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Van Halen II

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  • After the astonishing success of their groundbreaking debut, Van Halen refused to rest on their laurels and quickly followed it up in 1979 with the release of VAN HALEN II. Although the first album is truly a landmark achievement in the hard rock/heavy metal genre, VHII is an even better record. The band has never sounded tighter. David Lee Roth’s unique and raucous vocals still proves he can scream with the best of them; drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony are still one of the finest rhythm sections in rock; and Eddie Van Halen’s rapid-fire solos and innovative guitar work sound even more groundbreaking than ever before.Michael Anthony’s awesome bass riff kicks off the album’s opener, a bluesy cover of Linda Rondstadt’s “You’re No Good,” which is quickly followed by the band’s first Top 20 hit, the melodic “Dance the Night Away.” The one-minute instrumental “Spanish Fly” shows that Eddie Van Halen can rock just as hard on acoustic guitar, while “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” and “Outta Love Again” showcase the band’s blues influences. “D.O.A.” (which stands for “Dead or Alive”) is one of the band’s best songs, a head-banging heavy metal rocker which features some of the best tough-guy-on-the-street lyrics ever written.Pretty much every song on this sophomore LP is great, no filler just like the first album. The musicianship is top-notch, DLR’s showmanship is incredible, and the production by Ted Templeman makes sure every guitar note hits the speakers as expected (loudly). VAN HALEN II is a classic hard rock record.NOTE: Check out Alex Van Halen’s drum solo in the middle of track #6 “Light Up the Sky.” It’s something to behold.

    Posted on November 22, 2009