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The Quarantine Diaries: Album Review #1 - Here we go! Our very first album for review: the often overlooked: Van Halen II. Is it deserved? Let's dive into the follow up to their ground breaking debut.
Completed in just 3 weeks and recorded less than a year after the first album, VH released what is definitely one my favorite VH records: Van Halen II. I am definitely a deep-track guy and sometimes the hits have gotten a little worn out for me over the years. But I love the deep tracks as much as ever. To me, there was absolutely no “sophomore slump” for Van Halen.
You’re No Good: while it was an odd choice as an opener, this is one of my all-time favorite rock-remakes. I mean, who takes a Linda Ronstadt song and makes it rock??? Dave and Ed tear it up…so much so I made one of my 90’s era bands play this because I loved it so much.
Dance the Night Away: probably my least favorite track, but that’s like saying my least favorite cookie at the party. Super great pop-sensibilities on this song…pure and simple.
Somebody Get Me a Doctor: this probably should’ve been the album opener…this is Dave-era VH at its finest. Loud, proud, funny and just plain rocking. The guitar work here is some of my favorite that Ed ever did.
Bottoms Up!: another great drinking song, another great vocal breakdown and tons of fun!
Outta Love Again: to me this is the greatest 3-note guitar solo of all time. I mean seriously, think about it…the king of guitar innovation played probably his most-sparse guitar solo EVER on this track and just works. Plus Dave is out of his mind on this song. Can't you just see Joe doing this song??? Light Up the Sky: this also could’ve been the opener…right from the get-go this song is just 100% energy.
Spanish Fly: a cool instrumental, one of many for Eddie - he never seemed out of new ideas and places to take his playing.
D.O.A.: certainly the darkest song on the record and I feel like was a foreshadowing of what would be more to come on Fair Warning. I’ve never really seen a “Dirty faced kid in a garbage can” but Dave made me think about it.. *continued in comments*