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  1. #1
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Default Rank your favorite David Lee Roth solo songs!

    I thought it would be cool to rank our favorite David Lee Roth solo songs.

    I'm a younger Van Halen fan, and during the build-up to the release of "A Different Kind of Truth," I attempted to get my hands on everything Van Halen-related... It was all new to me!!!

    I was surprised by the high quality of some of David Lee Roth's solo output. (Granted, it varies about as widely as Bob Dylan's - from brilliant to "wtf?!")

    Here are some of my favorite David Lee Roth solo songs:

    1.) "Elephant Gun" -- Is this an incredible musical piece, or what?! The lyrics are both humorous and edgy... And the bass! And the guitar..! When I first heard "China Town," I thought of both "Shyboy" and "Elephant Gun" -- and that's a compliment to all three songs. (I didn't include "Shyboy" on this list because it's a cover.)

    2.) "Ladies Night in Buffalo" -- what a great vibe this song has! Living in the heart of the city (Springfield, Mass.) this song gives me a visceral feeling of the hot, East Coast summer days where "kids are screaming" playing in front of fire hydrants, which blend into cool nights when everyone dresses to be seen.

    3.) "Hina" -- another great, atmospheric song, which for me, evokes images of a tropical island -- a night on the beach, dancing by a bonfire. A lot of us have had a sphinx-like love whose impact has had a significant impact on us, albeit brief. A lot of us have a "Hina," in other words

    4.) "Black Sand" -- The DLR Band album did not sell well from what I've read, but I believe it should have. Although it has filler, in my opinion, the filler is pretty good -- and the stand out songs are excellent! "Black Sand" is one of the most compelling songs David Lee Roth's ever written. Again, atmospheric, and in a way that evokes some mystical fantasy island.

    5.) "Yankee Rose" -- I love it! It was the only David Lee Roth solo song I knew before investigating his catalog. The intro is hilarious and the chorus is as catchy as rock and roll gets. It's a song that encapsulates an era of music.

    6.) "Big Trouble" -- again, the experimental side of David Lee Roth produces a winner. Featuring one of the greatest guitar solos I've ever heard, and a meaningful chorus: "how many times/have you said to yourself/ "hey, pack up and go/ I've been here too long?"/I bet if you asked them your heroes would say/ "we're already gone."

    7.) "Slam Dunk!" The lyrics here are self-congratulatory, but there's a realistic sadness to them: "you want a big car/you finally win it/ the next week you're sleeping in it." I love this song because Roth is back to form after two sub-par albums, in my opinion. Plus, this is one of John 5's greatest and dirtiest riffs ever. I bet Manson wished he could've had this one!

    8.) "Damn Good" Generally, when one thinks of music that makes one tear up with emotion, one doesn't think of David Lee Roth's solo output. This song is an exception. In "Damn Good," Steve Vai writes an extraordinary guitar part that perfectly accompanies Dave's wistful remembrances of Van Halen. "Man we was laughin' as we reached for the stars/ And we grabbed one/For what it was worth..." It gives me chills.

    9.) "Hot Dog and a Shake" The critique of Skyscaper is that it lacks bite. Regardless, it certainly has its fair share of good songs. Unfortunately, some potential chart toppers (and actual chart-toppers) were over-produced into sterility. "Perfect Timing," for example. "Hot Dog and a Shake" (and to a lesser degree, "The Bottom Line" and "Knucklebones") are exceptions. The solo in "Hot Dog in a Shake is still one of Vai's greatest achievements -- and Roth's lyrics are silly fun.

    10.) "Sunburn" The most spartan song on Your Filthy Little Mouth, Sunburn is moody and poetic. Whereas much of Your Filthy Little Mouth overdoes it -- it's jammed with horns, and country overtones -- Sunburn is near-perfect in its musical simplicity. Would you believe that the same man responsible for "Elephant Gun" also released this impressionistic painting of a song..?

    Other great songs: "A Little Ain't Enough" - very good song on an album that, to my ear, contained two great tracks. Great riff by Becker. "Drop in the Bucket" - the other great track on "A Little Ain't Enough;" this could have cracked the Top 10, if not for the lyrics. ("Hot Dog and a Shake" at least is pure fun, whereas "Drop," to my ears, sounds a bit forced.)

    "Goin' Places..." on the DLR Band album has extraordinarily clever lyrics, and the song itself feels like a road trip with Dave.

    As mentioned above, "Knucklebones" and "The Bottom Line," as mentioned, were standouts on Skyscraper. I believe that they could've benefited from some a more raw production; however, slickness was spreading like the Black Death at the time -- and few were immune.

    "Thug Pop" - an unexpectedly great song toward the end of the "Diamond Dave" album. Another great John 5 riff.

    "Experience" on Your Filthy Little Mouth is an overlooked gem, lyrically and musically. There's wisdom in the lyrics, and soul in the song.
    Last edited by VanJuJu; 02.04.12 at 09:35 PM.
    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  2. #2
    Good Enough wombattt's Avatar
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    05.23.17 @ 01:16 PM
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    Default

    Hina
    Coconut Grove
    "Always hopeful, yet discontent,
    He knows changes aren't permanent
    But change is!"

  3. #3
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 05:52 AM
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    Always dug the cover of Tobacco Road. Also Right Tool for the Job and A Little Ain't Enough. And maybe my fave Dave song, Sensible Shoes.
    "I'm the opposite of Bill Cosby. Diamond Dave always gets your approval." (DLR)

    "Kids, just say NO to marriage". (Al Bundy)

    Rawhide in "A"

    OAA

  4. #4
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Good call with both Coconut Grove (I didn't include it because it was a cover) and Tobacco Road (same reason.)

    Sensible Shoes is a fun song, for sure.
    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  5. #5
    Eruption EAS's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:25 AM
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    1. Just Like Paradise
    2. Damn Good (can't believe it never made Dave's "best of")
    3. Yankee Rose
    4. Goin Crazy
    5. California Girls
    6. Drop In The Bucket
    7. It's Showtime
    8. A Lil' Ain't Enough
    9. Sensible Shoes
    10. Elephant Gun
    ________________

  6. #6
    Sinner's Swing! evhintexas's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Right now it is this---would be nice if it was with Eddie !!!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

  7. #7
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by evhintexas View Post

    Right now it is this---would be nice if it was with Eddie !!!
    Whoa!!! I'd never seen the video... That was awesome!!
    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  8. #8
    Eruption EAS's Avatar
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    12.09.17 @ 07:25 AM
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    Man it would be interesting to see and hear VH do "Yankee Rose" or "Goin' Crazy". Just to hear Eddie do his take on Vai would be pretty wild.
    ________________

  9. #9
    Eruption VanJuJu's Avatar
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    08.24.15 @ 08:58 AM
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    Personally, I think that "Yankee Rose" is the best Van Halen song Van Halen-never-wrote.

    I'd love to hear Eddie's take on Yankee Rose!!!
    Springfield, MASS. - Hartford, CONN. =VH= Fans UNITE!

  10. #10
    Eruption Hired Gun's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 02:25 PM
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    Lots of good tunes mentioned:

    Big Trouble
    Black Sand
    Experience

    Some underrated gems there......

  11. #11
    Eruption Hired Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanJuJu View Post
    Personally, I think that "Yankee Rose" is the best Van Halen song Van Halen-never-wrote.
    Cool take!!!

  12. #12
    Eruption Hired Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanJuJu View Post
    Whoa!!! I'd never seen the video... That was awesome!!
    I remember---they had this video debut on fox in prime--time....Pretty sure anyway. Been a few years....Cool tune.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman Double Down's Avatar
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    11.17.17 @ 12:11 PM
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    1. Damn Good
    2. Goin' Crazy
    3. Big Trouble
    4. Yankee Rose
    5. Easy Street
    6. Coconut Grove
    7. Ladies Night In Buffalo
    8. A Little Ain't Enough
    9. Tobacco Road
    10. Just Like Paradise


    When I think of Dave's solo career it's pretty much only Eat Em And Smile for me. Loved it and can still listen to it. I listened to Skyscraper a lot at the time but can't deal with it now. It sounds like ass.
    .
    .
    .
    VH with Dave ('78-'84) - The best years....the "real" VH.
    VH with Sam ('86-'96) - Incredible era....."We have renamed this town 'New Halen!'.
    VH with Gary ('98) - Fucking disaster. WTF was that??
    VH with Wolf/Dave ('12-'15) - Amazing comeback. Smokin' album and tours.

  14. #14
    Banned! ExpandedConsciousness's Avatar
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    Eat 'Em And Smile is a flat-out brilliant album. No one has mentioned it, but I also loved the title track "Skyscraper" ("I'm a skyscraper!") - so creative. I remember liking "40 Below" and "Lady Luck" a lot.
    Last edited by ExpandedConsciousness; 02.17.12 at 12:46 AM.

  15. #15
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 06:22 AM
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    Favorite two from each album, and I included covers:

    Coconut Grove
    Easy Street

    Big Trouble
    Ladies Nite in Buffalo

    Hina
    Damn Good

    ALAE
    Sensible Shoes

    Sunburn
    Night Life

    Weekend With the Babysitter
    Black Sand

    You've Got the Blues (Not Me)
    Stay While the Night is Young

    Special note:

    Two of my favorite DLR tunes are unreleased. Mississippi Power which was on the Japanese Import of YFLM, and Cruel Obsession, which was left on the YFLM cutting room floor.

    The only album I can really say I still like is EEAS. Skyscraper is just pop crap to me, and ALAE is a hard rock paint by numbers album. YFLM is a mess. DLR Band is pretty good, but some songs sound like demos. I actually really like the Savoy Brown songs off of Diamond Dave, as I had never heard them before, so they were new to me. I also think DLR did a good job with the Doors cover. But other than that, I really don't think too much of his solo career. Of course, this is just my opinion. The worst song DLR every wrote is better than my best.

    Love DLR as a singer and lyricist, but a lot of the songs in his solo career are really bad. He definitely has proven that he needs another foil to write with.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

    Hurricane Halen - Let's all gingery touch our sword tips!!!

    DONATE TO THE LINKS YA CHEAP BASTARDS!!!!

 

 

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