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Thread: Alex The Great?

  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    09.21.09 @ 07:28 PM
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    Alex The Great?

    Ok so we're all VH fans here and most of us think Ed is brilliant. But what about Al? Is he as great a drummer as Ed is a guitarist? I don't think so. My favorite drummer is Keith Moon...he was incredible on pretty much every song he played on. It was like Moon had 10 arms and was playing everything at once. He played the drums as if they were the lead instrument. I just don't see Al in the vein. Sometimes he is amazing, other times he's just keeping the beat, not really doing anything innovative or impressive.

    I just don't see Al in the same league as Moon, Watts, Baker, Bonham.

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    On Fire Blount5150's Avatar
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    I don't want to take anything away from Moon, but sometimes he overplayed. He gave the songs some raw energy, and not many people did what he did before him. I've heard many people say that Moon did a 3 minute drum solo over Townsend's poetry...I don't know if I completely agree with that or not.

    I think Al plays what the songs needs. He's not a drummer, he's a precussionist.

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    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    I love Al's style (at least it's his own). But no way is he as good a drummer as Ed's a guitarist.
    And, as far as Al being in the company of Moon, Bonham, etc. I think he falls slightly short of that caliber.
    My opinion of Al is; as far as rock'n'roll drummers go, he is very good. I'm not sure "innovative" is a word I'd use for him. However, he certainly does more than just 'keep the beat.' He's good on off-tempo things, he's got some great fills, but I think there's more to him than just drums though.
    I truly believe that he has gotten better with age, though. This is certainly obvious in comparing his drum solos over the years (my personal favorite solo was in '95 (the Balance tour). Personally, I wish he would have put a few more things like "Doin' Time" on some albums (I'm sure I'm in the minority on that one).
    The only problem that I've had with Alex is those stupid toms he used on the 5150 album + tour. He used them on the 1984 tour also I believe but they are just awful sounding NOW, maybe not back then. They almost ruin the album for me now.
    But, all in all, I'm happy Alex is on our team!!

  4. #4
    Hot For Teacher Simon Ribeiro's Avatar
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    04.19.16 @ 12:51 PM
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    Al

    I think Alex is a great drummer. "Van Halen II" got one of the best drum playing in Rock music ever. He did a hell of a good job on that record. He also plays to inspire Eddie (at least, that's what the King of the 06 strings said) and it works. I also think his drumming parts on "Women & Children First" is unique.
    TT: "Wow, you can play acoustic guitar?"
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    Atomic Punk Menlow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beachboydw
    Ok so we're all VH fans here and most of us think Ed is brilliant. But what about Al? Is he as great a drummer as Ed is a guitarist? I don't think so. My favorite drummer is Keith Moon...he was incredible on pretty much every song he played on. It was like Moon had 10 arms and was playing everything at once. He played the drums as if they were the lead instrument. I just don't see Al in the vein. Sometimes he is amazing, other times he's just keeping the beat, not really doing anything innovative or impressive.

    I just don't see Al in the same league as Moon, Watts, Baker, Bonham.
    Ed's guitar will always be the primary focus. Al doesn't need to play "lead drums", it would just create too much of a distraction from Ed's playing. Al and Mike keep the beat, lay down the bottom, and provide the drive behind the best VH songs. In that capacity I think he and Mike play very well together.

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    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    I don't really want to comment on how good Alex is because I am not a drummer. However I will.

    I think he did not really hit his stride until 1984. After that the drums became more of a focal point. Girl Gone Bad has some killer fills. How many bands ripped off his drum intro to HFT?

    He does have his style though. Its crash cymbals riding throughout a whole song. You just hear this "shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" all throughout any VH tune.

    I think he is very underated as a drummer. Of all the hard rock guys, its starts with Bonham but AVH is right behind him. Sort of the bridge between Bonham and Tommy Lee.

    If he was a guitarist I would say he would be George Lynch. Lives under another ones shadow (Bonham/EVH) but made his claim to music.

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    Romeo Delight
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    Yeah I agree Al is great on VH2. He kicks butt on AFTERSHOCK from Balance, too. Not that I put too much stock in to this, but if you read the review of Blanace on allmusic.com, they call Al & Mike the blandest rhythm section in all of rock.

  8. #8
    Good Enough
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    02.26.17 @ 05:10 PM
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    alex can play circles around moon...
    let's be real...EVH was GOD

    Runnin' might put too much focus on the fact that there's a little kid on bass - knuck

    I see three bona fide ROCK GODS, and then somebody's kid. - CaboTime

  9. #9
    no stinkin click! muffdiver's Avatar
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    02.28.14 @ 07:54 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by elvhfan
    alex can play circles around moon...

    yes ! ..he can if he wants ! Ed does so much and puts so many of his own fills in that Al has to kinda pick his spots.Pretty tough to be a focal point with someone as great as ed in the band....

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    Big Al's work on all of the albums is great. My partic fave is his work on WACF.

    Plus, it is Big Al after all.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

    "A lot of people take Van Halen more seriously than we do." The Diamond One



  11. #11
    Eruption AJHV's Avatar
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    08.29.11 @ 12:46 PM
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    Alex is the Shit! The only reason I am a musician today.
    Live by the VH attitude, die by the VH attitude.
    \mm/\mm/

    "What do you wanna do with your life?

    I WANNA ROCK!"

    ********************
    Alex Van Halen "THE BEATLES will never get back together and David Lee Roth will never again sing with VAN HALEN."
    the way it should have been link below:
    http://img154.imageshack.us/img154/4...5dd0881lk8.jpg

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing!
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    As a drummer for over 23 years, I think Alex is a great player, a virtuoso on his instrument. Put on 1984, VH 2, or F.U.C.K. and you'll hear a well rounded musician with killer chops. I don't think Keith Moon is any better than Alex and I believe that Alex is one of the few drummers in the caliber of Bonham.

  13. #13
    Little Dreamer
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    Quote Originally Posted by elvhfan
    alex can play circles around moon...
    Now that Moon's dead, I can too.

    In all seriousness, I think Alex has been held back by some crappy production of his records. There are times where it sounds like he doesn't even have a bass drum....and I think the decision to go electric on 5150 wasn't a very good one.

    The guy rocks live, and I think he has as much talent and pure playing ability as anyone out there, but if you listen to the sound of his drums on a couple of the albums, it leaves a lot to be desired.

  14. #14
    Hot For Teacher drummr's Avatar
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    I agree with TOM_5150. Alex is totally underrated. Yes, EVH is the lead guitarist in the band and will get more recognition; however, it wouldn't be Van Halen music without Al. His sound is so distinct and no other rock drummer can swing like Alex does on the early albums.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Eddymon's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:10 AM
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    COWBELL, WE NEED MORE COWBELL!

    Big Al is an underated drummer/percussionist. The guy (and Mike) is the foundation on which Mount Eddie stands on.
    They are the foundation and Eddie is the mansion. While the singer is the decorative landscaping in the front yard.
    Last edited by Eddymon; 01.30.06 at 03:39 PM.
    'Old Van Halen, when I was in it-classic Van Halen-makes you wanna drink, dance and screw, right? And the new Van Halen encourages you to drink milk, drive a Nissan and have a relationship.' - David Lee Roth.

 

 

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