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

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

  1. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA


    Breaking my promise to @wavethatflag here's the band doing it live in 2015. You can clearly see what Edward is doing on the intro in this one.
     
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  2. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Eh, this is not one of my favorites. Some of Dave’s verses come off a little clunky to me, but the chorus is nice. I don’t dislike it though (there’s only a handful of VH songs I actively dislike and they mostly appear on two albums).
     
  3. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Your Ad Here

    Location:
    San Francisco
    The beginning of this song is awesome. Only Eddie plays like this. It has lots of good VH-brand backing vocals. Mike! Come back, be in the band!

    As if there's a band anymore.

    I never really listened to the verse of this until now. I've had this album since forever! I didn't know it was about LGBTQ issues. In 1979 no less! Hey man, I grew up in a real small town in the 70s-80s. What I didn't know could fill the Wistah Centrum. :D (Anyone from MA will get this reference.)

    I like this song. This is solid VH, no doubt.
     
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  4. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seabrook, TX, USA
    Well, shows what I KNOW! :faint:
     
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  5. wavethatflag

    wavethatflag Your Ad Here

    Location:
    San Francisco
    I'm watching Dave in the beginning of this video and for some reason I'm thinking, "Does he remember he was the lead singer for Van Halen and not Men At Work?" :D

    Maybe it's the clothes.

    Not a bad version for 2015. Man, I really should have gone to see this tour. I only saw the '07 version.
     
  6. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    I'm from CT but I have lived in MA and I do get that reference. In fact, I saw DLR at the Worcester Centrum in 1988. I had to take a bus all the way from Boston to get there actually. That was the tour where he was doing the surfboard bit and Steve Vai had that awful heart guitar with like five necks or whatever. Also, Poison opened. All in all not a great show. Especially compared to the incredible Eat em and Smile shows just a couple of years earlier.
     
  7. nodeerforamonth

    nodeerforamonth Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego,CA USA
    Sorry, I've been out of this because I just don't have anything to contribute that anyone else hasn't already contributed.

    BUT... I do have to mention something that no one else can claim.

    D.O.A. changed my life. Well, all this would've happened eventually (I think), but the song D.O.A. was the catalyst.

    Ever since I could remember, I listened to commercial radio. And ever since I could remember, everything on the radio was the same. Yeah, there's some great stuff on there, but you had to wait for it. And the great stuff? It was the same stuff over and over and over. Scanning the dial, I could hear Led Zeppelin on five channels AT THE SAME TIME and 3 of those songs would be the same song.

    So when I was bored one afternoon living in upstate NY in 1981, I moved the radio dial all the way to the left and started searching for something new, station by station. Something other than Led Zeppelin, Beatles and Foreigner.

    It wasn't long before I heard this familiar riff... D.O.A.! Holy crap! A radio station is playing a "deep cut" and I never heard anything like this on the radio before! Usually the only VH songs I heard on the radio were "Runnin' With The Devil", "You Really Got Me", and "Dance The Night Away". A deep cut! On the radio! This DJ must know what he's doing!

    Turns out it was a college station and I never knew such stations existed. Or that there could be a station that would play anything but the hits. I stuck with it. And discovered a whole new world. Witchfinder General, Mercyful Fate, Venom, Anvil, Twisted Sister, Raven, etc... I already knew about Priest and Maiden, but on this station I was hearing deep cuts from them too! Turns out it was a specialty metal radio show and I had no idea such things existed.

    Later in life, it inspired me to become my own DJ at my college radio show. I had to do a lot of selling my show ideas to them. They knew nothing about underground metal, and I had no idea that other forms of music started underground either, so it was a mutual learning experience. My show became one of the most popular shows on the station, and later on in life I wrote for a fanzine, started a record label, and still DJ to this day. I'm also on the lookout for new music almost every other hour of every single day and still DJ at clubs from time to time.

    Yeah, again, I would've discovered all this stuff eventually, but D.O.A. was the catalyst in my life that started my life of discovering new music.

    So 10/10 for this song for what it's meant to me in my life. (though the song itself is 8/10)
     
  8. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    I was surprised as well. I was sure you were right and I was wrong. Honestly, I never really had a clue what this song was about. I don’t analyze lyrics much.
     
  9. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seabrook, TX, USA
    Me either!
     
  10. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    My favorite thing about this song is the guitar sound. Not the intro part but right after that when the drums kick in. The tone is just unreal.
     
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  11. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    That’s what I was talking about with his ugly but beautiful guitar playing. Edward had a way of chording that was absolutely unique. Perhaps it’s more his tone than anything else but it was awesome.
     
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  12. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Women In Love rocks! I was going to write a bunch of technical junk about it but I will give it a break this time and just say I like it. :D
     
  13. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    -woman in love- not much to say here. its a top notch tune. fits right in place near the end of the album
     
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  14. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Actually, I wish you’d do a breakdown on this one. I’d find it quite interesting and informative.
     
  15. vamborules

    vamborules Forum Resident

    Location:
    CT
    I think he doesn't get enough credit for his innovations in tone. VH fans and guitar people know but generally when he's talked about people focus on the techniques. Especially the tapping. But it wasn't just the things he played that made him amazing it was the way it sounded. D.O.A., Somebody Get Me a Doctor, this song. Nobody got guitar sounds like this before EVH.
     
  16. RelayerNJ

    RelayerNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Whippany, NJ
    Women in Love has some very tasteful guitar work.

     
  17. RelayerNJ

    RelayerNJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Whippany, NJ
    Break 'er down :D
     
  18. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seabrook, TX, USA
    Yeah I totally nerd out on that stuff even though it's basically in Esperanto to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 5:03 PM
  19. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seabrook, TX, USA
    OUTTA LOVE AGAIN (E. Van Halen, A. Van Halen, Anthony, Roth)

    This is what I love about Van Halen II - I have a handful of songs in my head that are SO AWESOME from this album, so that's what I think about. Then I hear this one, and I realize it's a hidden classic that I often don't think about! So many interesting little elements here - it's Alex's song to shine, and he certainly does. But I also love with Mikey, Eddie, and Dave all bring to this song. Great playing from Ed, inventive touches here and there that really add to it. And Dave's swagger is all over this track like gravy on a biscuit.

    Yes, that's such a weird little thing to do and yet: IT WORKS. Perfect example of why I love this song.

    9.1 out of 10.
     
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  20. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    @GodShifter I hope it is as informative as your posts.

    Women In Love

    A unique song for VH. The song opens with Eddie's famous sounding tapped harmonics heavily processed with delay and other stuff. He taps harmonics over the following chords....E-B and then D-A...chord changes in 5ths descending. Similar to a lot of other songs that use the same changes but in those cases upward. The bridge in Here Comes the Sun is one example. I am sure that the bridge in the Beatles song was an influence on this opening section...Women has the arpeggios as well that Sun has. Regardless, it is awesome sounding to say the least with Eddie's razor sharp technique and follow me delay. A little turnaround line at 05 and then the chords in 5ths repeat. At :11 a new section enters based on the some more EVH brilliant uses of suspended chords and open strings...E sus with some harmonics, A sus with harmonics and the A sus but with a flatted third which is a minor drop at :17. A turnaround on A major and the line repeats. A final dramatic turnaround at :29 off the minor drop to end the intro. Wow. Another section starts at :37 based on a new progression.......but is it new? No, it actually is a brilliant variation on the chords in the second section of the intro at :11 sans the harmonics. Instead of the harmonics we get a somewhat repeating upper voice over the chords. Most VH songs are based around root movement alone. This one also has root movement but the upper voice hook is just as important as the descending line of D-C#-C which actually is not the root movement as well. Spacey stuff. Similar to the riff in Ten Years Gone by LZ. Some classically influenced trills in the turnaround at :44 a la Yngwie. At :54 no trills and the song settles with Mike playing a nice bass line before the verse. The verse uses the same chords as the section at :37 but it changes slightly again and does not have the upper voice to avoid over complicating the sound and Dave's melody. Dave is fantastic here. At 1:14 a bridge based on D-E and C-D sliding chords enters. Usual fine harmonies. A chromatic turnaround at 1:31 and we get to the chorus using the verse chords....blues R and B based structure. Quite a few of their songs use the verse material for the choruses. Call and response in the chorus. The verse returns at 1:50 and everything repeats until at 2:28 a solo break enters which is classically influenced and sounds damn near like a violin cadenza. The solo is based around B Dorian over Mike's pulsing E note in the bass. Playing a solo using the dominant B relly gives the section a sense of tension. Eddie changes octaves with the solo and keeps it simple compared to his other complex solos. Serves the song well. Notice how he uses the chromatic line that was used in the bridge as a turnaround in his solo....another hook in the song. The bridge returns at 2:46 and then the chorus follows. At 3:23 a coda enters based on an ascending chord line of E-F#-G-A with some shimmering open strings. Smart to use an ascending line here to give the song tension and climatic movement in the final moments....another classically based move. The song ends on an A chord and does not resolve to E with Dave black cat moanin'.

    What a song, what a song. Sorry Rodney. Showcases their brilliant use of harmonic material and Eddie's genius in using voicings and once again suspensions. It really is a brilliant song IMO and cemented in my mind their status as songwriters up there with all of the other greats such as Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. The song encapsulates everything that makes the band one of the best ever including the rhythm section. Dave phonetically says "Marge" and for a few months after the song was released, I swore it was that. Oh well. :oops:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018 at 6:20 PM
  21. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Wow you know em' all! I gotta re learn a lot of them.
     
  22. Standoffish

    Standoffish Forum Resident

    Women in Love

    Once @Rose River Bear breaks down a song, there's no point in me trying. Great job as usual, dude.

    I'll add that I really like DLR's vocals here. He's not a great singer in the conventional sense, but he was perfect for VH at that time. He brings a sense of heartbreak to this song.
     
  23. GodShifter

    GodShifter Discharge - Drunk With Power® Thread Starter

    Location:
    Dallas, TX, USA

    Ha! That was your best breakdown evah!!!

    Glad to hear you hear “Marge”, too. I feel a slight sense of redemption! ;)
     
  24. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Huge fan of Women in Love. I'm always a sucker for Eddie's melodic intro's and this could be one of my favorites. The song itself is pretty great too!
     
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  25. Rose River Bear

    Rose River Bear Forum Resident

    Thanks!
    Do you hear the Here Comes the Sun influence?
    I am hearing another song in the last two bars of the first section of the intro but I can't remember it. A piano based song.
     

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