I’m Taking Whiskey To The Party Tonight….

Cover of "Women & Children First"
Cover of Women & Children First

…and I’m looking for somebody to squeeze!

DAMN!   So I’m a BIG Van Halen fan – mainly of the David Lee Roth era (and am a huge fan of DLR’s solo music and hell, frankly, of the man himself) and have or had their entire catalogue thru the years, on vinyl, cassette and CD.  So I was surprised recently to realize that I didn’t  own the WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST album. I mean, I’m pretty sure I had a vinyl copy, but…

So tonight, I picked up a used copy.  A few years back Warner Brothers records re-released the entire catalogue on CD, remixed and remastered.

Wow.  Make that, WOW! 

First, they sound amazing…there’s licks I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. WB did an amazing job.  They sound fucking GREAT!

Even passing VH fans know the first two songs on the album, “AND THE CRADLE WILL ROCK” and “EVERYBODY WANTS SOME.” There’s some SERIOUS horsepower to those songs, and they sound as amazing now as they did back then. Back then…remember?  There was NOTHING like those songs on the radio then (the first VH album stuck the flagpole in the ground with “Eruption” which was nothing like anyone had heard before).

But go a little deeper on the album.  I forgot how seriously fun and sly “IN A SIMPLE RHYME” was – and still is. “ROMEO DELIGHT” and “TORA! TORA!” are all sex and swagger. And then there’s “FOOLS” – that opening, with Eddie noodling and Dave caterwauling….and that epic opening that follows – crashing like it was the freaking ending to a song. A little more soloing and that swaggering riff…here comes Michael Anthony and Alex…and Dave with a deep, guttural “YEAH”…seriously, classic VH had a SWING to them. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE between what Van Halen did with Dave, vs. their later musical output with Sammy Hagar: the songs had a swing AND a punch – hell, you can dance to Dave-era VH tunes. Can anyone say the same about VH with Sammy?

A reminder too, that you simply can’t play THIS any way but LOUD. Or, for that matter, THIS.

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