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Setting Up the Music Experiment

March 3, 2008

I love music; more to the point, I love hard rock and heavy metal.  Recently I heard a song by one of the kings of hard rock, Van Halen, and I had an idea for a music experiment.

Van Halen, with DLRWhen Van Halen is mentioned in a conversation, the first question out the gate is almost always, “So, you a David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar fan?”  This debate has been around since 1986 when Sammy put out his first Van Halen album entitled 5150.

 I thought it would be fun to make this arguement personal and perform a nice little musical experiment.

Thankfully technology has come to a place where I can collect every Van Halen album ever recorded and listen to them wherever I go.Van Halen with Sammy Hagar  If this task fell to a lesser man, I’d be worried about the results, but since I own every Van Halen album and have actually listened to and know almost every song, I’m not worried.

 Here is the experiment:  I pull up every Van Halen album (minus the Live: Right Here Right Now) in iTunes and make three playlists.  One is entitled “Van Halen (DLR)” which has every album with David Lee Roth as the front man.  These records include: Van Halen, Van Halen II, Women and Children First, Fair Warning, Diver Down, and 1984.  Almost 60 songs of utter Van Halen goodness.

The second playlist included all the records with Sammy Hagar as the lead singer.  These albums included 5150, 0u812, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, and Balance.  Again, some awesome classic music!  (and no, I don’t count Gary Cherone’s lead on Van Halen III any good!)

The third playlist was every Van Halen song, with both DLR and Sammy, all mixed up.

My experiment was this.  To listen to each playlist individually and write about the impact of the songs and see if I could put the question of Lead Singer Supremacy to rest, at least for me.  I will use my iPod’s rating system of 5 stars=awesome to 1 star=sucks to rate each song.  I will then look at the ratio of the number of songs that earn a 4 or 5 star rating to the rest of the songs and see which singer comes out with the best rating.

I will listen and report back as soon as possible, so in the mean time, just go listen to some Van Halen and relax!


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