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Thread: Diver Down

  1. #1
    Unchained
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    What's eveyone's take on this record? I feel it's their most uninspired Dave era record. That being said, listening to the original tunes on it like Hang 'em High and The Full Bug show the magic the original lineup had. Amazing songs. In retrospect you could tell that they were having major problems but when they set them aside and laid down some tracks...watch out!
    Do you believe? Don't you trust me?<br /><br />"I'm just trying to get in to heaven, I'm not running for Jesus." - Homer Simpson

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    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    Donor

    I think it's a great album, but it's definitely flawed. To me this is the album where the wheels began to fall off of the creative unit. Fair Warning doesn't sell up to previous expectations, so either Dave or Ted Templeman (or both, depending who you ask) get back into the studio and push for more cover material. Nothing wrong with that in a sense, but I think Eddie was far too creative to be told that nearly half of his next album had to be putting his tone on other people's riffs. So Eddie becomes alienated at a time when he's probably losing touch with reality anyway.

    Then he gets the idea to put a studio in his own backyard, which alienates Dave. And soon after that the whole thing is over. Was it worth it? Were the sales of Fair Warning that bad that it was worth driving a permenant wedge between the creative team?

    At the same time, Diver Down has some of the best tunes Van Halen ever did. It's my opinion that Little Guitars is the best VH song ever, and The Full Bug is damn good too. Secrets is a very unique song in the VH catalogue.

    The cover tunes are more problematic. Though it's generally regarded as the worst track on there, I think Dancing in the Streets is a much better VH song than (Oh) Pretty Woman, mostly because I think that DITS is a stronger song period. Whoever is doing it, (Oh) Pretty Woman is just not a very good song in my opinion. And Where Have All The Good Times Gone is just weak; probably my least favorite song on the whole album. I think part of that is hearing them do it live on a couple of bootlegs, and it was just AWFUL live; definitely a song that was ruined by Dave's vocal scatting off time.

    Great album, but my least favorite of the era.

  3. #3
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Fair Warning didn't sell to well yet it's by far their best effort IMO.
    Do you believe? Don't you trust me?<br /><br />"I'm just trying to get in to heaven, I'm not running for Jesus." - Homer Simpson

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    Sinner's Swing! 79th and Sunset's Avatar
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    06.26.16 @ 08:41 AM
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    Was'nt Diver Down made to meet a contract that the band had with WB at the time. Like, they owed a release ?

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I enjoy Diver Down much more when I consider it as an EP instead of an album like I think it originally was supposed to be. I'm not sure but I do think they were under pressure from WB and they originally were only going to record the the cover tunes and somehow added the other tunes and turned it into an album. There is a very good chance that I have my facts screwed up...
    "Running the ball is like making romance..."

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    its such a classic!! every song is great and i am not lying..
    I even love the cover songs. From WHATGTG To Happy Trails, its one of the best of VH. Secrets, Little Guitars, and Hang Em' High are such UNDERRATED!! I am stunned byt this album and how could eddie not like it.

    I am so satisfied with this cd.
    This is home, this is Mean Street!<br /><br /><b><br />Then one year you find ten years have gotten behind, no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun. - Pink Floyd, Time</b><br /><br />"Everyone knows that Van Halen with Roth is the only real Van Halen."- Mike Tramp<br /><br /><a href="http://www.vhforums.com/vhlforum/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=001366&p=66#00 1635" target="_blank"> OBEY THE DFK!!</a>

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    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    09.26.07 @ 01:38 PM
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    Donor

    I think it's a great album despite all the covers. Little Guitars and The Full Bug are some of my all-time VH favorites.
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

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    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    09.24.16 @ 05:27 PM
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    While Diver Down is a good album that I still listen to, it is unquestionably the weakest effort of the Dave-era releases.

    Glenn, I agree with you on "(Oh) Pretty Woman". I can remember the very first time I heard. I think it was around February of 1982. I was driving home from work and it came on the radio. The next song played was "Turn Up The Night" from Black Sabbath's "Mob Rules" album. I remember thinking how poppy and lame "(Oh) Pretty Woman" sounded compared to that Black Sabbath song. It just doesn't rock like most of the DLR-era tunes.

    Nobody asked, but here's my list of all-time overated Van Halen songs:

    "Oh" Pretty Woman
    Why Can't This Be Love?
    Dreams
    Finish What Ya' Started
    Judgement Day
    Right Now
    Can't Stop Loving You
    Feelin'

    A little heavy on the Hagar years, huh? Don't get me wrong. I love VH, but the above songs, while popular with most people, just don't do anything for me.
    "The past ain't what it used to be"

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    09.24.16 @ 07:04 AM
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    DIVER DOWN is only "weak", "uninspired" in relation to the other VH albums. Standing alone, it's a damn good record. Try comparing other music to VHI, VHII etc.

    Always thought "Pretty Woman" was one of the best cuts. Eddie took Roy Orbison's classic guitar riff and built on it. In comparison, I just don't think "Dancin' in the Streets" works. It's one of the the only VH songs that when it comes on the radio, I turn the station. (the other for me is "Jump")

    Bottom line, as Dave would probably say, don't take things too seriously, take the DD for what it is, a damn good party album.
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    Sinner's Swing! diamondsgirl's Avatar
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    12.13.13 @ 11:26 AM
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    I don't know if it was put out to meet a quota but I think DD was put out too quickly. I wish they had taken some time to put more originals on it. But...one of my favorite VH songs of all time is off this album...Full Bug.
    I can certainly see why Eddie didn't want to do Dancin' in the Street. Although, I do like the VH version better than Bowie and Jaggers.
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    04.22.16 @ 10:07 AM
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    The way I heard the story was that the band was supposed to release a live album after the Fair Warning tour. Since this album was scheduled for release, they weren't writing a lot of new material, as a studio album wouldn't be needed until 1983.

    For whatever reason, WB pulled the plug on the Van HALEN live album (which the fuckers should release right now, in my not so humble opinion). Yet they demanded a release from VH anyway. They slammed out the Pretty Woman single to buy some time, but the label didn't think that was good enough. Knowing that they were short on material, Dave, or Templeman, or both suggested that they fill the record out with cover songs.

    But as Glenn pointed out(unintentionally probably ), the beauty of the album is in its diversity. Secrets was nothing like anything they ever did before or since. Cathedral was so different that some people at the time (maybe even today) actually though Eddie was playing it on a synthesizer, and not a guitar. Dancing in the Streets, while a cover, lyric-wise, was more or less an original piece of music. And then songs like Hang Em High, Full Bug, and Little Guitars simply fucking rocked.

    Anyone who ranks this album anywhere close to VDIII or OU812 doesn't have a clue. [img]graemlins/irked.gif[/img]

    [ February 17, 2002 at 01:14 PM: Message edited by: FORD ]</p>
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    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by FORD:
    But as Glenn pointed out(unintentionally probably ),

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    Sinner's Swing! Mario VH's Avatar
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    03.28.15 @ 05:30 AM
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    I'd have to agree with Glenn's comments. The album is good but my least fave from the DLR era.
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    I like Diver Down. The original music on there is classic VH!!

    I agree with other comments about it being the album where the problems started. I remember reading an article just after its release that Eddie had said that him and Dave were fighting so much during the recording of Pretty Woman that they missed a whole verse in the song, but were just to pissed at each other to do another take.

    And FORD, the first time I heard Cathedral, I thought it was Jan Van Halen playing the clarinet!!!

    I still think it's a good album!

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

  15. #15
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Originally posted by Elwood P.:
    DIVER DOWN is only "weak", "uninspired" in relation to the other VH albums. Standing alone, it's a damn good record. Try comparing other music to VHI, VHII etc.

    I agree, on it's own it's great. I was comparing it more to the other VH records. FW blew me away and I remember being a little disappointed with DD at the time.

    It's all relative though. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Do you believe? Don't you trust me?<br /><br />"I'm just trying to get in to heaven, I'm not running for Jesus." - Homer Simpson

 

 

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