Van Halen - Van Halen II (1979) - Song by Song

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GodShifter, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. Jimmy B.

    Jimmy B. Forum Resident

    D.O.A. rules on this album. None come close to it for me.
     
  2. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Forum Resident

    Location:
    Captiva Island, FL
    SPANISH FLY

    This is so short that it hardly qualify's as a song IMO.

    It's just an intro, nothing more, nothing less into....

    D.O.A.

    OW!

    Jump Back what's that sound?

    Ha ha....I love and it continues the streak of greatness that is Van Halen II

    Dave sings this a lot different than usual and towards the end it gets going "faster than a speeding bullet"............to the head!



    Diamond Dave has come up with some of the greatest one-liners and nuances in his lyrics that no one else has yet to replicate or pull off.
     
  3. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I probably am. As I said, I’m not good with lyrics.
     
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  4. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Darn it, I meant to mention “I’m a spark on the horizon !” line as it’s one of my favorites. You did a better job of summing up this song than I did (in far fewer words, too).
     
  5. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Georgia
    D.O.A.:
    And now we reach this bad boy.
    The intro is badass, and while the song is somewhat meat and potatoes, the meat and the potatoes are VERY flavorful on this song, it has so much attitude and conviction and swagger and awesome, and Diamond Dave is so awesome on this song, he's just so badass on this song, Eddie's solo at 1:51 is excellent, Mike is awesome on bass underneath, Al does a great job on the skins, this song is excellent, so much so, it is scientifically proven to increase self esteem
     
  6. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Very good observation. I definitely think of “D.O.A” and “Fools” as being cut from the same cloth. Perhaps two of Van Halen’s most heavy, grinding tunes. Less melodic elements and more HULK SMASH!

    If you get that comic book reference...
     
  7. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Georgia
    Nice catch, never thought about Fools, but good call
     
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  8. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Except “Fools” kind of sucks :hide:
     
  9. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    :eek:o_O:cussing:

    Shows curbach the door ——>

    ;)
     
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  10. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    It’s fortunate that I missed the Women And Children First song-by-song. I probably would’ve been run out of the forum on a rail, chased by pitchforks and torches. Let’s just say it’s not my favorite :laugh:
     
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  11. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    D.O.A.

    On the run....

    Starts with EVH having his tremolo bar which is the old fashioned term for whammy bar, slightly depressed and then he slowly raised it on an A power chord until his Marshall starts to feedback due to the harmonic stress on the tubes. Good for them. The riff is a boogie blues based goody over two bars a la Mannish Boy but in this case I-iv-V or A-F#-E. Some funk rhythm to boot. Eddie spices it up with some worried bent blues notes. The verse starts and Dave sings great and the final note of the first line mimics the bent note. A turnaround/pre chorus starts at after a little cadence by Eddie and is based on C#-D-E the dominant of A. The chorus is based on the verse riff in blues R & B fashion. Usual fine harmonies from the background singers The Van Halen Boys Choir. Sorry. The verse pops back and Dave speaks "Outta Luck" from the jury box. At 1:51 a break comes in based over A-E which is a little slowed down harmonically from the riff. Eddie solos first focusing around F# Minor which gives it a tense sound over the A bass. The pre chorus chords enter to turn the solo around and Eddie stays within the chords going to C# and so on. No rhythm guitar to back him up so he plays notes close to the chord changes...harder to do than just playing boxy lines hoping they fit. The verse returns followed by the turnaround again and the chorus. A break comes back but this time starts squarely on the turnaround chords and then to the main riff chords. At 3:22 Eddie picks the main riff back up after a little flurry from Alex. The song builds speed until at 3:48 a funky coda on the A chord with some E chord stabs in between unison drumming from Alex.

    Someone said a meat and potatoes song but done with panache. Another great EVH boogie based riff and no overdubs from what I hear.
     
  12. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    I agree. :hide::hide::hide:
     
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  13. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Georgia
    :tsk:
     
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  14. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I don't think Fools sucks. It is good, but DOA is superior! A top VH song.
     
  15. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    On DOA, I love how the mix makes enough space to hear Alex's snare such that you can almost reach out and touch the space around the notes.

    "dirty-faced kid in a garbage can" is a pretty interesting lyric

    Love, love, love Ed's rhythm guitar sound on this one. Kind of like Part Two of Atomic Punk.
     
  16. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    I always loved how Alex alternates his parts every 2 bars (?)during the verses-almost driving the song then pulling back a bit before the pre-chorus/then chorus.
     
  17. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Sorry playing catch up-You're No Good is a decent opening number however not one of my favorites- I was just thinking though that the menacing intro reminds me quite a bit of Believer from Ozzy. After the intro though I get kind of disinterested. Still it's Van Halen though

     
  18. Standoffish

    Standoffish Forum Resident

    D.O.A

    This is one of those songs that just gets me pumped up. We start off with Eddie's distortion-ey thing, then he puts down a heavy, chunky riff at us. That's when Michael and Alex come in and kick things into overdrive, with that little flourish Eddie throws into his riff - and we're off and running.

    I won't exactly equate DLR with Leonard Cohen as a lyricist, but he's pretty darn good at painting a picture. A kid from the wrong side of the tracks saying "FU, I'm going for it, dead or alive". Yeah I'm dressed in rags, but "I'm a spark on the horizon".

    I love it, too. He hangs behind to let the song flow, then pushes it forward when needed. Great drummer.
     
  19. Musicman1998

    Musicman1998 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Georgia
    Absolutely, he has such a unique viewpoint as a writer, in some ways he has it harder than Cohen or Dylan, because he has to take fairly mundane topics and make them compelling and engaging, and he pulls it off so well, whereas a certain guy in Red, everything he touches has such a generic, paint by Numbers quality.
     
  20. Black Thumb

    Black Thumb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV
    And how! Ed and Mike toggle back and forth along with him, and that's the seasoning that really enhances the meat n' potatoes.
     
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  21. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    The guy in red comes across as trying a little too hard, both on the "party" anthems and on more serious songs. He's never met a cliche he couldn't use, and it's rarely done with the wink and nod like Roth could do. Hagar is a great businessman, but he's not intellectual-smart enough to write really compelling lyrics. For me, the attraction to his best work comes from the quality of his voice and the notes he picks.
     
  22. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    -D.O.A-my favorite song on here. maybe my favorite VH song ever. great groove and I like the lyrics. not really sure what the songs about though but oh well
     
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  23. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Your Ad Here

    Location:
    San Francisco
    "Mousewife to momshell in the time it took to get that new tattoo."

    Whoops, wrong album. :D
     
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  24. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA


    WOMEN IN LOVE … 1979 (E. Van Halen, A. Van Halen, Anthony, Roth) (4:10)

    In a surprising twist, the song “Women In Love …” is actually about David Lee Roth losing a woman to another woman. As Edward Van Halen pointed out, “if you don’t listen to the lyrics carefully, it sounds like “Women In Love …” (is) about a chick running off with another guy” (vhnd.com). But with lines like “but, honey if you’re needing a woman just as bad me, you ought to be goin’” this certainly reinforces what Edward is saying. So, once again, a different perspective in terms of lyrical content from David Lee Roth.

    It’s been talked about many times in this thread, but the phrasing and delivery of Roth in “Women In Love …” is very unique and puts you inside the head of the singer. You get every nuance of pain, anger,frustration, and sadness that’s there. That’s not just good delivery, but great emotive voicing.

    Musically, the song features one of Edward’s most creative uses harmonics and tapping in the introduction. Edward modified a regular Stratocaster (eschewing the Bumblebee which was used on every other song on this album) with a Telecaster pick up in the back and a Fat Strat pick up in the middle and an unnamed pick up in the front as well for the beginning of the song. Multi-tracking the intro so it sounds like he’s running through a harmonizer, Edward was able to achieve the effects you hear. There’s no distortion running through the amps and he plays the intro clean. It’s one of the more unique sounding guitar intros I can think. He’d later use a more heavy handed approach to the intro of “Mean Street”, but with, essentially, the same technique.

    “Women In Love …”, in terms of the meat of the song, runs off the Van Halen blueprint: excellent backing vocals led by Michael Anthony and great riffing by Edward who’s chording can sound brutal and beautiful at the same time (the drum intro of Alex on the snare and bass drum is something that always gets stuck in my head). I love the shift in the dynamics in the song after Roth sings a line (like at 1:58) and the band blasts back in after laying back for a verse line. Probably, my favorite part of the song is ascending chords that start 3:21 (with Edward hitting some brilliant harmonics) and lead up to Roth's great falsetto ending. There's great mounting tension there leading to the ultimate conclusion.

    I have to say that "Women In Love ..." might be my second favorite Van Halen song behind "Mean Street". Part of it is due to Edward's brilliant intro which is inspired, in part, by his early training as a classic pianist, and him just being a musical genius (at least in my opinion he is) and the beautiful chording he does on the song. It's just a song that has always really resonated with me. This song, however, is another one that I've always got the lyrics wrong. I always thought the beginning line was "Marge, you're breaking heart" (which admittedly sounds dumb) instead of "My heart, you're breaking my heart". There are many other instances in the tune where I got other lines wrong, but we'll just use that one as an example.

    Incidentally, the title of the song comes from a novel by D.H. Lawrence who’s books David Lee Roth greatly enjoyed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 12:04 PM
  25. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA


    At 29:26 Edward does a small bit of the opening to "Women In Love ..." during his Smithsonian interview. His doesn't have the right effects, though, and quits pretty quickly.
     
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