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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 09:20 AM
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    Default Why didn't Fair Warning sell better?

    Fair Warning is arguably the favorite album of the majority of fans on this website, yet it has sold the fewest copies of all the original Dave era releases. Why is that? Is the material that far removed from the other 5 albums from the 6 pack? Are the songs too much rock and not enough pop? Are the tunes too guitar oriented and not song oriented enough for the general public? Why didn't so many of the same people who purchased the other 5 albums also buy Fair Warning?

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by I Coulda Hada VH; 07.11.16 at 05:19 PM.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

    "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you"

    "Be careful what you wish for because you just might lose what you already have"

    "Women and Children First ... The REAL Van Halen III"

  2. #2
    5150 What a Rocker 1973's Avatar
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    The Super Seven
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    Unchained/I'm the One
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    11.11.17 @ 08:55 AM
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    Default

    I'd probably say because of the heavy tone. But overall it's aged well. Unchained and Mean Street are in the top five of best selling VH iTunes songs last time I checked. Also look at the fact the Unchained clip from the 81 show in Oakland easily has the most views on YouTube of an VH concert clip should tell that the album has aged well.

  3. #3
    Baluchitherium thismusicsux's Avatar
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    FAIR WARNING
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    12.10.17 @ 09:49 PM
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    Default

    There didn't seem to be a bonafide commercial/radio hit (although Unchained should've done the trick) and "So This Is Love" is probably the closest to pop/commercial flavor (ala YRGM, DTNA). HAIL too maybe and all with videos (although, I'm still not certain when those live videos were premiered...I still wanna say 1982).

    But are ATCWR and EWS more radio friendly?

    Even though 4 songs were charting at the same time...


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  5. #4
    Atomic Punk JUNGLE DRUMMER's Avatar
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    WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST/ADKOT
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    EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!
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    12.11.17 @ 03:47 AM
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    Default

    Well, the tour was hugely successful. Personally, I think Warner Bros definitely dropped the ball in promoting this album. I mean, fucking Crazy Train and For Those About To Rock and songs of that nature were all over radio and are now classic rock staples from that era. There are several songs from FW that are not any less catchy than those, but WB chose not to really push this album too much.

    Even a mellower tune like PCTS, or even So This Is Love?, didn't get any love from the studio. Weird.

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  7. #5
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 04:47 AM
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    Default

    It's not a happy record, it's actually pretty nasty, their nastiest, so it doesn't surprise me that is didn't sell well in 1981.

    Would've sold gangbusters in 1994.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

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  9. #6
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 09:20 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    It's not a happy record, it's actually pretty nasty, their nastiest, so it doesn't surprise me that is didn't sell well in 1981.

    Would've sold gangbusters in 1994.
    I agree that it's a pretty dark album. However, tunes like Unchained and So This Is Love? are right in Van Halen's wheelhouse of melodic hard rock.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

    "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you"

    "Be careful what you wish for because you just might lose what you already have"

    "Women and Children First ... The REAL Van Halen III"

  10. #7
    Atomic Punk RRvh1's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 07:40 AM
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    Premium Member

    Default

    I think that songs like Dirty Movies, PCTS, SAITP/OFOTD, etc. were considered filler by many people? "We" know differently, of course!

    Also, the dark overall vibe was pretty removed from typical VH party fare, and the fact that the record company did next to nothing to hype the album.
    "There's too many people on this basketball that's floating around the sun, who are too afraid to allow themselves to FEEL" - Edward Van Halen
    "Van Halen was never about the singer..." - a very wise fan.
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  11. #8
    Good Enough vcooper3's Avatar
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    Default

    Fair Warning was a pivotal moment in the band's career. Some of Ed's best playing was featured on this album. But Warner Bros wanted more "radio friendly" tunes. So Jump, Why Can't This Be Love and other pop oriented songs were a derivative of FW.

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  12. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    fair warning/ 5150
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    07.09.17 @ 07:00 PM
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    One of you numbers guy post the 411 on the Six Pack over the years. Curious to see spikes and trend of how it moved, and why the fuck it lags behind like it does. It's VH at their mightiest.


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  13. #10
    Good Enough vcooper3's Avatar
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  14. #11
    Good Enough VH1988's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 09:15 AM
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    Default

    Simply put its not a commercial album. There are no obvious hit singles and most of the material is pretty dark and heavy.

    It's a killer album. Not my fave of the Roth era but in my top 3.

  15. #12
    Atomic Punk I Coulda Hada VH's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VH1988 View Post
    Simply put its not a commercial album. There are no obvious hit singles and most of the material is pretty dark and heavy.

    It's a killer album. Not my fave of the Roth era but in my top 3.
    I think you're spot on with your analysis. It's my 2nd favorite VH album, just a hair behind the debut record.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

    "If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you"

    "Be careful what you wish for because you just might lose what you already have"

    "Women and Children First ... The REAL Van Halen III"

  16. #13
    Good Enough VH1988's Avatar
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    12.11.17 @ 09:15 AM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by I Coulda Hada VH View Post
    I think you're spot on with your analysis. It's my 2nd favorite VH album, just a hair behind the debut record.
    Behind the debut and 1984 for me.

  17. #14
    Eruption
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    12.11.17 @ 08:59 AM
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    Default

    No single really. Unchained is a killer song but not a classic single. The label did not seem to like this from the get go. So much back then was decided by AR guys and I think they just didn't get it, and didn't push it. DD had an immediate single and the label was excited and that got pushed. For whatever reason the label was disappointed by FW when they got it. In hindsight that judgement looks hugely flawed but it happens and back then a label could make you or cockblock. Warner AR guys did not believe in it so it sat.

  18. #15
    Hang 'Em High Reckless Fable's Avatar
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    11.28.17 @ 10:56 AM
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    Premium Member

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by I Coulda Hada VH View Post
    Fair Warning is arguably the favorite album of the majority of fans on this website, yet it has sold the fewest copies of all the original Dave era releases. Why is that? Is the material that far removed from the other 5 albums from the 6 pack? Are the songs too much rock and not enough pop? Are the tunes too guitar oriented and not song oriented enough for the general public? Why didn't so many of the same people who purchased the other 5 albums also buy Fair Warning?

    Thoughts?
    I think it's simple. We hard rock fans vastly overrate the appeal of the hard rock genre.

    VH 1 took the world by storm and it was very different. It flew off the shelves. However, the next 3 albums, there was a steady decline in sales. Still really fucking amazing hard rock albums, but not anywhere near the first one. But there weren't really any crossover hits since VH 1.

    DD hit and the two tunes that brought their sales up: the maligned DITS and Pretty Woman. Hated by the hard core, but they reached a wider audience of non-hard rock fans.

    Then 1984. 10 million people didn't by 1984 because Girl Gone Bad is a guitar extravaganza over the top of a rhythm section masterpiece. It is because one of the most famous pop songs of the 80's was on it. Might as well Jump. Of course, Panama & Hot for Teacher where there to help out as well, but Jump clearly lead the way.

    Van Halen squeezed every single ounce of juice out of the hard rock audience. No matter how great the musicianship throughout their discography, a lot of their commercial appeal were songs that were ones that a lot of the hardcore audience think were sell outs.

    I think, given the overall appeal of hard rock overall, we should be absolutely impressed that VH was able to sell that many copies of FW (which didn't contain a single crossover hit).


 

 

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