This is the mixed bag of Halen albums. Half covers/Half originals! At the time of its release in 1982 to say I was confused as a 15 yr old listening to Diver Down at the time would be the understatement of well …..1982!
My Halen collection up Til that point consisted of Fair Warning and Women & Childern First! So when I heard on our radio in town here(580 CKPR ) playing Oh Pretty Woman (Roy Orbison cover) and Eddie Van Halen is doing his whammy bar divey things and David Lee was leading the circus and conducting Alex Van Halen on drums and Michael Anthony on bass I was sold!
So it was off to Tbays Sam The Record Man to buy the 45 of Pretty Woman. This was a good couple of months before the actual Diver Down album release. So I buy the 45 race home put on Pretty Woman yeah man this is good and I flip the 45 and its Happy Trails! Hahaha! There Ya go Halen messing with a 15 year olds mind!
WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TIMES GONE- so HALEN kicks off the party with a Kinks cover tune! But they Halenize it and if it wasn’t for the credits I would have thought that Dave and Company Halen wrote this! Daves vocals are smooth on here! Eddie just nails out a cool EVH like solo! Of course man he’s the best and Ed locks in and out of the solo.with Al and Mike! Great rock track!
HANG EM HIGH- Ed rips out of the gate on this original and man to this day this is one of my fav songs! Al’s drums are smashing at full throttle and Mad Anthony keeps up on the bass and Dave lays down a low voice “Somewhere, he lost it in a turn”and whoah the solo is so fuckin good like what could i add to it other than it sounds like Eds guitar is gonna explode and during the solo Als double bass drumming is smashing and throttling down of a cliff! This is a crash course in over the top drumming its the deal! Of course the end of Hang Em High it’s a free for all workout on the instruments! I have had my sonic senses kicked and kicked hard!
CATHEDRAL- this is Ed nodding around on his guitar and when I mean noodling more like classic playing which to this day he still incorporates into his live solo now! Great story as well I have to share…when me and Tbone were punching out the Current River Hodder To Hell (early 1993)tape Tbone late one night was doing his half sauced half assed version of Cathedral on his younger bros (Rugg) guitar as Rugg was at work! I was half asleep on a couch in a adjacent room and thats all you could hear through Tbones house …Tbone doing Cathedral at high volume thru his amp..wah wah wah with the volume knob on the guitar for what seemed like 15 minutes ..wah wah wah and than SILENCE! Followed by a loud “Shit”from Tbone it seems he did it so much that the volume knob on Ruggs guitar seized…..I Roared with laughter(nice guy I know) but shit that was hilarious! Tbone had a half hour to take apart the guitar and fix as Rugg was coming home from work! Tbone pulled it off fixed and all was good and him being the nice guy fessed to his brother……so whenever I hear Cathedral a little bit of it takes me back to those winter months of 1993! ( the vid at the top is Ed from 2012 doing Cathedral. I could not find good footage from 1982 or for that matter of Tbone from 1993 doodling Cathedral. I should have filmed it!)
SECRETS- this is another track that never gets talked about but it should! This should have been a huge single! Dave sings a real good vocal and great backing vocals as always from Micheal Anthony! Great rip out of a solo but of course it’s Eddie and no one was touching him back than in the land of guitardom!
INTRUDER-this short little creepy Intro is propelled by Alex’s drums and bizarro smoldering synth and guitar and boom into….
PRETTY WOMAN-and heres Halen making Roy’s tune there own and man I hope OL Roy got some royalty cheques from this! This single was huge and Ed keeps the song simple but man him playing stuff simple is so cool….great song…right into Daves Backyard for a barbecue!
DANCING IN THE STREETS- another single but I guess Dave likey and the rest of Halen not so much or so the story goes. Myself it’s there and it’s kinda weird that I would say that about a Halen tune. But in there defence they did not write it!
LITTLE GUITARS(Intro)- Ed plays a mean little guitar classical style thingy than….
LITTLE GUITARS- drums and Ed and his sound take over another great opening and another sure fire classic! Dave and Mikey carry the tune vocally and The VH brothers do the rest! Love the pre chorus on this ‘Catch as Catch,Catch as Catch” yeah whatever Dave..however you were saying things back than you made them sound cool!
BIG BAD BILL IS SWEET WILLIAM NOW- hey the Bros get there Dad (Jan Van Halen RIP) on clarinet and Ed and his acoustic with Al on the brushes make this song there own! Love the shuffle of the beat the strumming guitars! It’s all here folks…..’doin up the dishes mopping up that floor!”…..awesome!
FULLBUG- some crazy ass acoustic starts the Full Bug and boom HALEN kicks down the walls to the party shack with this song! Dave knows a woman who bite yo ass! Party Halen has rummaged thru your house and destroyed everything in site and Dave is telling the ladies he will give you the best part of a man! Cool Dave chugs on the harmonica! With the Halen boys scorching riff rock underneath! Classic very underrated track!
HAPPY TRAILS-ADIOS…….NUFF SAID!