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  1. #1
    Little Dreamer
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    06.14.05 @ 11:36 AM
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    Default A CD a year, legacies and my wandering mind...

    Long and Boring..but I felt like writing a bunch of stuff in my head. I realize its nothing new, but maybe it can get a decent convo started.

    While I realize the marketplace in the last 20 years probably has reached a state where a CD a year is oversaturation, there was something to be said for the energy of the first few VH albums. Some attribute that to David Lee Roth, or maybe simply being younger. But going into the studio and just ripping out an album in 6 weeks (or whathaveyou) is what, partly (imo) gave Eddie's guitar playing that edgy insanity...the walking on the edge vibe. The revelation that David Lee Roth was making up lyrics on the spot was actually perfect for THAT situation, as DLR was always more clever than anything else. It isn't a BAD thing, it is simply what it was...a barely contained semi stream of conscious pulse of energy. It was in some ways a moment in time that perhaps COULDN'T last as it was...as people grow older.

    I happen to like both Sammy and David Lee Roth, for different reasons....but what holds that together, as I suspect is the case for many of the fans of both, is that Eddie Van Halen was the most important THING that brought me to Van Halen. I guess its not that much of a insight, as everyone knows there are basically 3 camps....those that liked VH1 for DLR mostly, those that liked VH2 for Sammy and those that liked EVH generally speaking can probably tolerate both.

    As with all things, the DLR/Sammy trade off was really a trade off of band dynamics that changed the sound. The thing I like about Sammy is his singing, he has a great Rock voice, and when motivated, he can write a decent lyric (by rock band standards anyway)..but he was never as clever as DLR. And I hate to say this because I like him, but Sammy could be ridiculously lazy lyrically. Just as David Lee Roth relied TOO much on being clever and a showman sometimes. Clever does not equal depth.neither man was deep. But what came with Sammy, for whatever reason, was a longer between album period and a gradual increase in OVER production. Def Leppard's great album Hysteria ushered in the era of ridiculously over produced CDs. I like Hysteria for what it was, but what it brought wasn't great, for the most part. There is a band that lost itself trying to reclaim some bizarre Mutt Lange/Shania Twain vibe and lost their way..but I digress.

    The guitar parts of a song like Man on a Mission, seem stuck together awkwardly sometimes. They are GREAT taken as parts, but there was an edge missing...the hammer it out in one long take and in a short period vs producing the hell out of it. I can like both styles. Some of the really really produced albums/ songs by various artists are fantastic..some, you can almost here the parts where they were stuck together with masking tape. I think we missed out on something by never hearing the same energy/ work schedule after DLR left. While I gather 5150 was the closest to that, I believe that Sammy worked a bit differently with the music than DLR...more cut and paste? If I'm wrong about that I welcome to be corrected.

    Its interesting to me that Rap and Country are about the only genres left that can put out an album a year. Some of them sell only 2 mill per copy, but every 12-18 months there is another CD...compared with the tendency of big name pop/rock artists to do 1 every 3 years and hope for 10 mill of one copy. Building up their career to the point that anything other than a certain sales level is a dissappointment. In some ways, 1984 being SO popular was a bad thing for the longevity of the band..at least artistically. Would DLR have left if 1984 had sold 2 million and Jump wasn't released and they were already working on the next album? We'll never know.

    Coupled with that is differences in Van Halen, or other bands who write all their own stuff, vs a country guy who goes through a thousand tapes of songs and picks and chooses. I often wish Sammy Hagar would do some sort of album where a really, really talented writer would craft songs just for him..because his voice is amazing IMO. I wish that they had realized the time was short, and hammered out a CD a year and just let the thing rip, regardless of the lyric issue. It also affected the SOUND of the band. That goes for BOTH DLR and Sammy eras. I guess what irks me is that VH, of either era had POWER...power to hammer out an album a year, to do an edgy balls to the wall album in 1991, then turn around and do an overproduced album in 1992, then come back with something else in 1994 (or whatever years). The arguments about Diver Down...the cover songs etc...mean less when you know there is an album..another one...just around the corner. I guess a bastard child of 5150 and Eat Em and Smile would be the post 1984 album. It reminds me of something Burt Renoylds said once....at one time he was the biggest guy in Hollywood, he could have made anything he wanted, and he F'ed it up by choosing to make Cannonball Run instead of taking Jack Nicholson's role in Terms of Endearment.

    I read an article once about Counting Crows..they went into a house they rented for a few months, lived in it, set up the studio in it, and didn't leave until the album was done. That was Recovering the Satelites which isn't a bad album at all, but it had some of that raw one take feel to it. Its sad that the various incarnations of VH couldn't get it together enough to just do that. THere could have been 25-30 CDs of material...and besides the selfish part of me that wants to hear that. I have a feeling AVH and EVH are going to wake up one day and realize they missed having a far greater legacy. The music stays behind. A CD that only sells 250,000 copies will be picked up by SOMEBODY in 15 years and inspire them to do something, or simply to acknowledge how good it is. Even the guest singer album, the instrumental album, or reunion albums with BOTH singers would have left a mark...or even all of the above? If you hammer out the cds fans are more forgiving because the NEXT one is coming. I realize that is easier said than done though.

    Sorry for the ramble...but I feel cleaned out!

  2. #2
    Good Enough extreme red roth's Avatar
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    06.16.17 @ 09:53 AM
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    Good points - all.

    I don't mind their output with Sam...but since VH3, it has been ridiculous..for a talented duo like Ed and Alex to not put out music in some form, from 1998 - 2004 is just silly. What a waste!
    The Barn Burned Down, Now I can See the Moon

  3. #3
    Hang 'Em High perticelli's Avatar
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    fair warning, women & children
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    11.30.15 @ 02:22 PM
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    well done tom servo's agent, very well written and communicated.

    and i happen to agree...

    thx for the interesting post, keep it up!
    Eddie is the greatest, period

    The Unofficial VHLinks RRHOF

    SkyyeFM-Radio without the Rules(Webpage)

  4. #4
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    08.28.17 @ 03:27 PM
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    Alot of the music from those first three albums was already written, as well as Mean Street aka Voodoo Queen aka She's The Woman, so it was a bit easier to put out album after album IMO.
    "It's always a Catch-22 situation. They hate you if you're the same, and they hate you if you're different."
    ~Eddie Van Halen~

    "The perfect woman has an IQ of 150, wants to make love until 4 in the morning, and then turns into a pizza."
    ~David Lee Roth~

    Sucka'sFacebook

  5. #5
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
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    Great vent job there, Tom Servo's agent. I think you have a lot of great thoughts in there. One thing I'd like to discuss is the CD a year thing. You said that fans would be more forgiving of a lackluster CD if the band put out a CD a year, because they knew something else would be around the corner.

    I would venture to say that is partly true, but it depends on the quality of the album. For instance, we'll take the Diver Down album. Yes it was mostly cover songs, and 1984 wasn't far behind. But what if 1984 wasn't the champion of an album that it was? You have instant classics on there with "Hot for Teacher," "Panama," and (at the time) "Jump." Then there are diamonds in the rough in the "deep tracks" like "Girl Gone Bad" or "I'll Wait." (Picking the songs is arbitrary--if I forgot your favorite, forgive me). The point is that if 1984 sucked and DLR had stayed, I bet the public wouldn't have been as forgiving. By this point, I'd personally like VH to put out anything that I would classify as an instant classic. Anything to get the band back on the musical map amongst the likes of Good Charlotte, Ashlee Simpson, and such. I fall into the "Just like EVH" category of fans and love both eras, so If VH did do a CD a year, I'd probably buy it (I guess that makes me a sheep? )

    But listening to a lackluster product only makes me hope for redemption the next time 'round. If the NEXT album sucks, then that hope diminishes over time. Like right now, I don't expect much from the (if any) next VH album. Eddie is obviously in a different place. He may decide to let Wolfgang sing, or play cello on every song. I'll give it a fair shot, but...c'mon. I know the dude still has it in him. Me Wise Magic, Humans Being, heck I even like Learning to See. This next album (if any) will be the predictor of the future of this band.

    Just my 2 cents. Thanks for listening, and great post again to you.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  6. #6
    Hang 'Em High perticelli's Avatar
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    11.30.15 @ 02:22 PM
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    im a happy sheep!
    if ed is on it, im buying. the more , the better.
    a cd a year would be a fantasy for me!!

    and dont forget, sucka, their is always the vault...it supposed to be filled with enough music for.....
    Eddie is the greatest, period

    The Unofficial VHLinks RRHOF

    SkyyeFM-Radio without the Rules(Webpage)

  7. #7
    Eruption Red-Diamond's Avatar
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    02.12.07 @ 03:44 PM
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    It's actually been said before that the songs are played live in the studio and if needed, Ed goes back and overdubs... both with Sam and Dave. Dave actually never sang live. He only sang a line at a time according to AVH...
    Take it for what it's worth

  8. #8
    On Fire abe5150's Avatar
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    10.28.17 @ 01:10 PM
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    Great post Tom Servo's Agent. I'm a fan of EVH, so I like both the Dave and Sammy eras. However, I do agree with you that most of the Sammy stuff sounds OVER produced.

    I think either VH2 or Women & Children First was cut in something like 3 weeks. There is an edge to the music...an edge that makes it great IMHO. Some of the music sounds like a first take, which it probably was. Some of the guitar work is so amazing, but sounds so improvised, that you get the feeling that if Eddie did it again it would sound different.

    VH was in the studio for a full year on the FUCK album. This is a very good album, but sometimes it just sounds too "processed". Even the LRHRN video from that album was edited over a couple of nights, rather than being shot over a single night like LWAN.

 

 

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