David Lee Roth: A Little Ain’t Enough(1991)

Dave Roth back in January of 1991 was the first of many CD purchases for me that year!

A Little Ain’t Enough is a decent album in the Roth catalogue that over time has grown on me. But as the early 90’s rolled in  I thought it was good but nowhere near the level of 1986’s Eat Em & Smile album which was a bona fide classic for many!

Dave though of course soldiered on and released 1998’s Skyscraper which after its recording Bassist Billy Sheehan quit as well after the Skyscraper Tour Guitarist Steve Vai bolted to the green money-making pastures of Whitesnake.

David Lee though kept going. Guitar for Hire Steve Hunter and Young Fella Jason Becker came aboard along with the Greg and Matt Bissonette (Bass and Drums respectively) as well as Bret Tuggle on keys!

This band headed to Vancouver to work with Bob Rock so I knew beforehand this album would have an excellent drum and production sound!

12 songs make up this album.  Dave kinda stays in the 80’s game with these songs at times and no better evidence is the opening track/video A Little Ain’t Enough.  More so the video as Roth was still stuck in the roaring 80’s MTV video cycle which if you strip from your memory the video this is a pretty decent track!

Roth and band on these tracks play more like a band as gone is the explosive playing  of Sheehan and Vai and a more less friendly Hot Dog approach is taken. Shoot It and Lady Luck  take Roth and crew into new directions musically. Dave is growing up. An older wiser Dave I suppose!?

Hammerhead Shark though is classic Dave with him doing what he does best and that’s writing some real cool lyrics ..

It was a time of trouble
And a time of grief
Kings lay with whores
And begat thieves
Yeah the world was wicked
And their hearts were cold
Noah said to his missus
Well, it’s time to go
Lord said to Noah
‘Fore ya float that arc
You better save me a space
For my hammerhead shark
Whoa yeah, the hammerhead shark
Now, now now Johnny liked to drink and fight
And he raised big hell every Saturday night

This is Dave at his finest..Love the groove of this tune and some slick slide guitar work courtesy of Steve Hunter! Dig the big smash out at the end with the drums that will knock your socks off!  With the live video below I laugh at  the fact that Dave has his lyrics taped to the drum riser as he takes the odd look at them but tries to do it so no one notices..haha

Tell The Truth and  Baby’s On Fire are new directions in sound for Dave as he headed into the early 90’s. Tell The Truth is more chill Dave as Hunter lays down some slick Blues along with Becker. Baby’s On Fire harkens somewhat back to old school Roth but Dave is trying to move into new sonics of Roth N Rock!

40 Below begins with Greg’s big Drum Sound and more slip n slide Blues licks splattered throughout but played at a decent clip! I have to say the picking and playing of Hunter/Becker is awesome on this album. Dave was smart to add two guitars for this album so there was no real Vai comparisons as Hunter especially is the exact opposite to the wacka doodle wang bar bizarro work of Vai!

Sensible Shoes I remember getting some play here in Tbay. I’m sure its Dave blasting some Harp on this track. Always been fond of this track as ‘Sensible Shoes the one’s that will lead me back to you”. Love the Harmonica and guitar picking mashup going on this track!

When myself/Tbone/Darr & Rugg fist heard  Last Call back in January of 91 we all hollered ‘Dave’s ripping off Aerosmith’s Walk This Way”  and why wouldn’t Dave? Aerosmith was huge in 1990-91 so the most logical move would be to nix a Aeroclassic and Roth it up and shoot for a hit. Well Dave got the Aero part right but the ‘HIT’ part didn’t work out so well!**

Dogtown Shuffle is another one of those mid tempo rock tracks. It’s ok, not a great track a little lumbering but some of the vocal lines are quite amusing to say the least…

The Diamond One decides to do a Musical  Hot Dog Track called Its Showtime  to feature his new young protegé Jason Becker to rock it up on the guitar and this song is a close to a Van Halen tune if any on this album. When I first heard it I thought man this has to be the opener of Dave’s upcoming tour. I was wrong! haha

The last track Drop In A Bucket  is an absolute classic in the Dave solo catalogue. Becker sizzles and dazzles on the fretboard as his Boss tosses down a real good lead vocal. Nice use of the female backing singers as well and man what total drag for us listeners as well for  Becker to get Gehrig’s disease but this album is a testimony that the cat could play!

Roth n Roll in 91 was starting to show cracks in the foundation. Times were a changing as each of Dave’s solo albums were selling less and less and his tours were starting to have troubles in moving tickets  as well.

A Little Ain’t Enough is  like the Sleeper Album in  Dave’s solo career. Pretty decent listen actually. Not as good as the Eat Em record of course  but its Dave trying to  push his inflated microphone prop into the early 90’s but not to many were caring…

**- When I was writing this up I thought I would play the beginning of Last Call for my Suzi. Now Suzi will be the first to admit that she is not the biggest Hard Rock Fan out there but it only took a few seconds for her to answer when I asked her “What song does this remind you of?” Quickly The Boss answered “Walk This Way”  First time she ever heard Last Call and perhaps Suzi’s Last Call with Roth  as well!

28 thoughts on “David Lee Roth: A Little Ain’t Enough(1991)”

    1. You know John like I have mentioned before there was so much music coming out back than it was hard to keep up and listen and give everything a fair shake!
      Roth set the bar release high with the Eat Em album….
      Actually tomorrow I got on hold down at New Day Records here in Tbay Skyscraper on vinyl which is a total score!
      Can’t wait to crank Hina on vinyl….only ever owned Skyscraper on CD

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah the fella that runs New Day Records posts on Facebook all the new/used records in his store…
        He had Skyscraper ..I shot him a message saying put that bad boy away along with Coney Hatch’s debut and Ratt Out Of The Cellar …getting those 3 albums used=Pumped

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A fair review, Deke. I think there are a few moments that pull this away from greatness… but A Lil’ Ain’t Enough, Hammerhead Shark, Sensible Shoes are all highlights, though my current favourite here is 40 Below.

    Good call on the similarities between Last Call and Walk This Way. I actually think there’s a heavy Aerosmith influence on Shoot It, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J…..Well Aero recorded Pump in Vancouver as well and Dave man was dying to keep the Money Train Moving if that meant a hit as there are multiple songwriters on this album

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried, I’ve tried, I just don’t get DLR. I’ve heard ’em all but the only track I really liked was ‘Damn Good’. Mrs 1537 used to have this on cassette and made me listen to it quite a lot.

    Maybe it’s an alpha male thing? there can only be one of us in the room, him or me?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope ‘Because the Night’ and ‘I Touch Myself’ – I keep wonderign if there was some kind of hidden subliminal message there somewhere, still can’t work it out though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yep. Yep. Yep. OK album in my books. I used to have it on cassette but I don’t know what happened to it. Never had seen the video for A Little Ain’t Enough before. Just checked it out on YouTube…. Little people in black face… oof… Peace and Love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah well that was a different time back in 91 wasn’t it? Dave shifted direction somewhat and kinda pulled it off. His album after this though Your Filthy Little Mouth I will review at one point was at times a tuff listen….

      Like

  4. As a fan of Jason Becker, it was sad to read about the tragedy unfolding with him as he was recording his bits for the album.

    In relation to the album, it’s forgotten which is a shame, because it’s a good slab of rock which also experiments with blues, r&b and funk.

    Like

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