Van Halen Diver Down Song by Song Thread

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

  1. redsock

    redsock Forum Resident

    Ontario, Canada
    I'm late to this one, but I think this is the best I have ever heard modern DLR.
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  2. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    The Southwest
    VH breaks out the funk! I dig VH's cover of "Dancing In The Streets," loved it the first time I heard it in the 1980's. Great arrangement.
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Forum Resident

    Captiva Island, FL

    This is my least favorite cover tune that they have recorded.

    While it's ok, and Van Halen does a really good job, I just think the song is f**king stupid.

    But, I don't skip it, I kind of look the other way hehehehe
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  4. Zoot Marimba

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

    You're referring to the Real th Years right?
  5. I'm with you curbach. This is a fine version with a nice arrangement and vocal. The synths are still kept at bay here and are a bit of a foretaste of what to expect on their next album.
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  6. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Forum Resident

    Captiva Island, FL
    I only "Think" of Van Halen in the immortal spelling of Fred G. Sanford as "R. O. T. H. Period".
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  7. Zoot Marimba

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

    Good man
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  8. Efus

    Efus Forum Resident

    Jackson, NJ, USA
    Diver Down....the beginning of the end for the original VH lineup.

    I always considered this album as the bridge from VH being "our" thing into the mainstream of commercial American teenage culture.
    This was the first VH album that the folks didn't say "turn that sh×t down", but "hey, that Martha and the Vandellas, Roy Orbison, Roy Rogers theme song" So at that point, you know the parents aren't getting any more cooler, so what the hell is exactly going on here?

    Didn't think much of the single Pretty Woman, but it was a stunner when this album appeared in the spring of '82.
    Consensus seemed to be the boys needed something to tour on that summer, so an album 1/2 filled w covers is what's going to make that happen.
    I caught the last proper show in North America on Dec. 11 1982 in Jacksonville Fl,
    with the show ending in a shower of champagne and toilet paper rolls being sprayed and flung about following the encore.

    While it bothered me a bit, I was drifting away from VH at that point, but in hindsight DD managed to basically expose the band as being more talented and versatile than your typical hard rock/heavy metal act to obviously a bigger audience.

    Anyway, here's what I think of the songs covered so far....

    WHATGTG- I'm of the opinion that the opener is filler.
    It's the least impressive song on the album. Roth gives it a good try mixing up the vocal performance, and I do enjoy the menace of the rhythm rocking back and forth, recorded hot. But what else is here? The solo is a brief nothing, and the famous group background vocal on the chorus, seems the same old, same old here. I'd say the over/under was about 4 hours in knocking this track out.

    Hang 'Em High- now we're talking business here. A rumbling backing track over what I think is Roth's most interesting vocal he's ever done.
    I don't know what effect is being used there, perhaps double-tracking w a slight delay, but the way they alternate between that more textured effect and just him singing without it is brilliant, and completely random where they're doing it. The backing vocals are more minimal, more back in the mix, but it neatly bridges Roth's vocal back into that killer riff. One of VHs best.

    Intruder/Pretty Woman- like the menace of the synth in Intruder, Eddie got a handle on the riff, and Roth did his job here.
    While the video didn't last long on MTV, it was only while reading up on this that I learned that the "Pretty Woman" in the video was in fact a well-known LA transexual entertainer.....and I had no idea about anything like that back in 1982.
    But seeing how Dave described the album, things not appearing what they seem under the surface, it makes a lot more sense now.

    Cathedral/Secrets- thought this was pretty soft at the time, and didn't get what they were doing here, but I've grown to appreciate Cathedral as it's pretty much been a part of Eddie's solo spot ever since the albums release. In hindsight, the Secrets expanded the group's musical range and Ive grown to appreciate its laidback vibe. The 17 year old in me still thinks it stinks.....haha.

    Dancing In The Streets- well until Jagger-Bowie proved me wrong, I always figured this was one of those songs that would be hard to screw up if you
    put an ounce of effort into it. VH crushed this one pretty good. While Ed said he couldn't get a grip on a riff for this, I wonder if this is the synth track he said that Templeman and Roth took from him without asking?
    But for sure, the synth is great, background vocals tight, and Roth's invitation to the nation to party in the streets is delivered with gusto and enthusiasm that makes the track a winner.

    Tnx to the OP for getting this thread started.
    I think this is a pivotal album in VH career, because it showed musically the divides between Roth and Ed, the manipulations and the burn out, yet still in all the album and tour made VH an even bigger act and stars in the US.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  9. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Richmond, Virginia
    -dancing in the streets- well they rearrange this one a lot. make it their own. not a fan of it though. heard better covers of it
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  10. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Lol I just can't keep up with these VH threads!
  11. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Anyways...So as I got older I sort of stopped thinking of Diver Down as a "proper" album and more of a "odds and ends" type of album. A very eclectic mix of covers, Eddie experiments, goofy old timey songs, ballads and a few killer originals. In that context I find the album quite enjoyable, if not more than the album that follows...:hide:
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  12. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Count me in as loving Cathedral/Secrets. Very melodic with some great clean guitar work from Eddie (awesome solo too).
  13. Zoot Marimba

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

    I also like this one more than 1984
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  14. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Well now I feel a little better lol...
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  15. dee

    dee Forum Resident

    ft. lauderdale, fl
    At this point in the album, VH has begun to take over The History of Popular Music ;):) and make it their own :) and it's not over yet! The Kinks, Roy Orbison, Martha and the Vandellas, from one kind of genre to another and to another. Is the best still yet to come? Maybe. Diver down!
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  16. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    The ATX
  17. Rosskolnikov

    Rosskolnikov Designated Cloud Yeller

    I like the little synth bit that Ed was working up for his own tune and eventually got used on Dancing In the Street. But (like You're No Good), I just don't like the song very much - any version. This is the weakest track on the record, although I don't love The Full Bug either. It's a shame that Little Guitars didn't get a bigger push instead. I think that was one of the great "should have been" hits for Van Halen. And it's a well-liked tune from them. But it wasn't a hit.
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  18. Zoot Marimba

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

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  19. Grant

    Grant A 60s, 70s & 90s Lovin' Musical Free-Spirit

    The song isn't stupid if you know the Martha & The Vandellas Motown original, and the reason behind the lyrics.

    But, I can't stand VH's version. It sounds like a bad attempt at disco about four years too late.
  20. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Expat in Helsinki
    And me
  21. superstar19

    superstar19 Senior Member

    Canton, MI, USA
    The Grateful Dead beat them to the bad attempt at a disco Dancing In The Streets cover by about 5 years. :D

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  22. Zoot Marimba

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

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  23. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Forum Resident

    Captiva Island, FL

    I have

    And it's still just not a song I like at all...
  24. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    Dancing in the Street-I think I like and appreciate this one more now than I did then. I don't love it but it a nice version of the song and they totally make it their own. Lot's of fun and great summer song.
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  25. Oliver

    Oliver Forum Resident

    This is so frickin' bad It's almost kind of good....(thought it really isn't)

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