Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Van Halen - their best album: 5150

Van Halen - my favorite album.  5150 is also their best work.  The debate will rage on, David Lee Roth  or Sammy, but I look at the Van Halen canon in its entirety, and pound (cake) for pound, I think this was their musical peak.  I also really enjoy For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.  5150 is both brash and melodic at the same time.  I read Sammy's autobiography over the summer and he pretty much ended up hating not only his time with VH, but also the brothers themselves.  But that's his side of the story.  I think this wa/is a case of them needing him more than he needed them.  Back to Fifty One Fifty, it is their 7th studio record, released in 1986 on Warner Bros.  Foreigner's Mick Jones was brought in to Produce it.  It was their first of 4 records with Sammy Hagar.  It was named after Eddie Van Halen's home studio, 5150, which is a California police term for a mentally disturbed person.  The 5150 name has been used several times by Van Halen.  It is the name of a custom red and white Frankenstein-striped Kramer Pacer Special electric guitar used by Eddie Van Halen throughout the '80s, and the model name of a signature guitar amplifier endorsed by Eddie for his own EVH brand.  The album shipped numero uno on Billboard - something no previous VH album had, but it's the collection of songs that make this a great album.

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