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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    03.07.10 @ 06:18 AM
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    11 Years Ago Today: The Sucker-Punch To The Fans Known As VH III Is Released

    March 17th, 1998. A day that shall live in infamy for many a VH fan, for this was the date of release for Van Halen's least popular and most frustrating album, VH III.

    Having been around the various VH boards for a bit, by now you can pretty much figure that while at times being relatively poor choices of character, the average VH fan is fairly adamant in regard to what he/she likes. Be it a beverage, sporting team, elected official, or preferences of bands other than VH, they are more than willing to speak loudly for what they enjoy and believe in. And judging by the outright rejection of this album, it's relatively easy to grasp what those same fans do not like: A fey, vaguely effeminate lead singer that tended to prance more than perform, and the idea of Eddie Van Halen appearing on stage wearing slacks and sweaters.

    Yet most obvious was the outright disdain fans felt for the music, crafted not from catchy riffs and inspired, sing along melodies, yet from lyrics that aimed for the cerebral but sadly wound up resembling odd word association patterns, bad poetry or utter incomprehensibility. (Even Jim Morrison at his most drunken, "moon and june" worst may have been equally pompous, yet come on-the guy never confused his meager talents with something bordering on profundity.) This lack of relation to anything released under the Van Halen brand name previously led to the audience hearing it for the first time on a nationally broadcast "listening-party" to be so underwhelmed that they responded with blank stares and awkwardly uncomfortable silence, not exactly the desired effect for a radio program.

    The required tour that followed the release featured an inspired setlist and some outstanding performances, yet the audience themselves simply could not find themselves engaged with the new look band or it's odd and at times painfully ill-fitting material.

    Seen years later, the "art-rock" Van Halen was a noble cause, and an interesting direction for what is essentially a good-time, party band to take. Unfortunately, it was also an ill-conceived waste of time for all involved, including Edward Van Halen (who pretty much stopped doing much of anything for several years) and the fans that purchased the album on good faith, only to become frustrated and disillusioned at the turn of events, particularly after the entire "Sam out/Roth in/Roth out/MTV Awards/Best Of Volume 1" debacle. An already fractured fanbase was stressed even further, and has settled into a pattern of frustrated expectation with diminished reward ever since.

    The release of this album, along with it's sorry aftermath have lead to the state of Van Halen as it stands today: A curious entity, cursed by inscrutable mistakes and bone-headed choices leading to wasted opportunities and unfulfilled promise, with a legacy that has yet to be defined, even eleven years after the fact.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 03.17.09 at 10:13 AM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    Women & Children First
    Favorite VH Song

    Fools/All things Halenized
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    Bone-headed. Yeah that about sums it up for me.

    And it's been 11 years?? Wow.
    RIP - Classic Van Halen

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



  3. #3
    Good Enough DreamIsOver's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    1984/OU812
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    5150/Crossing Over
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    02.06.17 @ 05:47 PM
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    11 years since a brand new VH album.
    Unbelievable.
    In the bands first 11 years they released 8 albums. Think of all the education that we missed.
    The song ain't dirty
    It's really just the way we sing it

  4. #4
    Good Enough DreamIsOver's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    1984/OU812
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    02.06.17 @ 05:47 PM
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    And to add insult to injury - it's been 14 years since they release a "good" VH album.
    The song ain't dirty
    It's really just the way we sing it

  5. #5
    Future's in the past....
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    Favorite VH Album

    WACF, FW, DD
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    At the moment, Little Guitars
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    As usual, well written chef...can't say I find much, if anything to disagree with in there.
    11/05/78 Hollywood Sportatorium
    12/10/82 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/20/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/21/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    02/16/08 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue.

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    Sound Magazine
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    I Think I Love You
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    06.07.15 @ 10:30 AM
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    Default Spam

    The only problem with VH3 was that Ed was using inferior equipment. Now that he has finally realized his vision with a company that gets it he has been able to put all of his 35 years of experience into the EVH brand Wolfgang guitar and the EVH brand 5150III amplifier!







    Don't read this.

  7. #7
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    All of them
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    Girl Gone Bad, Hang 'em High
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullwinkle View Post
    The only problem with VH3 was that Ed was using inferior equipment. Now that he has finally realized his vision with a company that gets it he has been able to put all of his 35 years of experience into the EVH brand Wolfgang guitar and the EVH brand 5150III amplifier!
    LOL!

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk Lodewijk's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    Fair Warning
    Favorite VH Song

    She's The Woman, Mean Street
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    05.21.17 @ 06:59 AM
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    I don't want to piss all over what I'm sure will be an enthusiastic VHIII slam fest of epic proportions, but I just want to go on record as saying I liked the record....still do.

    Could it have been produced better? Yes.

    Was Gary the right fit for this band? Maybe not, but I was willing to give him the follow-up to determine it.

    Were the songs too long and radio unfriendly? Yup

    Was the direction of the band a conscious effort to get away from the high school pussy/dope rock that had been expected? Yes, that's part of why I liked it.

    Could I have lived without Josephina and How Many Say I? ABSOLUTELY ! But musically, I think %90 percent of it kicked ass !

    In my ears, it's far from the epic fail most consider it.

    Ok...I said my peace....please continue....
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  9. #9
    Future's in the past....
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    Favorite VH Album

    WACF, FW, DD
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    At the moment, Little Guitars
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    11/05/78 Hollywood Sportatorium
    12/10/82 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/20/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    01/21/84 Hollywood Sportatorium
    02/16/08 Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    I've got dreams in hidden places and extra smiles for when I'm blue.

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk
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    Favorite VH Album

    VHIII/WACF/OU51BALUCK
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lodewijk View Post
    I don't want to piss all over what I'm sure will be an enthusiastic VHIII slam fest of epic proportions, but I just want to go on record as saying I liked the record....still do.

    Could it have been produced better? Yes.

    Was Gary the right fit for this band? Maybe not, but I was willing to give him the follow-up to determine it.

    Were the songs too long and radio unfriendly? Yup

    Was the direction of the band a conscious effort to get away from the high school pussy/dope rock that had been expected? Yes, that's part of why I liked it.

    Could I have lived without Josephina and How Many Say I? ABSOLUTELY ! But musically, I think %90 percent of it kicked ass !

    In my ears, it's far from the epic fail most consider it.

    Ok...I said my peace....please continue....
    aw lode...YOU just earned yourself the first drink at TLW!! I had no idea our common beliefs extended to VHIII!! hahaha...i'm getting misty eyed!

    You guys know where I am on this one. I love the record. Named my cat Josephina. I think the band should have pushed forward, audience and record labels be damned. I think the follow up would have been great. How Many Say I is what is...it could have been left off, but I don't begrudge its place at all. I applaud their ambition and to this day, I have no idea what any of you mean when you guys bring up descriptions like "disjointed" when describing the arrangements. The songs and the record flow very well. The music is brilliant. Gary pushes his voice a little much in certain spots but I don't think it's horrible. I think they would have settled into quite the groove with more time. I like it above any of the hagar records and right up there with my favourites from the Roth era. The tour was inspired. I loved the stripped down stage presentation, Ed looked sharp in his slacks and suspenders and Gary is ever the showman. The guy can flat out front a band. I find it ironic that many people who lap up Roth in all his androgyny and at times flat out gayness accuse Gary of being too gay for VH.

    Though I can see why it flopped, I think its a shame. Had people reacted to Rubber Soul this way, we never would have gotten Revolver, Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, the White Album, Let it Be or Abbey Road. It was an album of transition, a transition that was never fully achieved and that, more than anything has led to the limbo in which the band exists. The second record should have come out...as someone once said, finish what ya started.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
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    12.18.17 @ 03:06 AM
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    When I first heard VHIII, it didn't blow me away but I didn't hate it either. I went to a few of the shows on the tour and enjoyed hearing these songs live. Sounded so much better than what was on CD. Plus, during the tour, we got to hear some old songs that hadn't been played in awhile.

    I'm sure if you ask 10 people regarding this short period in the life of VH, you will get some different opinions.

    Was it a period to forget? For me, no, but it wasn't my favorite either.
    Remember the Heroes - 9/11/01

    In 2012, the phoenix has risen!!

    "High speed, low drag."

    "Look at all the people here tonight!!!" - 10/5/07, 5/20/08 Mohegan Sun

    Congratulations to Van Halen as part of the Class of 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

    Cinco de Cabo @ Foxwoods: "A giant party with live music" - S. Hagar

    got tequila?

    http://keepitaliveforever.com

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    diver down
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    drop dead legs
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    12.17.17 @ 03:05 PM
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    I saw the 3 tour at Nissan Pavillion in Va...the place was only half full. More on the lawn than in the stands.Other than the fact they did some Dave songs I couldnt get into it.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  13. #13
    Good Enough pal1800's Avatar
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    Favorite VH Album

    Too hard to choose
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    Too hard to choose
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    06.02.16 @ 09:13 AM
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    The record has grown on me over time. But, that is more likely because it was the last record they have put out, it's all I have left to grasp hold of as far as recent activity.(minus the 3 BOBW tracks) But Chef makes some very good points, hard to argue againt them.

  14. #14
    Eruption Goldustgrl's Avatar
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    tough decision
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    05.04.13 @ 04:04 PM
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    Honestly, I just can't even acknowledge VHIII - couldn't tell you if they were good or not - it never happened to me.
    Van Halen

    April 1978 Palladium, NYC
    March 1984 MSG, NYC
    July 1986 Meadowlands, NJ
    Oct 1988 Nassau Coliseum, NY
    July 1993 Jones Beach, NY
    April 1995 Nassau Coliseum, NY
    Oct 2007 Mohegan Sun, CT
    Nov 2007 Nassau Coliseum, NY
    May 2008 MSG, NYC

    DLR June 2003 Westbury Music Fair, NY

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk
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    07.24.11 @ 04:36 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldustgrl View Post
    Honestly, I just can't even acknowledge VHIII - couldn't tell you if they were good or not - it never happened to me.


    now that's funny.

 

 

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