Category Archives: Music

The 10 Worst Songs By Great Artists…

…at least according to faroutmagazine.com:

The 10 Worst Songs By Great Artists

As with many such lists, one has to take it with a grain of salt… after all, opinions about artistic works, whether they be music, movies, TV shows, books, etc. are just that: Opinions.

I have to admit, I’m strongly familiar with only two of the songs listed while I have heard, but haven’t felt much one way or the other, about a few of the others.

As a HUGE The Beatles and David Bowie fan, of course I’m quite aware of The Beatles’ Revolution 9 and Bowie’s The Laughing Gnome.

The former was presented on The Beatles’ White Album, another of the spectacular later day albums The Beatles released before ultimately breaking up, and truthfully I can’t argue with this as being perhaps the worst song The Beatles released.

Revolution 9 is artistic noise, a collage of sound that for me, anyway, means little. Having said that, I’ve listened to it a few times and while it isn’t my cup of tea, I can’t say its completely without merit. It just doesn’t work for me and, if push comes to shove, as I said above, I’d agree this is probably the worst “official” The Beatles release.

As for David Bowie’s The Laughing Gnome

The fact of the matter is that David Bowie’s career followed a slow trajectory up. He produced quite a bit of stuff before finally getting his act together. The Laughing Gnome IMHO is an inoffensive, silly little song that means nothing one way or the other and was a product of a young artist who still didn’t have his course set.

How can one view that as his “worst” work?

Indeed, I’d be far harsher with any “bad” songs released post Space Oddity, when David Bowie was clearly a lot more confident of his musical skills and might have released here and there a song which doesn’t measure up to his usual levels of brilliance.

For example, and while I don’t necessarily view it as his worst, the song Too Dizzy released on what David Bowie himself considered his worst album, 1987’s Never Let Me Down, was stricken from future re-releases of the album on Bowie’s insistence. He apparently hated the song that much!

So, perhaps, we can look upon this instead of The Laughing Gnome as Bowie’s worst… at least when it comes to the artist’s own opinion!

Earworm…

Ever had a song stuck in your head and…

…you…

just..

can’t

get

rid

of it?

Been fighting a new one of late and its really strange the way these certain songs bounce around one’s head.

But first, a trip down memory lane…

A while back The Beatles White Album was released and I must have listened to it a little too much because suddenly this song -of all the ones available!- played over and over in my head…

Don’t get me wrong: I think its a great song but there were so many other great(er) songs that could have gotten stuck in my head!

Then, a little later…

I love the song, another of Stevie Nicks’ absolute terrific songs done with Fleetwood Mac, yet for a while there I was going absolutely crazy with this song rolling around and around my head.

Finally, and it seems like it may be lifting, I had this song rolling around my head…

Ok, this one’s all my own damn fault as I’ve been listening to the album, The Sound of White Noise, its featured on.

There are a few thrash/metal bands to come out of the 1980’s that to this day I really love and Anthrax is one of them. Their first vocalist and album featured Neil Turbin, but he was replaced Joey Belladona from 1984 to 1992 and the albums they made at that time are rightfully considered absolute classics of the thrash/metal genre.

However, the dreaded “creative differences” caused the band to fire Belladona and in 1992 to 2005 John Bush was the vocalist. Their first album they made together and which features the above song is indeed The Sound of White Noise. Its a terrific album IMHO though truthfully Invisible isn’t IMHO one of the best songs on that album!

It’s a weird thing getting these ear worms because the song that plays over and over into your head isn’t necessarily a song you consider a great one (the exception of the three I mentioned is Gypsy).

As I said, though, the song is starting to leave my cranium.

How do I do it?

Whenever an ear worm song starts up in my head, I think of another song and “play” it in my head to get rid of it.

In this case, believe it or not, I played Gypsy and that did the trick.

I know, I know: Aren’t you afraid that song will once again become an ear worm?

I can’t say this for everyone but I can for myself: The weird thing about getting an ear worm for me is that once the song plays itself out in my head, I tend not to get it again.

So, yeah, using Gypsy to kill off Invisible did the trick!

The Rolling Stones… and David Bowie?

It seems someone on the inside in The Rolling Stones organization has released to the internet a number of “vault” songs created by the group but to date not released.

Included among them is the original demo of It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) which features David Bowie…!

Interested in hearing this demo? Click here:

The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It) Demo (feat. David Bowie)

I found out years ago that this song was originally something Mick Jagger and David Bowie worked on and that Jagger, and The Rolling Stones, wound up taking the song for themselves. I don’t believe it has a “co-written” by David Bowie credit nor, to be frank, do I know if indeed Bowie had that strong a hand on it.

However, the fact that a demo like this one exists where he’s doing some background singing does make the whole thing more intriguing.

Having said that…

David Bowie and Mick Jagger formally collaborated/co-sang on only one song, a remake of Dancing In The Street

The song -and video- were created very quickly to be shown on Live Aid back in 1985 and the video, which at times has Bowie out of synch with the words, shows it. Plus there’s a sense of just filming them dancing around without seemingly giving much thought to what they were doing.

I point this out because though David Bowie in his career lent his voice to do some wonderful songs with other artists, including the excellent backgrounds to Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love

…and Under Pressure, the beautiful duet he did with Queen…

…I felt like his sole (until that demo showed up) work with Mick Jagger showed that not all duets worked. The fact is that Mick Jagger’s voice is so in your face that Bowie’s singing/vocals seemed to be pushed far to the back and mostly obliterated. When the two sing together, all I seem to hear is Jagger!

So too it is with the demo of It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It). I don’t believe this version of the song was ever intended for release, at least not until now (I’m assuming this release wasn’t an illegal thing, but who knows), but I’m hard pressed to hear where exactly Bowie is in it.

Maybe I’m just getting deaf in my older age…!

Still, a fascinating relic of times past.

Love the art…?

There’s an old saying about “loving the art, not the artist” when it comes to works you really like but whose creator is someone you may have issues with.

It’s an intriguing thought experiment and it does point out your tolerance for the antics of people and also, perhaps, your limits.

Of late, various cast members of both Buffy The Vampire Slayer and its follow-up series Angel have spoken up about creator and main producer Joss Whedon.

What they say about him isn’t pretty.

There have been stirrings for a while regarding Joss Whedon. Back in 2017 his ex-wife Kai Cole wrote a scathing letter regarding her ex.

Among other things she pointed out his hypocrisy, that he claimed he was a “feminist” while having numerous affairs behind his wife’s back. Click the link in the above paragraph if you want to read the full details Ms. Cole presented.

Still, Mr. Whedon remained a high in demand director. He had a cult following for his various series, including Firefly, which while perhaps prematurely cancelled, was popular enough to have Serenity, a concluding feature film made out of it.

But there remained whispers out there about Mr. Whedon and the next big negative press he received occurred following his taking over for Zack Snyder to finish up (actually re-do, based on what I’ve read) the 2017 film Justice League.

Actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in the film, originally praised Mr. Whedon. Perhaps it was part of the Hollywood game to offer praise to all those you work with. In time, though, he had a change of heart and announced he could no longer do it.

In 2020 Mr. Fisher formally accused Joss Whedon of “abusive, unprofessional” behavior. Jason Momoa, who played Aquaman in the film, lent support to Mr. Fisher, noting that “serious stuff went down” during the Justice League reshoots which Mr. Whedon made.

Though less vocal, Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman in the film, also stated her experience working with Mr. Whedon “wasn’t the best one”.

Now, within the past couple of days, Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia Chase in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, took to twitter to not only say she believed Ray Fisher’s accounts of Joss Whedon’s abuses, but that she herself was a victim of them.

It’s truly a harrowing account and, from the link in the above paragraph:

Carpenter’s accounts of Whedon’s “harassment” and “serialized abuses of power” include him accusing her of “sabotaging” “Angel” by getting pregnant and “calling [her] ‘fat’ to colleagues.” For Whedon, perhaps, it all ended with him “unceremoniously” firing Carpenter from the series after she gave birth, but the actor couldn’t move on that easily.

After Ms. Carpenter spoke, the floodgates truly did open. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Buffy, stated she was proud of her work on the show but that “I don’t want to be forever associated with the name Joss Whedon. Amber Benson, who played Tara on the show, stated “Buffy was a toxic environment and it starts at the top”.

Perhaps the most chilling statement came from Michelle Trachtenberg, who played Buffy’s little sister and was a teenager when she worked on the series. She noted that after some incident between them Mr. Whedon and she, he was not allowed to be alone with her.

Incredibly, there are still more stories coming out, including one regarding how he abused female writers he worked with and took a sadistic pleasure in making them cry.

Yikes.

As I mentioned above, one can love the art but not the artist but there does come a point where the artist becomes so loathsome within your mind that the work produced by them may be tainted and, for you, impossible to love it again.

I’ve read posts from people who cannot watch any Mel Gibson films because of his drunken actions many years before. While he claims he was at the time drinking too much and nearing a nervous breakdown, its still tough to accept his racist and abusive words -all recorded- as simply coming out of that alone.

Similarly, following the death of David Bowie, there were those who noted he is alleged to have had sexual relations with underage girls back in the early to mid-70’s. Yeah, it was a different time and there were teenage groupies who made it a point of sleeping with rock stars and, yeah, there so many drugs being used and, yeah, there are similar allegations/stories related to other very big musical artists who were popular at the time…

…but you know what? All that’s an excuse if these people, who should have known better, were allegedly having sex with underage girls.

Unlike David Bowie, I’m not the biggest Joss Whedon fan out there. While I enjoyed Buffy, Angel, and Firefly, if I never see an episode of these shows I truthfully won’t miss them. Similarly, I doubt I’ll revisit either of his Avenger films or his version of Justice League.

Further, based on the press he’s getting now, I wonder if he’ll become a pariah in Hollywood and we’ve seen the last new material from him.

Perhaps.

But I love the music of David Bowie and I’ve mentioned it plenty of times around these parts. As much as I like his music, I’ve taken great pains to avoid any detailed biographies about him. I’ve done the same regarding biographies about Led Zeppelin. The Doors. The Rolling Stones. Even The Beatles.

Why?

I suppose its a form of cowardice on my part. I so like the music created by these people and I’m afraid I won’t know how to feel about this music I love so much when I’m confronted by all the alleged nasty details related to those who created them.

Recently, Courtney Enlow presented this article for io9.com:

It’s Well Past Time to Rethink ‘Auteur Theory’ and the Way Actresses Are Treated

In the article, which touches upon the recent Joss Whedon revelations, Ms. Enlow points out the oft told story of how director Stanley Kubrick treated actress Shelley Duvall on the set of The Shining as well as actor Tippi Hendrin’s revelations about how Alfred Hitchcock treated her -sadistically- on the set of The Birds.

I love both films and consider them classics of the horror genre.

But each time I hear/read the stories about how Ms. Duvall and Ms. Hendrin were treated on the sets of these films… I can’t help but realize that what we’re seeing on the screen is genuine suffering by the actors who were treated terribly by those two directors.

And I have to admit… I don’t know if I can watch those films again.

Two films I love by directors whose work I generally love. Songs created by people who may have been engaged in some very questionable activities.

It’s a tough line to draw.

When can one no longer love the art because of the artist?

Sad Story…

Over on theguardian.com Alexis Petridis offers a look at Bee Gee Barry Gibb, 74 years old and the last remaining Gibb brother…

The Bee Gee’s Barry Gibb: “There’s fame and there’s ultra-fame – It can destroy you.”

As someone who grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, I was all too familiar with the meteoric rise of The Bee Gees, mostly on the wave of Disco and the film Saturday Night Fever

Here’s the thing: As monster a hit as the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was, as popular as Disco was, there was an incredible backlash that happened only a couple of years after its zenith.

I recall a professor in High School or College mused that the death of Disco was inevitable the moment the parents (the older generation) showed up at the Discos and the younger crowds decided they no longer wanted any part of it. But there were other issues as well, and some feel they might have related to homophobia or perhaps the too “out there” styles of that time.

I don’t know.

As I said, I grew up in that era but I was too young to go to Discos and by the time I could go to clubs, Disco was long gone.

But, as with all things, there comes a re-evaluation over time and I suspect people hold the Disco era in far better/nicer terms than they did in the later 1970’s and into the 1980’s, when there was a sense it should not only be buried, but incinerated before burying.

Which brings us to the above article. Barry Gibb, as I noted, is the last remaining Gibb brother. Maurice and Robin, the two brothers who along with Barry made up the Bee Gees, and younger brother Andy Gibb, are gone. Andy Gibb, who had at least one big hit with the song Shadow Dancing

…was a cocaine addict and would die at the too young age of 30.

Brothers Maurice and Robin would die years later, and they too had problems with addiction.

What’s saddest regarding this article is that not only does Barry Gibb still feel the hurt of how people turned against their music (the author notes he is surprised people like the music now) but how his relationship with his brothers in turn soured as their success grew.

Barry Gibb notes that he was essentially not talking to his brothers when they passed away, and I can’t imagine the pain that must cause in him.

Once someone’s gone, whatever chance at closure is gone as well.

Still, the music remains and, one must note, it is still remembered and, in many parts, cherished.

A sad article, certainly, but at least there’s that.

Re Imaginos (2020) a (Almost Right On Time!) Review

As I noted a while back (you can read it here) I was very interested in two “new” music releases on November 6th, David Bowie’s Metrobolist (I reviewed it here) and Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos.

I’ve already gone into the history of this later album, but I’ll nonetheless offer this brief recap: In the early 1980’s, the band Blue Oyster Cult, perhaps most famous nowadays for the song Don’t Fear the Reaper and its “cowbell”, were on the verge of breaking up.

Albert Bouchard, the band’s drummer (and the man responsible for the actual cowbell in Don’t Fear the Reaper!) at that time in the early-mid 1980’s took many songs throughout BOC’s history and created a demo for a concept album he called Imaginos.

Here’s that demo:

The album was shopped around to various companies but no one was interested in releasing it. A few years later, however, the album was reworked with the other members of the band -minus Albert Bouchard himself- as well as several session musicians and the album Imaginos, credited to BOC and not Albert Bouchard, was released in 1988…

imaginos LP - Amazon.com Music

Though I have no inside information on how the album came about, the fact that Albert Bouchard was not involved in a project he demoed suggested that maybe there was some bad feelings between the band and the drummer.

Many, many years passed and, this year, BOC released a new album and, lo and behold, in their first music video, who should pop up in it -and jokingly hitting a cowbell!- but Albert Bouchard?! (He first appears at the 1:07 mark)

Shortly afterwards, I heard that Albert Bouchard was releasing Re Imaginos, his version of the demo featured above…

Albert Bouchard - Re Imaginos CD – Merchbucket.com

My best guess is that whatever problems/anger they had between each other was resolved and, while Albert Bouchard hasn’t re-joined the band, his album was released.

So, what did I think about it?

I like the album but my main gripe remains: Albert Bouchard, to my ears, isn’t as good a singer as BOC’s Eric Bloom and Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser. His voice isn’t bad, mind you, and in several songs the elderly/weary singing works very well, but in others it doesn’t do quite as well.

Just as an example, we now have three versions of what I consider the very best song BOC made, Astronomy. The original version was sung by Eric Bloom and is found on the 1974 BOC album Secret Treaties

Then there’s this version of the song, from 1988’s Imaginos, and sung by Donald “Buck Dharma” Roeser…

Finally, this is Albert Bouchard’s version of the song from Re Imaginos (you can fast forward to the original demo version of the song above).

There are things I love in all three versions of the song but, if I’m being totally honest, I feel like the lesser version is Albert Bouchard’s from Re Imaginos. To be clear: I’m not saying its a terrible version of the song, but that the other versions for me are better.

That’s not to say, however, that all Bouchard’s versions of the songs are less than those which were released before!

This does bring me to the following: Nowadays, with so many music services available out there, you can cobble together a playlist of the various songs on Imaginos/Re Imaginos, making alternate “albums” which can feature classic BOC versions exclusively or a mix and match versions which features the original songs, songs from Imaginos, and songs from Re Imaginos.

If you’re interested in doing so!

As is, though, I recommend Re Imaginos to those who like the original demo and were curious to hear what Albert Bouchard originally intended with the Imaginos demo.

Interesting stuff!

POSTSCRIPT:

For the heck of it, here’s Metallica’s cover of Astronomy. It includes the lyrics!

Metrobolist aka The Man Who Sold The World (2020 Remix): A (Almost On Time) Review

The Man Who Sold the World, now renamed -as it was originally meant to be- for Tony Visconti’s Remix Metrobolist, is what I consider the first “real” David Bowie album start to end.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) - Amazon.com  Music

I have nothing against David Bowie (his first album) or Space Oddity (his second album and which had some great songs, including his first big hit!), but this, his third album, seemed, to me where David Bowie first sets his course.

Back in 2015 the album was remastered and, I felt, that remastering was damn good. However, when I heard longtime David Bowie producer Tony Visconti was coming in to do a new mix of the album, I was curious. I generally liked his remix of Lodger and was really impressed with his remix of the song Space Oddity, so I was hoping for the best.

As it turned out, some songs have clear differences from the 2015 remaster. All The Madmen includes some nonsense lyrics toward the end which were cut out of the original. Running Gun Blues changes the sounds of the explosions. These changes are interesting but don’t necessarily improve upon the original releases/remaster.

Alas, a third song which featured noticeable changes was the one the album was eventually named after, The Man Who Sold The World. Here, Mr. Visconti adds reverb/echoes which, frankly, I didn’t like all that much and felt was unnecessary. My preference for that song, therefore, remains with the 2015 remastered version.

Other songs like The Width of a Circle, Savior Machine, She Shook Me Cold, and The Supermen feature very minor changes, at least those I could spot/hear.

Overall, the album remains damn good -and worthy of five stars, IMHO- though I don’t feel there’s enough difference in this Visconti remix to justify buying it again or putting it above the 2015 version.

I suppose in that respect I must conclude the exercise is a bit of a disappointment.

Truthfully, I probably would have been more outraged had Mr. Visconti changed all the songs significantly versus the three or so that have very noticeable changes. The clarity within the songs remains quite good but then again the 2015 remastering did a pretty good job of that as well.

So take my review for what it is: Its nice to have this alternate version of the album and I’m glad they put the original name and graphics on it. But the changes to the overall work simply aren’t that major. If you have the 2015 version, there’s not that much incentive for you to get this remix.

Friday New Releases…

Finally, a chance to move away from politics!

Today is a pretty big day, at least for me, with two “new” musical releases I’ve been anticipating:

David Bowie’s Metrobolist and Albert Bouchard’s Re Imaginos. (You can read my original post regarding these then upcoming releases here)

David Bowie’s Metrobolist is, in actuality, a Tony Visconti (longtime Bowie producer) remastered version of what I consider David Bowie’s first “real” David Bowie album, The Man Who Sold The World.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) - Amazon.com  Music

I was very interested in hearing this new version of the album because, of Bowie’s major works, this one didn’t have the greatest mastering, I felt.

However, in 2015 the album was remastered and, I felt, it sounded pretty good. Still, I was curious to hear what Tony Visconti would do with the album. He’s a damn good producer, in my humble opinion, and I loved his last year remastering of Bowie’s first big hit, the song Space Oddity, and felt his remastering of the album Lodger was also quite good.

So I just listened to the album for the first time and…

I think there are some improvements here, but I’ve got to give the full album a couple of more listens to see if it’s as good as the 2015 version. In one place, though, I think Mr. Visconti came short: His remastering of the song The Man Who Sold The World is ok, but I like the original version without the reverb more.

The rest of the album passed ok upon the first listen. I didn’t detect much of a difference in the 2015 versus 2020 Visconti version of Width of a Circle though there was plenty of interesting new stuff in Running Gun Blues, from the sound of the gunfire/bombs to Bowie singing some additional stuff (hope my memory of this is right, only one listen!) at the tail end of the song.

Interesting stuff, for sure, but at least after one listen I can’t say this version has wowed me to the point where I feel this is now THE definitive version of the album.

It’s nice, but its not that different and/or incredibly superior to the 2015 version.

The second release is ex-Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard’s release of Re Imaginos. Again, you can get the full story of what transpired with this album in my original post linked to above (and here!) but, basically, ex-Blue Oyster Cult drummer Albert Bouchard created a concept album using several Blue Oyster Cult songs from their earlier albums in the early 1980’s when it seemed the band was for all intents and purposes broken up and produced an intriguing demo he called Imaginos.

The album was shopped around but the studios didn’t take it. By the mid-80’s they got the other members of the band together -without Albert Bouchard- and reworked the album and released that version of Imaginos in 1988.

imaginos LP - Amazon.com Music

My understanding is that this didn’t sit terribly well with Mr. Bouchard but the album was nonetheless, IMHO, a very strong one.

Still, it seemed Mr. Bouchard wanted to do his version of the album and, after all these years, perhaps he and the remaining members of Blue Oyster Cult settled their differences and Albert Bouchard today released Re Imaginos, his version of that album…

Albert Bouchard - Re Imaginos CD – Merchbucket.com

I’m currently listening to it and generally enjoying what I’m hearing but I have to say one thing… Mr. Bouchard’s singing voice is simply not as strong as that of BOC regular vocalists Eric Bloom and Donald Brian Roeser aka Buck Dharma.

Still, its pretty interesting/good so far. I’m liking it.

More to come when I listen to both more thoroughly.

The Man Who SOld The World 2020 Visconti Remix

I noted a few days ago (you can read it here) that there were a few upcoming releases I was looking forward to, prominent of which was the Tony Visconti remix of David Bowie’s seminal album The Man Who Sold The World, which would be re-released under its original title, Metrobolist.

David Bowie - Metrobolist (aka The Man Who Sold The World) - Amazon.com  Music

The full album is due to be released on November 6th and you can bet I’ll be there to pick it up.

The Man Who Sold The World/Metrobolist is one of my all time favorite David Bowie albums and The Man Who Sold The World, the song, is my all time favorite David Bowie song.

I discovered the song way back in 1984 or so, well before it became big with Nirvana’s famous take on it, which many feel is the best version of the song (sorry, I totally disagree, even if I do feel Nirvana did a pretty terrific version of it).

So blown away am I, to this day, by this song that I feel like it courses through my very blood and somehow always seems to find its way -subtly or not- in my writings.

That’s how much I love the song.

When I heard Tony Visconti, Bowie’s longtime producer, would remix the album, I was very much interested.

Tony Visconti is a terrific talent, a producer who has not only had his hand on many of Bowie’s best works -as producer- but also many other bands.

More recently, he did what I thought was a terrific job re-mixing Bowie’s album Lodger and he did an equally terrific job, IMHO, last year remixing Bowie’s first big hit, Space Oddity

I was incredibly stunned by how much better, IMHO, this new remix sounded compared to the already pretty damn spectacular original.

So, to say the least, I was damned curious to hear what Mr. Visconti would do with The Man Who Sold The World, both album and especially song.

Welp, today we can hear this new version of the song. Here it is:

I’m… I’m torn, to be honest.

The song starts out quite well but then, when it gets to the chorus, the “Who knows? Not me… We never lost control… You’re face to face with the man who sold the world” part…

That damn reverb just kills me. While I felt some of the reverb Mr. Visconti added on Space Oddity worked quite well with that song, it didn’t do so on this one.

Here’s the original version of the song, a 2015 remix which stuck to the original…

Yeah, much better, IMHO.

Mind you, I don’t think what Mr. Visconti did was terrible, its just that the I prefer the original without those reverb flourishes. Further, I’m becoming somewhat concerned that this is what Visconti likes to do: Add reverb to Bowie songs. He did so, if memory serves, also to a song or two in Lodger as well.

Still, I am curious to hear the rest of the album, especially Bowie’s epic song The Width of a Circle, also from the album…

I just hope what comes out of it isn’t a bunch more reverb…!

2020 Gets Even Worse: Eddie Van Halen Dead At 65…

Man, as the headline states, could this year get any worse?

Eddie Van Halen, TMZ reports, has passed away at the age of 65.

For the past decade, it was reported, he had been battling throat cancer and, finally, it spread to his brain and other organs.

As someone who grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Eddie Van Halen and his band, Van Halen, were one of the big ones that were heard frequently on the radio. Lead singer David Lee Roth provided plenty of swagger as the lead singer but Eddie Van Halen’s guitar work was impressive, to say the least…!

I still remember when the album 1984 was released and these songs were HUGE hits on the radio upon their release…

As should be obvious by now, my preference of Van Halen songs tends to skew toward the David Lee Roth years. They were known for their very heavy sound, certainly, but unlike some metal music acts that came later they always seemed to be playing around/goofing off. In the case of Eddie Van Halen in particular, it seemed he always played with a huge smile on his face, like he was having a blast and never taking things all that seriously.

After the release of 1984, though, things started to go south for Van Halen. There were tensions between the band and David Lee Roth and he was gone after that album and Sammy Hagar joined the group as the lead singer.

Truthfully, I can’t say I was much of a fan of that version of Van Halen, even though I have/had nothing against Mr. Hagar. It just didn’t work as well for me. Though that version of the band was together for some 10 years, Hagar left and Gary Cherone was brought in for one album (if memory serves) but lasted together only some 3 years.

David Lee Roth re-united with the band twice while Hagar re-joined once but it was always temporary and the glory days of the band, it seemed, were in the past.

For the past several years very little has been heard about Eddie Van Halen other than that he was sick, but I never knew the situation was as grave as it was and the news of his passing is a real shock.

Think I might pull out an old album and give it a whirl…