Van Halen Diver Down Song by Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Zoot Marimba, Dec 31, 2017.

  1. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    That is what gets me about him bashing this album, even beyond him lathering this when it was new, it's like "you dickhead, that's the album your father's on"
     
  2. Efus

    Efus Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jackson, NJ, USA
    Because he didnt say No, and got completely manipulated to put this album out?

    I think Ed initially said it was fun to do the album simply because it was easy to do, and his father was on it.

    But hindsight and history, and doing a bit of research leads me to believe that Roth was pulling the strings and WB corporation (and the weight they threw around) was in Dave's corner.

    Other than Eddie getting to pick Pretty Woman, he literally got nothing he wanted out of this project.
    Roth, it appears to me, got everything he wanted out of this project and more.
    At least that's what I've got.
    Still trying to find out a bit more about this movie deal/treatment that Roth had that was kicking around at the time.

    Musically, the original tunes held the most interest, but for me being in my last year in high school, I was starting to get into Iron Maiden, Motorhead, and solo Schenker, harder stuff, and VH to me was clearly heading toward a more commercial mainstream sound and competing with pop artists
    on MTV.

    Still a fun summer time album, but for sure it was the last gasps of their "atomic punk" era, imo.
     
  3. tinnox

    tinnox Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Another great dose of VH on a killer cover with a great intro awesome playing all the way around. Love it!!!!
     
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  4. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Sorry for running behind, I will get the next review up NOW!
    Dancing In the Streets:

    Now we come to Dancing In the Street, credited to Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson, and Ivy Hunter, and recorded originally by Matha and the Vandellas. This is one of the few Classic Van Halen songs to that Eddie compltely overdubbed his guitar on, as it was the only way he could get the textured sound he wanted.
    The song begins begin with a bouncy synth/guitar mix that sets up the song very nicely, and Al does a great job playing in a poppier style than normal, as does Mike, and of course he is amazing on harmony vocals as always, but the star here is Dave, who does an awesome job on the track, his phrasing, his sense of Melody, and his presence are top notch , you really hear his R&B roots on this song, and damn I can definitely hear that Marvin Gaye co wrote this, that Melody is him through and through, and the subject matter foreshadows What's Going On, and to think I never knew of his role in the song until recently. Shame he never did a version, cause he could have nailed it. And we must mention Eddie's solo at 2:35, great Melody and feel, and still so Eddie.
    This song is sick, I love it, love it, another knockout.
     
  5. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    A lot of people seem to have an issue with this one. I don’t get it. It’s a great song and it’s well performed. Perhaps my favorite instance of Eddie using synths.

    If you want to hear the song ruined, check out the Jagger/Bowie version from a few years later :eek:
     
  6. ElevatorSkyMovie

    ElevatorSkyMovie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    "Dancing in the Streets"

    The only classic VH song I skip. I have never liked it.
     
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  7. TexasBuck

    TexasBuck Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Dancing in the Street - I don't really like or dislike it. It's certainly a respectable cover. (Not an embarrassment like the Jagger/Bowie version) I guess I'm just not a fan of the song to begin with. Agree the backing vocals are top notch. Overall, I'd have to file this one in the "filler" category.
     
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  8. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Moscone Bail Bonds

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    This might be my favorite thing Van Halen ever did. They re-imagined and re-wrote this song. It's not a cover. When I was a kid I thought that bubbly synth line was Eddie on a guitar using crazy effects or something. When I found out it was him on keys years later, I was still amazed. It sounds like it's from Mars, outta space. I absolutely love this song. This crushes the original in my world. I mean, thanks for writing the original, so VH could do this to it. I think it's easily one of the greatest rock recordings.

    I respectfully but vehemently disagree with any poster that thinks this track is less than an awesome achievement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  9. ElevatorSkyMovie

    ElevatorSkyMovie Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Did they ever do DITS live? If so, how?
     
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  10. tinnox

    tinnox Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    Not my favorite off the LP but still a good take on the song, I think better than the original IMO.
     
  11. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    Never been a fan of the Vandellas version although I do like the group... and as someone else mentioned, the Bowie/Jagger collaboration is downright putrid... however, VH walks away with the deed to this one... they remake it in their own image and make the song more than listenable for me... no mean achievement... still, not one of the high points on the album but I don't skip it either...
     
  12. Charlie DJ

    Charlie DJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Tx USA
    Always enjoyed DITS. That synth / guitar sound gave it a unique sound and it was always instantly recognizable. Sounded like nothing else on the radio at the time.
     
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  13. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    Location:
    ft. lauderdale, fl
    Dig Those Sounds! :)
    Follow Those Patterns :) (if one can :) )
    Diver Down is killing it for me right now. Unassuming quality, effortless musicality. Even the snare and percussion is a treat on DITS contrasted with the repeating, manic backing track by EVH. Superb stuff. A Townshend kind of repeating motif, then he rips off a Page-like style solo, imo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  14. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Moscone Bail Bonds

    Location:
    Pacifica, CA
    Exactly!

    Ed's a genius, and Roth was his bullhorn so we'd all know about it.
     
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  15. Zoot Marimba

    Zoot Marimba And I’m The Critic Of The Group Thread Starter

    Location:
    Georgia
    Vandellas:
     
  16. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Put me down as another one who loves Dancing in The Streets. Eddie and the drums and everything about it really but especially Dave. This song is perfect for his voice and he just sounds great here.
     
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  17. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    I'm assuming VH came by this song by way of the Kinks cover as opposed to the Vandellas' classic... anybody know?
     
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  18. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Buenos Aires '83

     
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  19. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    Here's what Eddie told Guitar Player in '82
    ___

    In a December 1982 interview with Guitar Player, Eddie detailed the album’s origins:

    "When we came off the Fair Warning tour last year [1981], we were going to take a break and spend a lot of time writing this and that. Dave came up with the idea of, 'Hey, why don't we start off the new year with just putting out a single?' He wanted to do 'Dancing in the Streets.' He gave me the original Martha Reeves & the Vandellas tape, and I listened to it and said, 'I can't get a handle on anything out of this song.' I couldn't figure out a riff, and you know the way I like to play: I always like to do a riff, as opposed to just hitting barre chords and strumming.

    “So I said, 'Look, if you want to do a cover tune, why don't we do 'Pretty Woman'? It took one day. We went to Sunset Sound in L.A., recorded it, and it came out right after the first of the year. It started climbing the charts, so all of a sudden Warner Bros. is going, 'You got a hit single on your hands. We gotta have that record.' We said, 'Wait a minute, we just did that to keep us out there, so that people know we're still alive.' But they just kept pressuring, so we jumped right back in without any rest or time to recuperate from the tour, and started recording.”

    Happy 35th: Van Halen, DIVER DOWN | Rhino
     
  20. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I think this post sums up my feelings almost perfectly. I, too, thought it was Eddie on guitar instead of synths. Shows you what I know. This isn’t one of my favorite VH songs but I’ve always liked it and never skip it. Also agree the song suits Dave’s voice perfectly.
     
  21. MagneticNorthpaw

    MagneticNorthpaw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    My first conscious exposure to VH was the "Jump" video, but the first albums I owned were 1984 and Diver Down, sides one and two respectively of a TDK 90 minute cassette I inherited from my brother circa 1987. My affinity for the former is probably as driven by nostalgia and sentiment than it is the actual music, though I tend to rate it higher than most Classic VH fans. Diver Down always left me a bit cold - I mean, how many average 12 year olds are going to go from "Little Guitars" to "Big Bad Bill" and not scratch their heads or react negatively to a clarinet? I've come to appreciate it more over time, especially knowing the circumstances behind its creation and given what seems to be a thoughtful track sequencing. I know from an audiophile perspective DD gets touted pretty heavily. I don't consider myself one, so I don't hear an appreciable difference between it and the two albums that preceded it.

    Thanks @Musicman1998 for contributing to the cause. Good to see you outside the context of KISS Song-by-Song!

    WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TIMES GONE
    As others have said, I think they outdid the Davies brothers. The fade is a little lackluster but I always enjoyed all the little "plinks" and "squonks" EVH peppered after the first lines of the verses. I like how AVH opens up the ride cymbal wash into the chorus.

    HANG 'EM HIGH
    I only heard the "Last Night" version when it got posted to this thread. Musically, this always had a lot going for it - the stuttery, fast-picked riff, the interplay of the rhythm section (standout being the hi-hat/cowbell/high bass flourish after the solo), and a well-composed EVH solo. The original subject matter feels too trite for the scope of the music. DLR delivers in the re-think.

    CATHEDRAL/SECRETS
    This was always the standout for me, from first listen. On becoming more versed in VH, I feel like "Cathedrals" is a companion piece (or second movement) of the intro to "Women In Love..." It's just a lovely, understated piece. Musically, the drier guitar tone on "Secrets" seems to point towards the Hagar years but it's nice to hear the rhythm section goose the tune along with an upbeat shuffle feel. Another great solo, which you rarely hear about VH. :laugh: DLR's delivery synchs well with the groove of the song. And what can you say about the cascade of Anthonian harmony?

    INTRUDER/OH, PRETTY WOMAN
    Neither of these ever did much for me, though I've warmed to the latter in an always-sing-it-when-it-comes-on-the-car-radio way. The video came out before I had MTV so I was never aware until many years later that "Intruder" was part of it, which kind of blew my mind. Now, I find it sets a mood and plays with the listener's expectations - which immediately get upended by the punch of the "Oh, Pretty Woman," complete with guitar divebombs off the main riff. It's interesting that they sequenced two, two-parters back to back. They certainly couldn't be more different.

    DANCING IN THE STREETS
    For my money, this is the nadir of Classic VH. I don't care for the original but it has an undeniable energy that all the DLR charm, patented VH backing vocals, and AVH cowbell is hopeless to replicate. The only thing that holds my attention, really, is the interplay between the guitar and synth. The rest just kind of annoys me. :p I'm a big Bowie fan, too, so I find it somewhat remarkable that two of my favorite (and certifiably highly skilled) musicians deep-sixed the same song.
     
  22. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    when Jagger & Bowie did that video around the time of Live Aid I was so embarrassed for both of them, which is surprising since I'm not of fan of either of them (always loved the Stones, but Jagger himself made me cringe) ... but good lord, does it get worse... I never saw it again until this infamous "remixed" version was released, which does make it all worthwhile in the end!

     
  23. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Yeah, I was very young and loved rock music of almost all varieties, but when I saw the original video I was amazed at how terrible it was. Two huge stars collaborate on what has to be one of the worst covers (and video) of all-time. Stunningly bad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  24. MagneticNorthpaw

    MagneticNorthpaw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    :laugh: I very nearly linked it. I think this "silent video" is only topped by Lionel Richie's "Hello."

    I remember watching the world premiere of the Jagger/Bowie video with my sister and she summed it up pretty perfectly: "What the h-ll was that?"
     
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  25. GodShifter

    GodShifter Son of the Morning Star®

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Ok, I've never seen that 'shred' version before. OMG that made me laugh so hard!! :laugh:

    Thanks for posting that.
     

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