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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    1984 / 5150
    Favorite VH Song

    the ones with ed on them.
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    07.20.17 @ 02:42 PM
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    Default The DLR Solo Catalogue - The Great, Good, Bad, & The Ugly

    In light of Dave's most recent public outings and some of the flak he's been getting for Strummin' With The Devil, I've been revisiting his solo discs a lot lately to see if they still hold their own. I thought it might be a fun, ongoing project (as I'm fairly short on free time lately) to post an in-depth, track-by-track review of each of his discs, by release date, and discuss the merits, shortcomings and interesting trivia tidbits of each in one tidy little space.

    FIRST AND FOREMOST: THIS IS NOT TO BE A DAVE VS. SAM SLUGFEST.
    I REPEAT: PLEASE, NO SAM VS. DAVE B.S.

    I love 'em both so please don't start...

    Anyhoo, I thought I'd start with Crazy From The Heat and let anyone intersted share their thoughts in roughly the same format. There's no getting around pitting Dave's solo stuff against what he did in VH but it's not my intention to do so. I really wanted to just put each of his efforts up against one another and see what the consensus might be.

    Here's sorta my rip-off of Rolling Stone's (yeah I know...lame) rating system. I think you'll get the jist of what I'm trying to do here...

    ***** CLASSIC Dave - ALMOST on par with his work in Van Halen
    **** Missing just a few elements that make up Dave's best stuff
    *** Coulda been better...
    ** Pretty bad but still has it's merits
    * WHAWAZAT?!?! (What the hell was he thinking?!)

    OK...*pssst* It's SHOWTIME!


    Crazy From The Heat

    1. Easy Street ****

    Although a fairly obvious choice because of the Edgar Winter connection, this is easily the most underrated tune on the EP.
    An interesting fact that you might not be aware of, the tune was written by 80's pop star, Dan Hartman
    (YES, The "I Can Dream About you" guy!) who, at the time it was written, was a member of the Edgar Winter Group.
    The original appears on the 1974 Edgar Winter Group release, Shock Treatment.
    GREAT groove provided by some of the baddest studio cats of the time, notably Willie Weeks' & his killer bass swing.
    I also dig the fact that Sid McGuiness of Letterman fame lends his keen sense of rhythm guitar to the proceedings.
    Not to mention Eddie Martinez (of the Robert Palmer Band) and his signature guitar grind.
    And Edgar Winter's sax and key work just SMOKE. Same band on the rest of the tracks, with the exception of the last.
    To me, this tune has almsot the same vibe as "Goin' Crazy!" from Eat 'Em And Smile, thanks to Sammy Figuroa's percussion.
    Still retains a bit of The RAWK Factor while heading him in that over-the-top, Vegas, showy direction...

    2. Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody (Medley) *****

    Roth, in my eyes, has a LOT in common with Louis Prima, who brought this medley to fame: Prima, back in his heyday of
    the 30's & 40's, from what I've read, was considered one of the heaviest artists of the time, and, normally a swing artist,
    his distinctive sound also encompassed New Orleans-style jazz, boogie-woogie, jump blues, R&B, early rock & roll,
    and even the occasional Italian tarantella. Pretty diverse influences if you ask me. Sound familiar?
    It makes perfect sense knowing this and understanding Dave's choice in covering the tune. Obviously, it's a wonderfully
    tounge-in-cheek choice, but a fairly autobiographical one of Dave himself, as well. Never take yourself too seriously!
    A lot of people don't realize Dave's version is damn near note-for-note-same as the original, right down to the Dave's
    vocal treatment. While this doesn't speak much for originality, it DOES emphasize Dave's ablity to take something that's
    been done in spades and make it something all his own. This one sparkles with personality.
    Hummala-bebala-zeeboola-boobala-hummala-bebala-zeeboola-bop, indeed.

    3. California Girls ****1/2

    ALMOST classic Dave, but I never really dug the Beach Boys in first place. That being said, major kudos to Dave for getting
    an ACTUAL Beach Boy (Carl Wilson) to sing backup vox (along with another stellar vocalist, Christopher Cross).
    As with the rest of the EP, the production on this one is OUTSTANDING and is chock-full of classic Dave-isms.
    This is one of those songs that will be forever associated with the Diamond One but looses half a point because of the song itself.
    Hey, what's more Sunny Southern California than Dave, right? Fits like an old comfortable pair of shoes...albeit, clown shoes.

    4. Coconut Grove ***

    To me, this John Sebastian penned, Lovin' Spoonfull hit, never really takes flight. There's just somthing wrong with Dave's
    voice here - a little too 'fish-out-of-water', if you will, a little TOO laid back. The instrumentation & vocal on the original
    were strokes of genius in my book and are not updated lovingly (pun intended!) here. Synth pads and nylon string acoustic just
    don't paint quite as vivid a picture. But, this version's overall mood DOES round out the EP as a whole nicely.

    PRODUCTION *****

    Along with Eat 'Em And Smile, this one ranks as the best SOUNDING of Dave's catalog. This is what studio craft should be.
    Everything is pristinely recorded, leaving every players tone intact, and almost PERFECTLY mixed. All the individual parts
    sit so nicely in the mix, you can hear what each cat is playing or singing at any given moment.
    CRANK it sometime and you'll see what I mean. It's my firm belief that a lot of the magic on this little disc (as well as EEAS)
    is to be contribiuted to the genius of both Ted Templeman, for his keen sense of arrangement, and to (probably the most underrated
    engineer and mixer on the planet) Jeff Hendrickson for his otherworldly pair of ears. Why Van Halen and Ted Templeman chose to
    use Donn Landee instead, as the engineer on the classic first six, is beyond me. It would have been AMAZING to hear what
    Hendrickson could have done with VH...*sigh*

    Closing notes...

    While most would consider this goofy little collection of songs just that, I propose there was a lot more to it. A lot more
    heart, soul and thought invested in it than people will give Dave & Co. credit for. With the almost obscure nature of the material,
    Dave was probably lucky this thing was a hit, although I'm sure the MTV factor played a big role in it's success, just as much
    as the performances on the record. At the time this thing hit the airwaves, I was a mere 13 years old, but already a rabid Van Halen
    fan, and thought it was silly as anything Weird Al could have done. But with the benefit of 21 years of hindsight, it's clear to me
    it was ALMOST a stroke of genius. A bigger-than-life risk made by a bigger-than-life personality. No guts no glory...


    OVERALL RATING ****1/2
    Last edited by sixstring; 06.15.06 at 02:43 PM.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


    "20 minutes (late to work)? Shit. Last year I woke up three weeks too late.
    My advice is to go for the alien abduction story. Look bemused, dishevelled and on the verge of tears as you recount your story of intrusive and degrading medical tests.
    Worked for me anyway. I still have colleagues asking me what it is like to fuck a green womanoid with seventeen breasts.
    Alternatively just walk in and inform everyone that alcoholism is indeed a disease and that they should be less judgemental and perhaps a little more supportive."
    - graeme on the addiction to this place.

    "something tells me that after the nuclear holocaust, there'll be twinkies, cockroaches, and a dave vs. sammy argument going on somewhere".
    - han valen, 6.11.04

    "in my best "saw" scary movie voice: "oh, yes, there will be beagles."
    - hatchetforce, 6.7.06

  2. #2
    On Fire I'm_your_IceCreamMan's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    All of them not titled III
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    Bravo! Excellent review my friend. What magazine do you write for?
    I agree on everything except I woulda given the 3 star to Easy Street and a 4 star for Coconut Grove. I always dug on Grove just a little more.

    Otherwise, very impressive post. Can't wait to see your next "review"!

  3. #3
    Eruption empyre44's Avatar
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    I dont know...i listen to the DLR solo stuff now and they just seem so dated back to the 80s rock. CVH has stood the test of time but none of the solo stuff really jumps out at me anymore.

    great review though, i agree...you one hell of a writer breaking that stuff out.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    1984 / 5150
    Favorite VH Song

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    WOW. Thanks, guys! I'm just a hack at writing. I'm sure Scotty5150 would rip me a new one if he was to critique my writing style. I've never done an album review in print before - I really don't know what I'm doing but I thought it would be fun to get a discussion going on Dave's stuff in it's entirity, instead of the usual fare of commenting on a couple tunes or the odd album here and there.

    BTW, I welcome any and all criticism. That's really the whole motivation behind this idea - to see if I'm just WAY off base or if I'm at least in the ballpark. As a whole, I really dig Dave's solo stuff and wanted to see what everyone else thought on the subject...

    Thanks for the kind words! EEAS is on deck and in the works...
    Last edited by sixstring; 06.16.06 at 07:00 AM.
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    "20 minutes (late to work)? Shit. Last year I woke up three weeks too late.
    My advice is to go for the alien abduction story. Look bemused, dishevelled and on the verge of tears as you recount your story of intrusive and degrading medical tests.
    Worked for me anyway. I still have colleagues asking me what it is like to fuck a green womanoid with seventeen breasts.
    Alternatively just walk in and inform everyone that alcoholism is indeed a disease and that they should be less judgemental and perhaps a little more supportive."
    - graeme on the addiction to this place.

    "something tells me that after the nuclear holocaust, there'll be twinkies, cockroaches, and a dave vs. sammy argument going on somewhere".
    - han valen, 6.11.04

    "in my best "saw" scary movie voice: "oh, yes, there will be beagles."
    - hatchetforce, 6.7.06

  5. #5
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    This thread deserved a lot better.

    Quote Originally Posted by sixstring
    Dave was probably lucky this thing was a hit[/b]
    Man, this really caught my eye. 'Lucky' is a pretty relative term. The success of this got Dave out of Van Halen. Had it sold next to nothing, Dave would NEVER have left VH! It could have sold poorly and Dave could have easily laughed it off as his 'four song postcard of his Mexican vacation'. And maybe we'd be talking about the classic 8 pack, 10 pack or maybe even more!

    'Lucky'?? Hmm!

    1. Easy Street is a fantastic song, and a great vocal performance. Some people who don't like Dave say he could never really sing, and some people trying to justify 2006 Dave's voice say he could never really sing. Listen to this song, the man could flat out sing. Low, high, holding notes, sounds great.

    2. Gigolo is good, but I find it hard to comment on it I've heard it so many times. Dave shines, it's Diamond Dave right in the center of the spotlight.

    3. California Girls is great also. I love sound of the intro, before it all kicks in. Totally takes me back to that era. I guess it's like Gigolo, what is there to say. Know it, love it, keep moving.

    4. Coconut Grove is far and away the best thing on this ep. A stunning song, complete mood alterer. It's Black Sand before Black Sand grew up. Songs like Grove are why I'm so tired of Dave playing the Diamond Dave character. But in fairness there are moments on the Diamond Dave album where Dave goes into Grove territory (Stay While the Night is Young for example) which makes the later album a worthwhile listen.

    In closing, Dave should have never left Van Halen. He could have been Diamond Dave for a living, and in the ever lengthening hiatus' of VH, he could have explored songs like these and different personas.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk sixstring's Avatar
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    Thanks, Glenn! Yeah, I thought this woulda been a bit bigger hit of a thread than what it is so far, but hey, what the hell! Thanks SO much for your comments! As far as the 'lucky' comment went, I just meant that as far as pop records go, it's just a really STRANGE song selection. I'm just surprised that this collection of songs (the most recent being written in the early 70's!) went over with the general public as well as it did...

    BTW, still working on EEAS...slow but steady...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


    "20 minutes (late to work)? Shit. Last year I woke up three weeks too late.
    My advice is to go for the alien abduction story. Look bemused, dishevelled and on the verge of tears as you recount your story of intrusive and degrading medical tests.
    Worked for me anyway. I still have colleagues asking me what it is like to fuck a green womanoid with seventeen breasts.
    Alternatively just walk in and inform everyone that alcoholism is indeed a disease and that they should be less judgemental and perhaps a little more supportive."
    - graeme on the addiction to this place.

    "something tells me that after the nuclear holocaust, there'll be twinkies, cockroaches, and a dave vs. sammy argument going on somewhere".
    - han valen, 6.11.04

    "in my best "saw" scary movie voice: "oh, yes, there will be beagles."
    - hatchetforce, 6.7.06

  7. #7
    Unchained punk5150's Avatar
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    Come on baby lets see the reviews for the real albums....

    DLR Band 5 stars... The best of the bunch slightly behind EEAS.

  8. #8
    Good Enough sasquatch's Avatar
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    10.02.17 @ 07:47 AM
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    I'm on to this thread sixstring. I don't own Crazy From the Heat, but I've heard all the songs except Coconut Grove. But, according to Glenn's post, I really need to hear it.

    I'll be interested on your take on Your Filthy Little Mouth. When this album first came out, I thought it was the final nail in the coffin, but as my taste's matured, I really grew to like most of it.

  9. #9
    Top Of The World Von Halen's Avatar
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    01.19.17 @ 08:12 PM
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    Default

    Great job sixstring.

    I'm interested in your review of EEAS, since it's not anywhere near my favorite of Dave's solo albums.

  10. #10
    Banned! metro3454's Avatar
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    Default Review EEAS

    dude post the review of eat em and smile! im looking forward to it.

 

 

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