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Van Halen Thesis, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?

MIKE'S DAILY JUKEBOX: Van Halen Thesis, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Van Halen Thesis, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?

Van Halen:  my Guitar Hero Band!

1974-1985   lead: David Lee Roth  
This is "classic VH" with Roth's powerful vocals and flamboyant style, Eddie's classic "finger-tapping style" and some of the greatest guitar riffs of all-time.   Love Van Halen's down and dirty L.A. strip signature sound of this era.    Michael Anthony and Alex VH arguably the greatest rhythm section of the modern rock era.

"Ain't Talkin' Bout Love" 
My favorite Van Halen song of all-time.   Hard rocking, dramatic vocals, and a killer guitar solo!  ".....I've been to the edge, stood and looked down, you know I lost a friends there baby, got no time to look around!"

Capturing the lighter side of the band, here's their big hit from David's last CD with the band.   It's Van Halen's finest ode to a car.  Love that line:  "reach down between my legs, ease the seat back" 

1985-1996    Sammy Hagar Years
These were Van Halen's most successful years in terms of chart success, MTV exposure,  Grammy Awards, and the music went a little more commercial but still maintained that classic Van Halen sound.   Incidentally, Patty Smyth of Scandal was first asked to be the new lead singer!

From 5150, an inspirational song that Sammy has said is his favorite song from the Van Halen years.   Here's their video with the Blue Angels Air Team

Van Halen with Sammy took on "message" songs during this time.    This song about universal love tied in a connection to Kurt Cobain's suicide.
1996-1999  Gary Cherone's one CD experiment

2003-2010 back and forth Roth/Hagar, no new full CD's

2012  Back to David Lee Roth

Oh my excitement for a NEW Van Halen CD this year.   But times have changed, David Lee Roth is a lounge singer with a weak voice at this point.    I can't remember being more disappointed by a new CD that I was anticipating so greatly.    Lead single "Tattoo" is cliche, weak, and a poor choice for their comeback.    "Big River" has Eddie's best guitar work on the CD, "She's The Woman" is a vault gem reworked for the new CD, but overall it is a weak effort from this legendary band.  

So who's the best lead singer?   I've always loved the original line-up, one of my favorite bands of all-time.  Sammy kept the band together and provided many classics.  I LOVE so many solo songs by Hagar but I think he saved his best for his solo CD's.  Although Van Halen's new CD is hurting my opinion of David Lee Roth.   I'm still choosing Roth over Hagar.

Let's finish with another classic,
Van Halen turning up the rock on a dance song.   

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