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Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1

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  • A pretty good greatest hits compilation. Read on for my review of this:

    Pros:

    Except for the live album “Live: Right Here, Right Now” and “Fair Warning” (1983) this album contains material from all of Van Halen’s studio albums from 1978 up until 1995: their self-titled 1978 debut album, their self-titled 1979 sophomore album, “Women and Children First” (1980), “Diver Down” (1981), “1984″ (no need to say what year this album was released, but I will say that this was Van Halen’s last album with David Lee Roth), “5150″ (1986, their first album with Sammy Hagar), “OU812″ (1988), “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” (1991), and “Balance” (1995, their last album with Sammy Hagar). What this all means is that this greatest hits CD will not only serve good for all Van Halen fans, but also for someone who is either new to Van Halen or is on a tight budget and can’t afford the individual albums.

    Before Sammy Hagar left Van Halen in 1996, he wrote one more song with Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and Michael Anthony. That song was “Humans Being”, which was written and recorded for the hit film “Twister”, and also appeared in the movie and the soundtrack for the film. That song is to be found on this album, so any die hard VH fans who hear about the song won’t have to locate a copy of the soundtrack or buy/rent the movie itself and then be sitting through half of the movie, thinking “When will that Van Halen song appear”?

    1996 also happened to be the year Van Halen did a one time reunion with David Lee Roth, writing and recording the songs “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” and “Me Wise Magic”. Those songs have also been included on this album, which makes this album not only a Van Halen collector’s item, but also somewhat of a VH souvenir.

    While a good amount of recognition is given to both David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar on this album, more recognition is given to Roth, considering the fact that this album has ten Roth songs and eight Hagar songs. Some Hagar fans might not be too crazy about this, but it makes up for the fact that Van Halen has never released any songs that were recorded live with Roth and that there were only three Roth videos on Van Halen’s “Video Hits Volume One” DVD.

    Cons:

    While this album has several Van Halen hits, such as “Runnin’ With The Devil”, “Dance The Night Away”,”When It’s Love”, “Right Now”, etc,it is also missing several hits from both the Roth and Hagar years, such as “Hot For Teacher”, “I’ll Wait”, “Finish What Ya Started”, “The Best of Both Worlds”, among others.

    I’m sorry I forgot to mention this already, but there are too many VH/Sammy Hagar love songs on here! Sure, Van Halen had some great ballads when they had Sammy Hagar, but there are too many of them on here, and counting “Right Now” as not a love song but a ballad, the only VH/Red Rocker tunes on here that are not ballads/love songs are “Poundcake” and “Humans Being”.

    Overall:

    Overall this album has some great Van Halen music on it,but I recommend shelling your cash out and either getting Van Halen’s Roth/Hagar era albums seperately and/or getting the Van Halen anthology album “The Best of Both Worlds”. This compilation is just too uneven–if you can’t get the rare Hagar track and the rare Roth tracks that I mentioned and don’t have access to downloading them,then buy this CD,but otherwise,this compilation is just too uneven to be worth both the time and the money.

    Posted on December 13, 2009