say that they were at their creative peak during those years at all.

    All in all, I'd say it's pretty clear from that that as touring took so much time, and probably drugs and lifestyles altered things for the band, their early period before (and just after) being signed to WB was their most creative period.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    jesus glen, u know ur shit bro! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

    JMJ [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
    "you can't change JMJ, it's legendary"- Brett Norton 9/24/07

    "It's the "JMJ" everyone had grown to love, man! Time to blow the roof off this place!"
    -Zachenfoot 2/23/10

    "The links just look a little better with JMJ. Always has, always will." -Hurricane Halen 2/24/10

    "I'm doin' the victory dance. Told ya I'd be back. Tell me ya missed me. Say it like ya mean it" - Blood and Fire. =VH= 2012. Welcome back boys :headband:

    "I don't give a flying fuck about Motley Crue. I give about a half a fuck about Rush. I like Van Halen and don't give a flying fuck how many tickets they all sell. Any questions?"- jimmyw

  7. #7
    Baluchitherium
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    09.15.15 @ 08:40 AM
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    i think that WACF, Fair Warning, and Diver Down were their most creative albums. essentially, the first couple years of their career were the most creative.

  8. #8
    Hang 'Em High Stuff No More's Avatar
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    01.08.05 @ 11:08 AM
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    Honestly I'd have to say 1983-1986 as far as quality and originality of material is concerned.

    Granted, yes, the wrote a lot of material in the early club/pre-WB days, but all of that material follows the same pattern. With a handful of exceptions, you could take the bulk of VH-FW, hit shuffle, and grab the same amount of songs as each album had on it before and wind up with an album that "sounds" the same. Most prolific period, yes. Most creative? Not IMHO.
    "Just once I'd like to do the right thing and not get punished for it."

  9. #9
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Donor

    We all have a different interpretation of "creative", that's fair enough. I stick by my original answer, and would also add that it was within the 74-77 period that Eddie really explored and developed a lot of the guitar techniques that made him the legend that he is. It was also within that time frame that Dave honed the persona that would carry the spirit of his tenure in VH. It was also within that time frame that they got Michael Anthony in the band and explored the blending of hard rock music and pop-like backing vocals.

    All of which were vital to the creative process of their music. 1974-1977 wasn't (by a long shot) just about quantity of songs written.

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing!
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    10.09.12 @ 02:50 PM
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    I agree with Glenn [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Delusions of eloquence

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High Stuff No More's Avatar
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    01.08.05 @ 11:08 AM
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    The reason I make the distinction, Glenn, is because not every case of prolific writing can be considered creative.

    For example, in the past, what four years the Backstreet Boys have put out three albums. But I don't know if I'd call the process that results in another one of their albums, "creative." [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

    The only issue with early VH is after they forged their sound, they pretty much stuck with it. Most of the "oddball" tracks are covers in those years. It wasn't really until 1984 that Eddie was permitted to start experimenting and modifying the basic formula of the band. With some exceptions, 1984-VH3 have dinstinct "sounds" to them. That, if I understand the creative process, implies that during that period Ed spent the time "reinventing" himself, pushing his playing in different directions, and trying different things. That definitely qualifies as a highly creative period, IMHO. Granted, everyone might not like what resulted, but creative does not imply good or bad [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
    "Just once I'd like to do the right thing and not get punished for it."

  12. #12
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 08:56 AM
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    Donor

    But nothing (relatively speaking) that Eddie did from 1984 on was as original as what he created before that. In his earliest years, he basically took the electric guitar, along with his unique use of amplifiers etc, and created a whole new ball game for guitar players. He didn't do that from 1984-1998 as you suggest.

    There's a reason why many guitar players testify to spending hours (days, weeks, months) studying those earliest Van Halen albums, breaking down the sounds and the techniques. And there's also a reason why you never hear anyone stating how much time they've spent doing that with the later albums. That's not a knock on Eddie, most people aren't creative enough to invent one new language, much less more after that.

    You stated that Eddie "re-invented" himself after the early albums, but even if he did, the reason there was anything there to re-invent in the first place is because of what he created initially.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>That, if I understand the creative process, implies that during that period Ed spent the time "reinventing" himself, pushing his playing in different directions, and trying different things.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That's great, but in the years you refer to, in many cases he was building on techniques he'd already used. Whereas in his earliest days he was pushing himself to create new techniques altogether.

    Most creative period-1974-1977. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    Hot For Teacher
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Glenn:

    There's a reason why many guitar players testify to spending hours (days, weeks, months) studying those earliest Van Halen albums, breaking down the sounds and the techniques. And there's also a reason why you never hear anyone stating how much time they've spent doing that with the later albums. That's not a knock on Eddie, most people aren't creative enough to invent one new language, much less more after that.
    ....
    Whereas in his earliest days he was pushing himself to create new techniques altogether.

    Most creative period-1974-1977. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well done !

    Most important for me as a guitar player
    was the fact, that in that early period
    he invented not only new playing technics but started to redesign the traditionel
    way electric guitars, amps and fx stuff were
    build/used.

    His equipement he used was extremley cheap
    compared to other guitarist in the mid 70´s but sounded 10 times better.

    This was my great experience with VH.
    He showed me a way to create an individual sound - to trust my ears and not the industry.

    For example ted nugent was amazed about how he was sounding when playing thru eds setup.

    After 1985 eds aproach changed a lot.
    He bought high end stuff like lexicon reverbs (PCM70) or Eventide Harmonizer
    and stopped building guitars by his own.

    Nowaday he´s a clone of the industry (Peavey) and not really unique anymore.
    To SOUND like ed is simply a matter of how much cash you are willing to spend for.

    Most creative period-1974-1977. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High Stuff No More's Avatar
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    01.08.05 @ 11:08 AM
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    Well Glenn, since I'm neither a guitar player nor a musical genius, I suppose I'll take your word for it on what you said. I just know I go by what my ear picks up, and it tells me that the Roth stuff all pretty much follows the same pattern to get the same sound.
    "Just once I'd like to do the right thing and not get punished for it."

  15. #15
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 05:34 PM
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    Neither am I SNM, but I find what Glenns talking about to be blindingly obvious!!

    I dunno what it is - maybe your listening to it NOW, and saying 'bleh, heard it all before', whereas the whole point is that before eddie was doing these things.... it had never been heard of.

    Also, really.. if you think VH1 sounds a lot like FW.. or even WACF... [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] Sure its still 3 guys playing the same instruments plus one singer. But poles apart in mood and themes.

    Is the concept of 'great album' vs 'great collection of songs' register with you at all? Sometimes the wholes greater than the sum of its parts.

    Not shouting down your opninions or anything man, Im just trying to find a piece in the jigsaw you seem to be missing in regards to those earlier albums
    A little zen....... Headed your way.......

 

 

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