"…Van Halen, NOT Van Hagar…"

I must admit, I got a kick out of this

I’m ripping Van Halen’s Best Of, Volume I right now, and listening while it rips.

We’re currently at “Dance The Night Away”, which means we’re about two tracks from where the train veers off the rails, three tracks from where the cars start to pile up, and five tracks from where body parts start hitting the ground. You’d think time would dull the pain, but it never gets any easier to watch…

I am reminded of the line from Joe Dirt, where David Spade’s title character is reeling off a list of his favorite bands: “I’m a rocker through and through. Here’s a list of my favorite bands: AC/DC, Van Halen NOT Van Hagar, Skynyrd, Def Leppard…”
I never was a fan of the post-David Lee Roth Van Halen myself. Nothing at all against the other band members, but I think Roth more or less WAS Van Halen and things just weren’t the same after he left. The Red Rocker just didn’t do it for me, though by himself he wasn’t bad at all. (Of course, I only REALLY discovered them after their heyday; I was only three months old when Van Halen’s self-titled debut album was released.) There is at least one glaring flaw in that best-of set from where I sit: Eddie Van Halen’s guitar instrumental “Eruption” isn’t immediately followed by “You Really Got Me.” I don’t know if the solo was meant to be an intro to the song, but that’s the way I’ve always heard it and it works GREAT. It’s always made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and isn’t that one of the things good music is supposed to do? I’ve always thought that the guys covering “You Really Got Me” on their very first album was quite a ballsy move on their part. To this day it’s my favorite song of theirs — with the “Eruption” lead-in, of course, both of which can be found on that eponymous 1978 debut. The Kinks’ 1964 original was all right, but David Lee Roth and the boys really took that song and made it their own. I love it, yes, I do…


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