1982 and it musta been Hit Parader magazine and they had an add for Vandenbergs debut album called ……..wait for it….Vandenberg!
I was sold on the add I mean you had 4 long-haired dudes from Holland and with song titles like Your Love Is In Vain,Wait (til the shit hits the fan) Ready For You and Too Late I knew this would be a rocker of a record plus they were supporting Kiss on there Lick It Up Tour(1983)so I figured Vandenberg would have some rock balls so to speak….
Vandenberg was named after its founder Adrian he of later day Whitesnake fame! Adrian the dude whose solo is on Here I Go Again single on the Whitesnake 87 record after OL David Coverdale gave John Sykes(guitarist)the boot! Adrian was the guy who cowrote the Slip Of The Tongue record as well for Whitesnake than Adrian mangles up his wrist and Ol Coverdale replaces Adrian on record with Steve Vai!
Got it? The rest of Vandenberg is Bert Herrink(vocals) Dick Kemper(bass and great name) and drummer dude Jos Zoomer!
Vandenberg releases an absolute gem of a debut and here’s the proof in da pudding!
YOUR LOVE IS IN VAIN- drums,bass and hot-shot guitar action start this tune! Bert bellows ‘ you better go your own way” yeah man I’m sure she will and Vandenberg drops a classic track opener and Adrian puts me into the realm of realizing that his playing is more Micheal Schenker like than Eddie Van Halen like and for me it s ok there’s only one EVH in my book! You know why Coverdale was sniffing around Vandenbergs back yard before he recruited Sykes! (Vandenberg said no) by the guitar picking of this fellow!
BACK ON MY FEET- Zoomer the drummer kicks it in with a count in and Adrian slips into guitar hero mode playing neat little licks and here’s some double bass drumming during the chorus! Great song as well! 2 for 2 folks!
WAIT (TIL THE SHIT HITS THE FAN)-hahaha great marketing ploy I had never seen anyone up to that point(1982) that had a song title with SHIT in it so I had to get it! Hahaha…..Adrian opens with a nice classical guitar piece and soon drums/Dicks bass(ha),electric guitar and Bert drive this song past the 6 minute mark! I still can listen to this record nowadays but the only thing is the drums do sound dated but everything else! Top Notch!
BURNING HEART- Ummm, a case could be made that this may be the first power ballad I ever heard back in 82! This ain’t no Journey ballady stuff this is power ballad done right! More classical guitar and when the chorus hits its big time power riffs! Bizarro that in my kooky world here at Arena Rock that this is the first time I have written that a power ballad like Burning Heart didn’t want me to puke upon first listen! Braaaaaaavo!
READY FOR YOU-opens side 2…guitar rolls into drums and bass and man were off this had to have been the tour opener! This Vandenberg boys can play and the backing vocals as well are top-notch! Cool solo in this tune as well!
TOO LATE- this song kicks off right out of the gate. It’s like the Vandenberg Xpress Bullet Train is about to derail off the tracks as it just slams along at break neck speed and hey let’s drop some double bass drums in the chorus! More great guitaring from Adrian and hey if you’re keeping score not only did he write all these tunes on here he did the artwork for the cover of the album as well! Talented fella!
NOTHING TO LOSE- this song drives along as well! Man this album is a showing no signs of slowing down whatsoever! Woo-hoo and no ballads on side 2!
LOST IN THE CITY- Bert the singer tells us he’s lost ….Lost In The City! This could have been a single as well. Drums start off and Adrian and Dick(ha) join in and this song is another great corker of a track and follows protocol here at Arena Rock that there’s hidden gems on the end of the album! This is one of Em!
OUT IN THE STREETS- bam,bam,bam double bass drums going 120 mph and crazy riffing lead the charge to the end and man Jos the drummer and Adrian just rock this track big time especially at the solo intersection! Head on crash between these two guys for sure,musically that is! What a great end to a great debut!
IN CONCLUSION- I think Tbone was wondering when I would get around to reviewing Vandenberg! Hahaha….well buddy here it is! Vandenberg for me blew my ears out with this debut and two others that followed I never really wrapped my ears around. The second album Heading For A Storm had some good tracks and I may review it someday but it lacked something,perhaps it was the fact that to me it sounded like sides 3&4 of the debut….who knows. Vandenbergs third release Alibi I just totally passed on,dunno why but just did!
Saying that though these 4 guys…Bert/Adrian/Jos and (the )Dick slammed a super-duper classic debut upon my Sonic Senses back in 1982! Yes!! Is the answer if you’re wondering if I have this on my iPod!
Like why wouldn’t I?!