Here at Music or Space Shuttle? we feel like we should be asking the tough, hard-hitting questions. This week we continue our series of polls where we force you, the thoughtful reader, to choose between two random artists. You may not always like either selection but you have to pick one.
Van Halen recently released their 12th studio record A Different Kind of Truth. Feel free to reread Chris’ post from a few weeks ago regarding the new album. Or just check out the video for their new song Tattoo below.
A Different Kind of Truth is their first album with David Lee Roth as lead singer since 1984 which was released, oddly enough, in 1984. I have always been amazed me that a band could have such great success with so many changes over the years. Sammy Hagar fronted the band through most of the 80’s and 90’s and to and to tell you the truth I am a lot more familiar with the Van Hagar version of Van Halen than the Roth version of the 70’s and early 80’s.
I am interested to know which version the masses would choose to listen to if forced to pick one. Will you live the rest of your life being “Hot for Teacher”(FYI, The woman who played the teacher in the video turned up in a few articles lately. She just turned 60 and still looks crazy hot) or will you spend eternity loving your baby’s “Poundcake”? Please feel free to justify your choice in the comments section.
Jump. Hot for Teachers. Running with the Devil.
I gotta go with Van Halen, although Van Hagar holds a very special place in my heart — on May 26, 1986, Van Hagar rocked Veterans Memorial Auditorium on the night of my first-ever live rock concert (with those legendary Canadian rockers Bachman-Turner Overdrive as the opening act). I was 12 years old. It was the first tour with Sammy and, since they were distancing themselves for all-things Dave at that particular time, the set that night was the entire “5150” album except for “Good Enough” and “Inside,” a few Sammy songs (“I Can’t Drive 55” was a no-brainer), “You Really Got Me” (it WAS a cover, after all) and “Rock and Roll” (yes, the Zeppelin song … still don’t get that one). They did, however, play “Panama” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love.” Why those two I don’t know.
I still think the “5150” album is stellar, particularly the title track, but the rumor over the years is that these were songs written with Dave in mind; that has never been proven. But for whatever reason, their following material continued to get, well, not as good, even though there were always a few decent songs in the bunch (“Black and Blue,” “When It’s Love,” “Poundcake”). It just made the Diamond Dave material stand out all the more.
I wasn’t gonna get the new album, until I caught the tail end of one of the “new” songs on 107.9 a few days ago, which I immediately recognized as one of the original score pieces Eddie Van Halen contributed to the immortal 1984 party film “The Wild Life.” I caught that movie on cable a couple years ago after not having seen it since I was a kid, and only then did I realize that almost every piece of Eddie’s score would later evolve into a proper VH tune (“Right Now,” “Good Enough” and now this new tune, “Blood and Fire” … the other recognizable piece from the movie would later be recycled by Universal as Marty McFly’s brain-melting music in “Back to the Future.” Do you know how many VH albums I bought looking for that as a kid? Short answer: ALL of them, with no luck). Further research shows that a lot of the new album is comprised of resurrected tunes from their ’70s demo tape and other lost material. For that reason, I’ll be picking it up. I mean, it’s not stolen or cheap if it’s something YOU wrote. Isn’t that what “Tattoo You” was for the Stones?
But back on topic … Van Halen. Dave is in the upper echelon of greatest pure frontman ever, along with Mick, Plant, Ozzy, Morrison, Tyler and Axl.