Here’s My List!
My 8-year-old son makes me listen to only Van Halen and Led Zep in the car (he’s a good kid!), so to keep it interesting I started to pick out some highlights of Dave-era VH albums – and wondered, wouldn’t it be cool to have some of these things on the new VH album. So here they are in album order. Chime in below with what you’d dig.
I’m the One speed
FAST boogie-type riff, almost unbelievably fast. Can Ed still fly at this speed with those 54-year-old muscles and fingers? Even though he kinda struggled with this tune on the last tour, I’m voting yes.
Runnin’- and Ain’t Talkin’-type simple solos
Solos that are simple, memorable, not real fast. Ed’s note choices are so out of the norm that these are real interesting. He’d kind of moved on from this after the first album, be nice to hear some of it again.
Dance the Night Away mass appeal
Everyone knows this song – everyone of a certain age, that is. How about another feel-good, California sunshine, fun, almost-poppy tune like this. Fun to play too.
Outta Love Again drums
SICK drumming. Go Al! Let’s see more of it! (Also one of my favorite guitar solos ever.)
Light Up the Sky tough-to-sing-over tune
Whenever someone tells me Sammy is a better singer than Dave, my response is, “Maybe so, but Dave can sing over anything.” How would you like to come up with melodies to sing over early VH riffs? This is a prime example. So how ’bout a kick-a** riff that most mortals could not sing over?
[Women and Children First note – This isn’t a favorite album for a lot of folks, but it is for me. Just some crazy playing, great variety – sort-of-blues taken to the maximum level.]
Cradle Will Rock simplicity
A relatively simple tune with a great pounding groove.
Loss of Control speed
Wow! The whole band gets an F1 for this.
Take Your Whiskey Home
Can there be a sicker rock-blues tune? Getting chills just thinking about it….
In a Simple Rhyme drums
Another example of Al’s immense riffing musicality, just like his bro. More, Al!
Mean Street intro
I’m not sure if even Ed can top himself here – or even equal it somehow – but it would be super F-ing cool if he could.
Unchained “grab you by the throat” factor
You know what I’m talking about, and yes, Ed does have more of these riffs in him. I should add “Mean Street” and “Sinner’s Swing” in here too.
Here About it Later/So This is Love fun feel
These are major-scale poppy tunes that are just great. One of these on the new album would be…great.
Push Comes to Shove solo
One of the best, craziest, most-tasteful rock guitar solos ever on record. I’m sure Ed has many more in him. C’mon Ed!
Hang ‘Em High “just going for it”
This tune seems to teeter at the edge of what’s possible. I don’t know what to say about the “Hang ‘Em High” riff except no one else would come up with that – though in some ways, that can be said about every riff on every VH album. (Side note: I’d bet money that on this tune and/or “The Full Bug,” Ed was using a different amp or cab, or some kind of pedal.)
Drop Dead Legs groove
Just beautiful. Not a deep groove in the funk or boogie sense, but it’s own thing.
Hot for Teacher drums
Girl Gone Bad/House of Pain bizarreness
Okay, “bizarreness” may not be an actual word, but how else would you describe these two tunes? Eclectic? And yes, once again, Dave has no problem finding a melody to sing over them.
Me Wise Magic
Still one of my favorite VH tunes. Unfortunately can’t be played live because it sounds like they cranked up Dave’s pitch on the recording, but a great song and monument to what could have been…and still may be.
Not needed. Talkin’ to you, Dave!
Since Mike is out of the band – kind of a bummer for us long-time fans – and Wolfie is in, can we assume that this time the bass will actually be heard in the mix?
No Electronic Drums
Like Ed, Al can make anything sound good, but forget the e-drums this time Al please. My son requests that you play maple Ludwigs or Vistalites with either your signature snare or a 6.5×14 Supraphonic snare. (I told you he’s a good kid!)
Man oh man this is a tough one. I think at this point we have to be cool with the fact that Ed is not returning to the old Marshall days – though the 5150 III can almost get there, and his #1 Marshall Super Lead is in for repair right now (see pic with Zakk Wydle holding it at the repair shop). If there has to be a compromise, I’ll again point to his tone in Me Wise Magic as sort of a hybrid between his old, raw, super-Woody tone and his Sammy-era fat, wide tone. Whatever it ends up being, I can’t wait to hear it.
That’s my list. What else you got?