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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    Okay. I hope I'm not repeating an earlier critique. I've been away from the Forum for a while. I've always found this album (OU812) to be extremely under-rated by other VH fans. I've read a ton of fans posts claiming it's their least favorite Sammy album. And you know what? It's my favorite. I personally think it's their most exciting and groundbreaking record with Sammy simply because Eddie is trying so many different things here, and it works, melodically and with a great punch. Only problem, the album is recorded pretty poorly in a lot of spots. Here's my critique. Be interested to read why other fans don't like the album as much as I do (or do actually like it).

    MINE ALL MINE: I think it's a good opener. Not the best song on the album, but a really good feel. Great live when I saw 'em in Toronto in '95. That was a big surprise. Sammy does a good job. Typical Eddie synth-song.

    WHEN IT'S LOVE: Overplayed now, but what a catchy melody. I'm really tired of it, but have to admit it's a helluva well-written piece of pop music. Sammy is amazing on this one. Truly incredible (and this coming from a Dave fan!).

    A.F.U.: What I like about this is you really feel like you've just walked into 5150 and the band is just jamming on some new riffs. It may not be the best constructed song ever, but it's so loose. Eddie is amazing. Riff after incredible riff. And I hate to say it, but the band stopped playing stuff like this (with that old feeling) right after this album.

    CABO WABO: Brilliant song. Just amazing. Another one where Sammy does everything right. His lyrics really give the song a purpose. He really loves this place he's singing about. Mike's back-ups (with Eddie) are awesome in the chorus. The band really sound like they love playing together. One of their most unique tracks. (Good on the live album as well.)

    SOURCE OF INFECTION: This is the album's first real let-down. It simply goes nowhere. It sounds like Sammy didn't take the time to write any lyrics. The music is typical, early VH-era Eddie. It would have been great if the vocalist had actually written a great melody and some kick-ass lyrics (in other words, Dave would have done an amazing job with this one). But there's...nothing. And the chorus is really annoying. Too bad.

    FEELS SO GOOD: Always liked this one. It's a really catchy pop song. If fans can understand the difference between this inspired piece of Eddie's mind and the pretentious slop that's going on in ONCE, they'll understand why this was played on the radio a lot and ONCE wasn't.

    FINISH WHAT YA STARTED: This is my least favorite song on the album. I simply don't like anything about it (except for Eddie's cool solo). It's just really boring and sounds like bad country to me. The lyrics are really juvenile (Sammy bitched about how Dave had nothing to say lyrically??), and the melody and groove are just not what I want to hear from Van Halen.

    BLACK AND BLUE: My favorite cut on the album. I simply love the riff, the groove, the drums, the little jam part at the end with Alex hitting the cowbell, the background vocals, Sammy's melody. It's perfect. Wasn't this the first thing cut for the album? Anyway, I think it's great. It's poppy enough to be catchy for other audiences, but it rocks enough to sound like the band playing live in the studio and definitely has enough punch to be a good homage to Led Zeppelin. One of my favorite Sammy tracks (up there with HUMANS BEING).

    SUCKER IN A 3 PIECE: Not a big favorite of mine. Sounds like the band was jamming live in the studio and the tape happened to be rolling. Perhaps this is why fans don't respond as well to this album as other ones. Because it's possibly their most loosely-created album (hey, no producer!). This one could be considered fun (Eddie plays great), but not much of a song.

    A APOLITICAL BLUES: This is technically only an extra track, so I won't put down the album for including it. But it's nothing special. Sounds like it was recorded with only two mikes in a room. Nothing great. Too much of Sammy's musical ideas in here and not enough of Eddie's.

    Anyway, I think it's a great album. I love listening to it because I feel like I'm really getting to listen to some typical and unpolished work in 5150 before the producer polishes it up too much.
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  2. #2
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    I agree Dan. The sound is horrible. I have no idea why, but you simply can't hear the bass on so many tracks. If you can, it's a trebly little sound. That's it.

    The drums also sound weak. The bass drum sounds like a finger tapping on a table. None of the punch or boom that it really needs. Listen to the intro to AFU or when the drums come in on CABO WABO. It really needs more bottom end.

    Too bad, because other than that, it's my favorite Sammy album.
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  3. #3
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    09.26.07 @ 01:38 PM
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    Donor

    OU812 is my least favorite Van Hagar album but that's not saying a bad thing. It's really a three-way tie between Balance, FUCK, and 5150. Anyway, I think there are a lot of well-written songs on OU812. It's the sound that kind of spolis it. But there's a lot of good melody, use of keyboards, and killer riffs. I agree Rikk, Black And Blue is probably my favorite song on the album. Mine All Mine, A.F.U. and Cabo Wabo are good also. Sucker In A 3 Piece has an awesome intro but the rest of the song isn't as good. I like Feels So Good more than When It's Love. Source Of Infection, Finish What Ya Started, and A Apolitical Blues are the weak spots IMO. I wish they would have played more songs from OU812 on the following tours. It seems like A.F.U., Black And Blue, and Feels So Good were ignored after the '88 tour.
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

  4. #4
    The Dude Dan Halen's Avatar
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    09.26.07 @ 01:38 PM
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    Donor

    Hey, I forgot to mention that I wore my OU812 t-shirt today. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    "It's so damn hot... milk was a bad choice." --Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

  5. #5
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 11:20 AM
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    One of my favs. A lot of great material on that record.

    For me it's the last album they did before heading down the "big buisiness" road. It seems like a real honest album.

    Besides I love the Baja [img]graemlins/bounce.gif[/img]
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  6. #6
    Eruption
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    02.20.07 @ 02:36 PM
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    You're right. That's what I love about it. It really sounds like it was just honestly recorded at 5150 without too much fixing up. Just an honest VH album. After that, the band started sounding mainstream-radio and overproduced. I love BALANCE, but not as much. And F.U.C.K. is just a piece of...sorry. Don't like it. It's such a homogenous-sounding album, and it really sounds like Eddie is writing hard rock for the sake of writing hard rock. Not much interesting stuff in what he's playing (or what Sammy's saying)...to me anyway.
    "I had a girl beating on my hotel door all night...She was screaming, crying. Finally, I said, 'What the hell'...and I let her out!"- DLR

  7. #7
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 07:56 AM
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    Donor

    I've speculated in the past that the reason for the poor sound on OU812 is that it was the first Van Halen album made after the death of Jan Van Halen. Eddie was an alcoholic, and his father (who was also an alcoholic) had just died. This had to be a terrible time for Eddie to have to focus on what his latest album sounded like. Sure he was still able to play, but was he in the proper state of mind to put in the time to mix it properly? My feeling is he wasn't, and the sound of the album reflects that.

    Having said that, I don't think that VH has EVER recorded the bass guitar properly. Listen to the bootleg of VH from December 20, 1977; the bass is just thumping in that, and it totally improves what are already stunning songs. Why they never had Mikey jacked up in the mixes is beyond me. It would never have taken anything away from Edward in my opinion.

    As for OU812, I had commented recently that the Hagar albums weren't aging very well for me, but I listened to this album a few weeks back, and it really seemed fresh to me again.

  8. #8
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    09.30.16 @ 08:12 AM
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    I've never heard "Mine All Mine", "Cabo Wabo", "Sucker In A Three Piece" or "A Apolitical Blues", so I can't comment on those. The radio station in New Hampshire where I was when it came out played "A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)" a bit until they had some singles to play, but I don't remember what that sounds like either. I like "Feels So Good", though I wish Sammy didn't sing it like he was p*ssed off, "Finish What Ya Started" & "Black & Blue" - although I don't like the words as much to that one as I did when I didn't use to pay attention to them. Can only imagine what Dave would've been able to do with that music. "Source Of Infection" doesn't do much of anything for me. "When It's Love" - we've been over this, I'd really like to like it because I'm sure it's meaningful to Edward (or maybe not) but I just can't. When my brother was stationed in Coronado, we used to send tapes back and forth of songs and silly bits and one time back then he put on a snippet of the "gang vocals" at the end of the song and said something like "This is what's become of Van Halen?" Look forward to the remastered version!

  9. #9
    XTC man! homeunit's Avatar
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    09.05.15 @ 11:20 AM
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    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Glenn:
    This had to be a terrible time for Eddie to have to focus on what his latest album sounded like.

    I don't think that VH has EVER recorded the bass guitar properly. Listen to the bootleg of VH from December 20, 1977; the bass is just thumping in that, and it totally improves what are already stunning songs. Why they never had Mikey jacked up in the mixes is beyond me. It would never have taken anything away from Edward in my opinion.

    <hr></blockquote>

    I don't know that Ed had that much impact on the sound of the final product Glenn.

    Remember how it was mentioned that Don Landee was a control freak in the studio? I know this sounds like a lame excuse and that it's just a case of passing the buck, but to mix a record isn't an easy thing by any means. I find it quite conceivable that Ed didn't know the first thing about mixing, remember VH3? Of course to quote Ed, "if it sounds good, it is good", so you would think he'd of noticed it.

    One thing that's intresting is the fact of how studio speakers sound vs how normal speakers sound. As of late it's been a topic of many discussions in the recording world, and based on my experience studio speaker can make a night and day difference in the outcome of a project. The idea behind studio speakers is that they're suppossed to transmit what the actual recording sounds like. Until rescently, and still today, some studio speakers are manufactured to make absolute shit sound great. I've tried various speakers in the studio and OU812 is one of the albums I use to listen. With certain speakers OU812 sounds almost a big as FUCK, but natural, and with others it sounds like shit.

    I do agree that Mike has constantly got the shaft when it comes to sonic realestate, but Balance was a START in the right direction.
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  10. #10
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 07:56 AM
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    Donor

    OU812 was recorded in Eddie's backyard, and it was recorded with Donn Landee, who had worked with the band so much in the past (the famous Fair Warning stories of Ed and Donn working late into the night come to mind). That would tell me that Edward would have been at least partly responsible for the overall sound choices on the album.

    Nobody seems to agree, but I just think the recent death of Jan Van Halen had to have had a monumental effect on Edward when recording the OU812 album.

  11. #11
    Hang 'Em High Stuff No More's Avatar
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    01.08.05 @ 10:08 AM
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    The thing that I like about Source of Infection is it has this whole, "jam," feel to it. I don't think it was ever supposed to sound like a real song. You get the whole, "Take one," the band just goes at it, and Sammy improvs some lyrics. It's probably the closest thing we've ever gotten to hearing what a jam session in 5150 sounds like.
    "Just once I'd like to do the right thing and not get punished for it."

  12. #12
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    I agree with Glenn, I think Ed and Als' father's passing had a lot to do with the sound problems on this album.

    Having said that, I will comment that although OU812 is not my favorite album, it has some of my all time favorite VH songs on it:

    Mine All Mine
    Cabo Wabo
    Black And Blue
    Feels So Good

    ~BC
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  13. #13
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    OU812 is shit. The worst Hagar album. All the songs followed a formula and the synths blow. "Source Of Infection" is a "Sinner's Swing!" ripoff. But what else should I expect from a site with mostly Hagar fans?

  14. #14
    Beloved Glenn's Avatar
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    02.13.15 @ 07:56 AM
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    Donor

    <blockquote>quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Lou:
    But what else should I expect from a site with mostly Hagar fans?<hr></blockquote>

    There are FAR more Roth fans on this site than Hagar fans. I prefer the Roth era, as does the guy who started this thread, if you were paying attention. Some of us can prefer Roth WITHOUT hating Hagar, and it really doesn't hurt that bad.

  15. #15
    Super Duper Frontman YankeeRose's Avatar
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    09.30.16 @ 08:56 AM
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    OU812 is my favorite album, my favorite songs from it are When It's Love, Feels So Good, Mine All Mine and Finish What Ya Started.

    I like it the best because there is so much variety on it. I never get sick of it. I also love the album cover and the clever name of the album "Oh You Ate One Too". [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

    [ November 15, 2001 at 01:43 PM: Message edited by: YankeeRose ]</p>
    Right Now you're reading my post!


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