Impact Albums: David Lee Roth- Eat Em & Smile (1986)

Last October when Tbone took me on a trip of lifetime to Montreal! We hunted and checked out Record Shops and one of the no brainer purchase’s for me was buying David Lee’s ‘Eat Em & Smile’ album! All these years later (well three decades later) it’s a fantastic release. Roth at full tilt! Just love this album and even with the shenanigans that has transpired at this Blog in the last month I thought it was fitting to add to this review that was posted about 4 years ago. Clean it up somewhat but still keeping the comedic aspect of what I jotted down! If you have already read this much ‘Thanks’ please reread as you may find it somewhat amusing. If this is your first  time reading “Thanks’ for the support!

Please sit back. Grab a Beverage or whatever your vice is and Enjoy!


March 1986 and VAN HALEN lands the first punch with 5150 and of course Myself/TBone and millions others have been served some new material by the Halen camp. And after a few spins the logical question is asked ‘Wonder what Diamond Dave has up his sleeve?”

So four months after 5150’s release in July of 1986 here comes the Roth Army with Eat Em And Smile!  Dave has gone full throttle with a hot-shot line up of musical cats as in Steve Vai, Some Rando on Bass  and Gregg Bissonette. This band could stand toe to toe with Camp Halen and there 5150 album.

Course we all know the story after the 99 Ton’s Of Fun tour ended for Dave and company. Dave went a little left with Skyscraper and Some Rando on Bass  got all pissy pants and split!

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s check on the Fabulous Picasso Brothers and see their response to Van Hagar!

YANKEE ROSE-Here comes some Drums,bass and Vai goes with his guitar with  a wha,wha, with Dave going ‘What!!!’ and were off and Dave kicks in the lead single with the lead song off of the album and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Dave is gonna rock and for me that’s good as I sat out and did not purchase the Crazy From The Heat Ep but TBone did and I figured one copy was enough between the two of us. But yep Dave tells us all about the Yankee Rose. Thanks Dave….

UPDATE: I have now secured the sacred “Crazy From The Heat’ Ep!

SHYBOY– Boom….comes Gregg,Steve and  Some Rando on Bass all ripping and soloing off the top and for me it’s like Holy Shit these guys are destroying everything in sight and wow it’s a rocker played at hyper speed. Two tracks in and  Dave is telling Myself/Tbone and the world that he has the band to take on what he considers the evil empire!(Halen).

I’M EASY– Vai lays down some pretty cool guitar and Dave takes what sounds to me a swing tune and blasts it thru the Marshall amps in the studio. So this is cover number 1 on Eat Em but that’s ok cause it’s like it’s Dave’s own tune like if he wrote it in the back of a cab on the way to the studio.

LADIES NIGHT IN BUFFALO– Guess Dave ain’t going to sleep and it’s in Buffalo of all places and what a cool laid back tune. Bissonette lays done some cool chill drumming  and the boys decide to all lay low in this one as Dave is creeping the streets of Buffalo!

GOIN CRAZY– Cool tune and funny video but  this is Dave and the fellas bringing the party to your house via your turntable or cassette deck! Vai and some Rando on Bass  chilling in Buffalo decide to rock it up in the solo section of the song! Funny thing is there some keyboard action buried in the mix and that’s courtesy of Jesse Harms! Who you ask,well Mr Harms was Hagars keyboardist in Sam’s solo band for many a year and well when ol Hags bolted to The 5150 studios I guess Harms has gotta work right! Goin Crazy indeed!

TOBACCO ROAD- Cover number 2 and well whose counting?  Yeah I am but back in 86 I was still listening to Vai doing weird shit with his wang bar and man he’s cool  and like I said back with I’m Easy. Dave can take a cover and Rothize it too make sound like his own! That’s a pretty cool talent to have and by golly back than he did!

ELEPHANT GUN– Is basically the show tune extravaganza for all the musical chops provided in this unit. You want soloing this is a one stop shop for some serious ass kicking and hey don’t forget about Dave protecting all the ladies with the Elephant Gun!

BIG TROUBLE– I think one night Dave and Steve went down to the 7-11 to get a juiced up slurpee and  came across some Big Trouble. Dave is in full storyteller mode here and when he gets going on his story telling he can’t be beat man especially back than! Cool song with  riffing and soloing and well it’s just a classic track. 8 songs in and it’s all good man!

BUMP AND GRIND– The Roth Army heads to the strip club and Dave tells us that yes his name is cash n carry and he’s a dead ringer for the big first prize! Ha seriously friends, his lyric prowess is all over this tune! So let’s get this straight. The night begins with rolling tobacco with Dave and then he’s chasing women with an Elephant Gun which leads to some Big Trouble by the 7-11 and to cap it of a little ol Bump and Grind at a local watering hole at 3 am! Whoosh call 9-11 I’m coding and can’t keep up but I can hear  TBone yelling in the background at Dave to not make the 911 call!

THATS LIFE– Cover number 3 and it’s a Sinatra tune to boot and  the vid is super cool with live shots of the show which Dave never released which for me is one of rocks biggest blunders! Dave nails down a horn section and it’s all good fun. You know Dave ain’t gonna end his album on a downer but rather an upper!

IN CONCLUSION-Dave fired back across the lake to Camp Halen and tells the world that he can still rock with a super star band of dudes with some serious rock chops. For me though I was bummed Roth was out of Halen but I was glad that back in the year of 1986 I got two rock solid releases in 5150 and Eat Em and Smile!

Also of note it  must be said that Roth did a Spanish version of Eat em album called Sonrisa Salvaje in which he sang all the songs in Spanish!

Dave always thinking back than with his wallet!

23 thoughts on “Impact Albums: David Lee Roth- Eat Em & Smile (1986)”

    1. Thanks so much Danica!
      For sure this album is Rothized! I don’t think anyone knew at the time what he was gonna do recording wise especially after California Girls etc. DLR dug deep on this album and produced a GEM!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this album. I listen to it more than 5150 today…I don’t remember which one I listened to more back in the day. I picked it up and the E.P. and Skyscraper all in the past year on vinyl. My Dave collection is getting large.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This! Love it. Love the album. Love your revised review. Some Rando. Beautiful.

    I think I might actually listen to this more than any Van Halen. Certainly more than any Van Hagar.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well it’s certainly a Classic isn’t it J!
      Too be honest I have picked up a few Van Hagar releases and they sound pretty decent on vinyl after all these years…
      But Van Hagar is a different model vehicle than Van Roth that’s for sure!
      Eat Em= All-time Classic!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. Easily one of my favourite records. And that’s coming from a guy who only got into Van Halen a few years ago (I know! What was I thinking!?!).

        We definitely need some sort of live release from this period. Get rooting about in the vault, folks!

        Liked by 1 person

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