The Music Experiment, Part 1
Yesterday I introduced my idea for a fun music experiment comparing the music of Van Halen with David Lee Roth versus the music of Van Halen with Sammy Hagar. The first part of my results are in and I’d like to share ’em with you.
I had six albums featuring David Lee Roth on lead vocals. Of those six albums, 60 songs were included. I listened to each song and rated them on a scale of 1 star for sucky to 5 stars for totally awesome classic.
Certain songs just rock more than others, that’s a given. I was looking for songs that you could throw on a playlist while you and a buddy went on a long road trip and you could just rock out and have fun to. I was a little surprised to see that DLR was hitting a 60% average! That is awesome!! I can’t think of many other bands that would rate that high.
Not surprisingly, Van Halen’s self titled debut album (1978) scored the most hits. Actually , every song scored either a 4 star or 5 star rating. EVERY SONG. Classics like Jamie’s Cryin’, or Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, or You Really Got Me are just rock ‘n roll at its best. I would have to say that this is my favorite Van Halen album of all time. The sound is gritty and raw, but the production is superb. You can hear every instrument clearly. The Fun Factor is definitely a +10!
Van Halen II (1979) is Van Halen’s sophomore release and it is a very, very awesome album. Seven out of ten songs got the higher rating. Dance The Night Away, Somebody Get Me A Doctor, and Beautiful Girls are probably my utmost favorite songs from this album. Again, the sound is raw and fun and DLR shines like only he can.
Women and Children first was released in 1980 and it marks a slightly different sound for the band. This album scored the lowest number of classics, with only 3 songs making the mark. But what a doozy those three songs are! And The Cradle Will Rock, Everybody Wants Some, and Could This Be Magic are masterfully crafted songs that showcase the awesomeness that is Van Halen. The sound is big, but just a little more toned down. I love Mac Anthony’s bass playing on this album!
Van Halen comes out swinging on their 4th release Fair Warning (1981). Five out of 10 songs make the 4 star mark. This album is a little darker than Van Halen’s previous “party album”, but the boys still know how to rock. Unchained and So This Is Love are the two standouts that I absolutely love.
Diver Down was released in 1982 and is sometimes referred to as Van Halen’s “cover album”, as five of the twelve songs are all covers. All four songs that had a 4 star rating or higher were all cover tunes. I might have to go on record and say that Where Have All The Good Times Gone? might be my favorite Van Halen song ever. I just love everything about it! Call me crazy, I don’t know. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) is a funny song and I love the playfulness of it.
Ah, we finally come to 1984, Van Halen’s sixth studio album (released in 1984 of course!) This was when I was alive and actually could appreciate the album! I can remember many, many hours spent listening to this tape. Almost every song made the cut, but I’ll be honest, I just can’t get into I’ll Wait or Girl Gone Bad. Favorites from this album include Panama, Top Jimmy and Hot For Teacher, but my mostest favorite would have to be House of Pain.
After 1984 was released, David Lee Roth left the band and had a pretty good solo career (I’m Just A Gigolo anyone?) How could he not, with Steve Vai playing guitar for him! Tomorrow I’ll look at the albums of Sammy Hagar and see how they match up.