All 131 Van Halen Songs Ranked from Worst to Best by Chuck Klosterman
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  1. #1
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    Default All 131 Van Halen Songs Ranked from Worst to Best by Chuck Klosterman

    If you are unfamiliar, Chuck Klosterman is an author and columnist focusing on American pop culture. In terms of having VH bona fides, I know he was invited to the Cafe Wha? show back in 2012. I'm sure someone on here has an ax to grind with him but broadly, I've found him to be a pretty keen observer of the '70s and '80s hard rock zeitgeist.

    I found these passages to be particularly spot-on:


    The pop landscape had changed so radically that appreciating the musical style pioneered by Van Halen has become akin to appreciating recent breakthroughs in blacksmithing. To many people born post-grunge, the difference between David Lee Roth and Glenn Miller is negligible. It’s easy to imagine an engaged teenage music fan unfamiliar with 130 of Van Halen’s 131 songs.


    Pretty much anyone who’s seen the video for “Panama” views the band as idealized avatars for a euphoric, consequence-free, hyper-intoxicated lifestyle that (a) could only exist in Southern California, (b) could never exist today, and (c) probably never existed at all, unless you were a member of this specific band. The abstract idea of Van Halen remains iconic.


    Anyway, if there has ever been a more detailed look at VH's career song-by-song, I'm not aware of it. Enjoy!

    http://www.vulture.com/2018/09/chuck...len-songs.html

    ~Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.~

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    My friend texted me the article earlier today. He was spot on with Eruption. To me...on most of the song descriptions.... he was a dick.
    VH Shows

    5/12/79-NYC VH2
    7/26/80-Uniondale,NY Women & Children
    7/17/81-MSG,NYC Fair Warning
    10/9/82-Syracuse,NY Diver Down
    10/13/82-Uniondale,NY Diver Down
    3/30/84-MSG,NYC 1984
    4/14/84-Uniondale,NY 1984
    7/29/86-East Rutherford,NJ 5150
    8/2/86-Uniondale,NY 5150
    6/26/88-East Rutherford,NJ Monsters of Rock
    10/11/88-MSG,NYC OU812
    10/27/91-Uniondale,NY F.U.C.K.
    7/11,14/93-Jones Beach,NY RHRN
    4/26/95-Uniondale,NY Balance
    8/22/95-Jones Beach,NY Balance
    5/22/98-MSG,NYC III
    8/15/98-Jones Beach,NY III
    8/31/98-Syracuse,NY III
    6/22/04-East Rutherford,NJ Sam Reunion
    11/9/04-Montreal,Canada Sam Reunion
    10/1/07-Philadelphia,PA Dave Reunion
    11/8/07-Uniondale,NY Dave Reunion
    11/13/07-MSG,NYC Dave Reunion
    5/20/08-Uncasville,CT Dave Reunion
    5/23/08-MSG,NYC Dave Reunion
    2/28,3/1/12-MSG,NYC ADKOT
    3/24/12-Atlantic City,NJ ADKOT

    3/07 Hopped on a plane and flew to Cleveland to be there when they were inducted into the RRHOF!!!

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    Chuck Klosterman is a legit VH fan. I may not agree with everything, but I know he's sincere and has talent.
    Little Dreamer

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    "I love Van Halen. Their debut album was the first rock music I ever loved, before I knew who they were or what they were doing. The band has now been together for more than 40 years and is technically still active, although it doesn’t really seem like it. In fact, it’s a bit disingenuous to even say they’ve been “together” these five decades — the Van Halen timeline is notoriously comprised of two strikingly different units (and officially three different units, and arguably four). With the lone exception of AC/DC, no other rock group has ever bifurcated its career so successfully (though Fleetwood Mac and Genesis come close). Van Halen is, in many ways, the high-profile exception to otherwise inflexible rules: classically trained virtuosos who make music for getting hammered in parking lots. A metal band that rarely plays metal. A legendary live act consistently criticized for their terrible live performances. A caricature of leering masculinity that proved unusually inclusive to female audiences. An embodiment of American exceptionalism, spearheaded by two Dutch Indo immigrants who could barely speak English when they arrived in Pasadena. There are simply no other bands like this. They were copied constantly and no one ever got it right.

    Van Halen were pure monoculture, emerging within an era when that aspiration was still common and respected. The singularity of their aesthetic was so recognizable that it became a kind of representational shorthand for youth-oriented movie directors: the soundtrack for burnout disenchantment in Over the Edge, the Platonic dream of Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the language of extraterrestrial life in Back to the Future, and the validation of rockist sensibilities in Airheads. Only Led Zeppelin is more archetypal of the genre. Yet the past 20 years have been complicated for Van Halen, for reasons both self-inflicted and beyond their control."

    Chuck do you post here? If you do, I salute you.
    Little Dreamer

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    I quit reading after the Aftershock, Loss of Control & As Is locations.

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    Even among us here we have ppl with various opinions on "Loss of Control."
    Little Dreamer

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    I love Chuck as a writer, but i'm not entirely sold he GETS the mighty VH.

    He strikes me as more a Def Leppard guy.
    Graver, Walking Ed, refugee from CVH & proud tone chaser...

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    I did have a bit of a laugh at some of the descriptions, pretty funny at times.... amazing that "Strung Out" made it higher than some of the songs on there, classic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by japeape View Post
    I love Chuck as a writer, but i'm not entirely sold he GETS the mighty VH.

    He strikes me as more a Def Leppard guy.
    He doesn’t.
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    Default All 131 Van Halen Songs Ranked from Worst to Best by Chuck Klosterman

    Also any list that doesn’t have “How Many Say I” at the bottom of it loses all credibility to me. That is literally one of the worst songs ever put to tape and never should’ve seen the light of day. It is an embarrassing pos and was worse live if that’s possible.

    WCTBL is like Stairway To Heaven compared to that vapid nonsense.
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    Mostly a ridiculous list.
    The only genre I really know is Van Halen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Also any list that doesn’t have “How Many Say I” at the bottom of it loses all credibility to me. That is literally one of the worst songs ever put to tape and never should’ve seen the light of day. It is an embarrassing pos and was worse live if that’s possible.

    WCTBL is like Stairway To Heaven compared to that vapid nonsense.
    Yep. My dislike of WCTBL is well-known, but it is far from VH's worst song.

    He did at least have all of my top 10 VH songs in his top 39.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

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    This, THIS, had me in stitches...

    “Once,” Van Halen III (1998)
    The reason “Once” is better than “Year to the Day” is because it’s 52 seconds shorter, meaning it’s only four and a half minutes too long. I do think it could have been salvaged if (a) a few of the lyrical passages were rewritten and (b) it had been sung by Enya. That probably seems like a joke. I’m not joking. It’s right in Enya’s wheelhouse.
    If I don't respond to you it means I have you on ignore, which means you are a douchenozzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave's Dreidel View Post
    This, THIS, had me in stitches...

    “Once,” Van Halen III (1998)
    The reason “Once” is better than “Year to the Day” is because it’s 52 seconds shorter, meaning it’s only four and a half minutes too long. I do think it could have been salvaged if (a) a few of the lyrical passages were rewritten and (b) it had been sung by Enya. That probably seems like a joke. I’m not joking. It’s right in Enya’s wheelhouse.
    I actually like most of Enya's stuff much better than VH III.
    "It's so lonely at the top because it's so crowded at the bottom" - Diamond David Lee Roth

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    About "On Fire":

    Parochially connected to “Atomic Punk,” Dave instructs all the kids to “turn your radios on” and “throw your headphones on” and generally get with the goddamn program. Three minutes of nuclear meltdown, along with one bonus second to ash your cigarette.


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