Thursday, April 21, 2016

Van Halen Era Changes Were By Eddie's Choosing

Van Halen Needs A Singer.  Period.

David Lee Roth, while loved, has apparently decided to break it off and the band needs to find a solution so they do not fall into obscurity as a band that has (you guess) just broke up.

Sammy Hagar would be a wonderful replacement.  He is a better vocalist and meshes well with the band.  Had the Van Hagar albums been released with different song order and different songs released nobody would have ever said Van Halen became a pop band.  Van Halen always had "pop" components and with Sammy Hagar you had songs like "Dreams" and "Love Walks In" as well as "When It's Love" and "Finish What Ya Started" and "Feels So Good" within the first two albums as staple live songs because they were releases.  For every tune like "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" Van Halen always had a contrary bombastic blasting tune like "The Full Bug" and it did not change with the addition of Sammy Hagar.  "Good Enough", "Summer Nights" and " '5150' " were songs that could have easily been 5150 releases instead of "Why Can't This Be Love", "Dreams" and "Love Walks In" and nobody would have said "Sammy Hagar ruined Van Halen."  Sammy Hagar completely evolved the band.

The "softer side" of Van Halen was always there.  Van Halen I had "Little Dreamer" and "Jamie's Cryin' " as well as "Feel Your Love Tonight" while Van Halen II was much more melodic with "Dance The Night Away" and "Women In Love".  Women And Children First had "Could This Be Magic" and "In A Simple Rhyme".  Fair Warning lives in lore because there is no one shred of anything that could be mistakenly called "fluff".  Thus Fair Warning is the hardest, heaviest, most bad ass Van Halen disc ever.  The you go to Diver Down.  Half of it is hated by Ed.  Maybe for the fluff factor.  "Dancing In The Streets" he never wanted to do, nor have his keyboard used on it as it was designed (a la "Why Can't This Be Love") to be something else.  "Big Bad Bill".... on and on....  1984 was like Fair Warning but people stop and look at the keyboard aspects of the intro, 1984, and "I'll Wait" and seem to forget "Jump" IS Van Halen and it DOES rock and it HAS keyboards.  Everybody loves "Jump" like they love air.  It is the oxymoron of hardcore Van Halen fan's "favorites".  If you don't love "Jump" (especially the instrumental with ZERO vocals) then you aren't red blooded.

It's like SRV.  IF you say you don't like Stevie Ray Vaughn you simply need to hear what's his that you've missed.  Everybody loves SRV.  EVERYBODY loves something by Van Halen.  They can try saying they don't.   Just like wild birds LOVE Eric Johnson "Cliffs of Dover" and it's easily verifiable through primary research.

There is this perception that the Van Halen band changed when the singer would change.  While it appeared as such it was not the cause.  It was just another effect.  The singer changing was the effect of Edward Van Halen's cause, in changing.  The cause of the changes every time Van Halen changed was by Edward Van Halen.  It wasn't Roth that made Van Halen.....   It wasn't Sammy Hagar who changed them.....   It wasn't Gary Cherone who further changed them.....    In the 1980s Eddie was doing music that broke from the standard Van Halen fan's expectation on the side.  Consider who all the side projects involved during the mid 80s.  Remember Michael Jackson, Dweezil Zappa, Scandal and Patty Smyth, Starfleet with Brian May, Allan Holdsworth Jazz Jams.....   I put a lot of this stuff up there on YouTube in fact.

In the mid 90s after Sammy Hagar left the band there was a period of time that Edward again changed the circles of music he ran in and the sound he would put out for the fans.  Just as Gary Cherone never changed Van Halen.....  At that time Edward was working with Rich Wyman and Roger Waters and Thomas Dolby.  These musicians and the songs they were doing sounded like what Van Halen III sounded like.  Was that Gary Cherone's doing?  Maybe, slightly, especially when you consider the Simon and Garfunkel influence ("More Than Words", "Josephina") that you can hear in Gary Cherone's singing.  Still, you have to look at the various parts of the music Edward involved himself in with others.  You have to look at the whole picture to see his directions dictate the band's directions.  

So another singer is needed?  The rumors are David Lee Roth left.  He put out a song saying "I'm quitting......  and I'm quitting....." and put out a video saying "thank you for the two tours."  He has music in the can created with John 5 and is probably itching to get it out there and promote it.

What will Van Halen do?  I say find someone new, a complete unknown.  I say get another one like Arnel Pineda for Journey.  Someone who can sing like David Lee Roth AND sing like Sammy Hagar should be Van Halen's singer.  Secretly I know it should be me....