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The Best of Both Worlds

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★★★½☆
(282 Reviews)

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  • Boy, all you folks who bought ‘The Best of Van Halen’ must be steamed! ‘Cause this renders that disc superflous.
    Now my (minor) gripes….
    1). No chronological order! I thought it was gonna be like ZZ Top’s recent 2 disc best of, start at the beginning and go forward. A disc of Dave and then of Sammy woulda been great, but what the hey. I guess this is how VH wanted it…
    BUT… it works against them. The sequencing really plays up how much better a songwriter, singer, and performer Dave was. Nothing against Sammy, but his songs fall into 3 categories 1)I’m horny 2)She’s gonna give me everything tonite 3)Prom themes (“Dreams”, “Right Now”). Whereas Dave wrote stuff like “Jamie’s Crying”, “And the Cradle Will Rock”, “Jump”. The man was versatile. Plus he provides us with one of the greatest moments in rock at the end of “Beautiful Girls”. Mr. Stud gets shot down: “Hey what’s your name?… Hey! Where ya going?!?” BUT, he laughs at himself and shrugs it off (“I love ‘em! I need ‘em!”). And how many hard rockin’ front men are confident enough to pull off something like that?
    Plus I think Dave really challenged the band with his songs; just listen to the diversity of the arrangements (especailly with something like “Ice Cream Man” or “Could This Be Magic”. Yeah, neither one’s on this set, but do you think Sammy could thunk them up?).
    2). Three live tracks?!? Yuck. I’da put in “Ice Cream Man”, “Could This Be Magic” and “Humans Being”. But I guess this is Warner’s way of making us still have to buy the individual albums… or download or something… Sammy’s diatribe during “Panama” is just embarrassing.
    But, all in all, I am very happy with this set. Has (almost) all the VH I want in one convenient package..
    Oh, I sent an e-mail to Ice Magazine about the “Finish What Ya Started” glitch. The are investigating (the got a lotta e-mails about this!).

    Posted on December 31, 2009