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  1. #21
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    ahh man.. Must of been amazing to preview and anticipate FW coming out. I was just getting into VH late 1981 and I had similar obsession like you describe, waiting for the next album. Wish I could say it was FW ;-)

    HAIL is def a crazy crazy good song. The vocals, melodies, riffs, groove and everything you describe.
    The nuances of Dave's lines like you mention are brilliant. Part of me imagines that recording that shit was probably very fluid and not labored over all that much (although we know FW was longer and more complex album to record vs the others). Well at least Dave's parts, I imagine he went in, did his takes and greatness just came out as it would any great artist.

    We might all have to crank FW today....!

  2. #22
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    Hehe, those were the days. I recall being at my friends when Mean Street came on the radio, without any lead in by the DJ. I knew immediately it was VH, of course. Needless to say it was amazing!! And I was instantly wondering, "how the hell is he doing that intro"?!! Unchained and So This is Love started getting some play shortly after. I had the record the week it was released. It quickly became the most played record in my collection...ever!! By 1984 I had wore it out and had to buy another.

    What sucked was as soon as the newness wore off they never played those songs on the radio anymore. I didn't hear Mean Street or HAIL again till twenty years later. Even Unchained, it took fifteen years before it became a radio staple. Ridunkulous!

  3. #23
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    I got my first VH album in 1980, WACF, the "new" album.

    "Cradle" was getting heavy airplay at the time, and i thought it was the heaviest, meanest
    thing i'd ever heard!
    I was a young KISS fan around that time, but this was beyond next level.

    Like a month later, i aquired VHII from my sister in law's sister, brand new!
    I had liked WACF, but i hadn't fully "got it" right away.
    However, VHII INSTANTLY clicked with me.
    I think the songs were a bit shorter, hookier & to the point, so i could wrap my
    kid brain around them.

    But VHII became my all time favorite album the first day i played it.
    I still remember hearing things like "Light up the sky" and "Bottom's up!" for the very
    first time.
    I was blown away.

    So by 1981, i was soooooooo ready for the NEXT VH album.
    I was obsessed pretty quickly.

    I remember going to the record store & scanning the "new release" bin, right as you
    walk in.
    I could not find it!

    But it was there, right front & center!

    It was brown and not too flashy or colorful, there wasn't even the VH logo which i was
    scanning for.
    It blended in, but it was there and i bought that fucker, there & then.

  4. #24
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    ^^ good times... I was about a year behind you!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    I got my first VH album in 1980, WACF, the "new" album.

    "Cradle" was getting heavy airplay at the time, and i thought it was the heaviest, meanest
    thing i'd ever heard!
    I was a young KISS fan around that time, but this was beyond next level.

    Like a month later, i aquired VHII from my sister in law's sister, brand new!
    I had liked WACF, but i hadn't fully "got it" right away.
    However, VHII INSTANTLY clicked with me.
    I think the songs were a bit shorter, hookier & to the point, so i could wrap my
    kid brain around them.

    But VHII became my all time favorite album the first day i played it.
    I still remember hearing things like "Light up the sky" and "Bottom's up!" for the very
    first time.
    I was blown away.

    So by 1981, i was soooooooo ready for the NEXT VH album.
    I was obsessed pretty quickly.

    I remember going to the record store & scanning the "new release" bin, right as you
    walk in.
    I could not find it!

    But it was there, right front & center!

    It was brown and not too flashy or colorful, there wasn't even the VH logo which i was
    scanning for.
    It blended in, but it was there and i bought that fucker, there & then.
    Same for me UG. I listened too VHII all '79. When WACF came out, it was like a 180 compared to VHII. Gone was the sunny beach and in came a "brown sound" storm. It sounded so different from the first two, and VHII, that had been fresh in my mind. Like you said, longer, more complex songs and a heavier sound. Compared to the sunny, bright vibe of II, WACF had a heavy sound, and it seemed like they tuned down another half step. Dave's voice seemed lower and Ed sounded more mean/bad ass. It took me most of 1980 to fully grasp it. I loved the songs right away, the sound of the record just caught me off guard, so to speak. By the end of the year it was like crack for me. By early '81 I was saying, "what the hell was I thinking, this sound rules"!

    It's the only time a six pack record ever did that too me. It's funny, cuz for most people it was Fair Warning they didn't get right away. Judging by the sales, back then, I don't think they ever got it. I guess cuz it didn't have a top forty, like Cradle, people didn't give it a chance. I was the complete opposite. The brown sound was starting to become addictive too me and Fair Warning just took it to another level.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrideofPasadena View Post
    Same for me UG. I listened too VHII all '79. When WACF came out, it was like a 180 compared to VHII. Gone was the sunny beach and in came a "brown sound" storm. It sounded so different from the first two, and VHII, that had been fresh in my mind. Like you said, longer, more complex songs and a heavier sound. Compared to the sunny, bright vibe of II, WACF had a heavy sound, and it seemed like they tuned down another half step. Dave's voice seemed lower and Ed sounded more mean/bad ass. It took me most of 1980 to fully grasp it. I loved the songs right away, the sound of the record just caught me off guard, so to speak. By the end of the year it was like crack for me. By early '81 I was saying, "what the hell was I thinking, this sound rules"!

    It's the only time a six pack record ever did that too me. It's funny, cuz for most people it was Fair Warning they didn't get right away. Judging by the sales, back then, I don't think they ever got it. I guess cuz it didn't have a top forty, like Cradle, people didn't give it a chance. I was the complete opposite. The brown sound was starting to become addictive too me and Fair Warning just took it to another level.
    It's funny, i remember being a little kid in 79, before i knew what VH was, and hearing
    "Dance the night away" on the radio.
    I remember thinking, "This is so gay sounding, i don't like this..."
    But it was Michael Anthony's high register vocals in the chorus, that turned me off.

    When i finally got VHII, after WACF, like a year later, i remember LOVING DTNA.
    I distinctly remember thinking, "I remember this song, why did i not like this then?
    This is great!"

    I thought II was fantastic, every damn song was awesome.
    It was sunny, but the guitars sounded so mean & beefy.
    I had been listening to Kiss & Ted Nugent, maybe some Aerosmith, by that point.
    I had never heard a guitar sound like THAT!
    It was like a jet plane.

    WACF has to be my favorite tone & album, though.
    In 1980, i listened to the album and liked "Cradle" and "Whiskey" a lot.
    I also liked "Simple Rhyme."

    But i didn't understand things like "Fools" and "Romeo" and "Loss", until
    around 1981 or so.

    By the time i was 13, though, WACF became my bible.
    I loved it so deeply, i kept re-buying it (tape, vinyl, dual-cassette, vinyl again, CD).
    The whole album had to be listened in sequence for me.

  7. #27
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    I always picked up on the nuances on those albums.

    Like the part in "Fools", where the music drops out, you hear Al doing a beat,
    Dave goes "Ahhhh-yeah," and the guitar makes the weird, quivering sound, like
    a shivering note.
    WTF is that?

    It happens right before they go into the descending outro bit, and Dave does the
    great Louis Armstrong thing, where he scats to the riff.

    Eddie just had no limits in my mind, at that time.
    He'd think of a sound & just make it happen on the spot.

    The whole band was ridiculously good, beyond normal 70's rock, which
    came before.

    Dave was absolutely unique and amazing on those records.

  8. #28
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    I think i messed up.

    The quivering/shivering note comes when Al's drums kinda stop & start, and then Dave goes,
    "Ahhhh, ha-ha!"
    Then they go into the main riff, then the descending thing.

    My fave solo, even more than Eruption, was that unaccompanied thing he
    does after the intro to "Fools."

    It's like a burst of notes, insanely fast & fluid, followed by that crazy muted run.
    In 1980, i had never heard any rock guitarist THAT fucking good.

    And his tone was so brown & expressive, i think moreso than "Eruption" (though,
    i might be in the minority on that!)

    It's just darker, which i like.
    Eruption is phenomenal, though!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    I think i messed up.

    The quivering/shivering note comes when Al's drums kinda stop & start, and then Dave goes,
    "Ahhhh, ha-ha!"
    Then they go into the main riff, then the descending thing.

    My fave solo, even more than Eruption, was that unaccompanied thing he
    does after the intro to "Fools."

    It's like a burst of notes, insanely fast & fluid, followed by that crazy muted run.
    In 1980, i had never heard any rock guitarist THAT fucking good.

    And his tone was so brown & expressive, i think moreso than "Eruption" (though,
    i might be in the minority on that!)

    It's just darker, which i like.
    Eruption is phenomenal, though!
    Both Ed an Al's greatest tones were achieved on WACF. Everyone always says FW is the "dark" album, and I would agree regarding the lyrical content, but musically I always felt WACF was VH at their darkest and heaviest.

    Yes, that solo run that Ed does at the intro to Fools was phenomenal. I always wanted to see him play that part live.
    "My favorite position for drumming was always a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. And checking out the women!"-Alex Van Halen

    Proud to be an ADKOT loving, Drum Thread starting CVH "bad apple" to counterpoint pompous, self centered egotism.

    Duct Tape:A Drummer's best friend!

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Drummer View Post
    Both Ed an Al's greatest tones were achieved on WACF. Everyone always says FW is the "dark" album, and I would agree regarding the lyrical content, but musically I always felt WACF was VH at their darkest and heaviest.

    Yes, that solo run that Ed does at the intro to Fools was phenomenal. I always wanted to see him play that part live.
    Yeah, and he does that symetrical ascending shape in F (during the unaccompanied break),
    which is such a weird key in hard rock, yet it fits, because he rips it so fast into another run in
    a different key.
    That fast, ending muted pull off thing, was so insane.
    Ridiculously strong left hand, he's just controlling each note without picking!

    It certainly wasn't your typical Jimmy Page kinda solo.

    Yeah, FW sounds much brighter, sound-wise & funkier in places.

    I think, lyrically, it was darker (Mean street, Sinner's Swing, Dirty Movies).
    There was a seedy vibe to some of it, as opposed to something like VHII.

    But i agree, WACF always felt like the dark/heavy album to me.
    Just the sound of it & delivery.
    And some of those lyrics are so different, like in EWS! Cradle, Whiskey, Fools,
    Loss of control, Romeo...
    There's a real streetwise feel to them, instead of the "beach bum" vibe.

 

 

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