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Eat 'Em and Smile

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  • THE BAND: David Lee Roth (vocals), Steve Vai (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass), Gregg Bissonette (drums & percussion).

    THE DISC: (1986) 10 songs clocking in at just over 31 minutes. Included with the disc is a 6-page booklet containing song titles, credits, players for each song (including guest musicians), and thank you’s. Recorded between The Power Station (NY) and Fantasy Studios (CA). Label – Warner Bros.

    COMMENTS: David Lee Roth has put out several solo albums since leaving Van Halen, but this “Eat ‘Em And Smile” is still his best. His other albums, collectively, are hit and miss (and the hits are scattered). He put out such fantastic stuff with Van Halen, that most of his solo career pales in comparison. “Eat’em And Smile” is short, like most previous VH albums, but it still packs a punch. The sound production is flawless. Diamond Dave had gathered an all-star band with talented Vai, Sheehan and veteran session drummer Gregg Bissonette (having played for Joe Satriani, ELO, Don Henley, Duran Duran, Santana and others). Roth had his best tunes featured on the radio – “Tobacco Road” (though short at 2:27 minutes), “Yankee Rose” and “Goin’ Crazy”. These were all tunes that were radio friendly, yet featured searing riffs and smart and sometimes speedy percussion. Other great songs include the pounding “Shyboy” and “Elephant Gun” (Vai shreds on both), as well as the slowed down “Ladie’s Night in Buffalo”. There are 3 cover tunes here – “I’m Easy”, “Tobacco Road”, and “That’s Life” – the weakest being DLR’s rendition of Frank Sinatra’s trademark “That’s Life”. Five songs from “Eat ‘Em And Smile” made it to DLR’s compilation “The Best” released in 1997. If you’re a fan of DLR and Van Halen, then this album is absolutely essential.

    Posted on March 3, 2010