From the Vault...


Van Halen
"Diver Down"

© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1982

track listing
  • Where Have All
    The Good Times Gone
  • Hang 'Em High
  • Cathedral
  • Secrets
  • Intruder
  • (Oh) Pretty Woman
  • Dancing In The Street
  • Little Guitars (Intro)
  • Little Guitars
  • Big Bad Bill
    (Is Sweet
    William Now)
  • The Full Bug
  • Happy Trails

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
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    Van Halen
    "Diver Down"

    Van Halen -- no matter what has been said between the feud between the band's original lead singer, David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen -- David Lee Roth proved to be the best lead vocalist for VH, despite being replaced by Sammy Hagar, and then Gary Cherone. We were scratching our heads, when DLR recorded two new songs with VH for their 1996 Greatest Hits release, leaving their fans to believe that DLR would become a permanent member again. A second Greatest Hits/Best Of emerged, with 3 new songs with Sammy Hagar. Van Halen took a hiatus, and by 2006, the "shock" became a reality when DLR would return to the band, and now, we anxiously await any new material from the original band members. Oh, I should note, if and when this does happen, the original bass player, Michael Anthony, will not be present, as he was replaced by Eddie's son, Wolfgang. (The story behind the replacement, Anthony went with Sammy Hagar's band, and apparently Eddie kicked him out of the band for doing so.)

    VH's 1982 release, Diver Down is best remembered for the cover songs, most importantly, Roy Orbison's "(Oh) Pretty Woman." Roy's classic song is classic enough; it was just amazing how his version (plus the opening guitar instrumental "Intruder") became one of the best cover tunes in Rock history; it is still favored and enjoyed by many. The Motown classic "Dancing In The Street" is also a great cover, yet the Orbison tune still gets the more popular vote, from the two. The Kinks' "where Have All The Good Times Gone" is a good cover, but (arguably to some) not as good-to-great as the original.

    As for the original songs, "Hang 'Em High" has the distinctive guitar works of Eddie Van Halen, likewise the distinctive drumming of brother Alex Van Halen. It could also pass as a possible "speed metal" song; fast and furious. The short instrumental "Cathedral" sounds a bit odd, from VH's sound from previous albums. David Lee Roth's vocals shines on "Secrets"; probably considered one of the band's underrated songs. The opening guitar solo of "Little Guitars" proves to be one of Eddie's best solos, as it could easily be used as an opening music lead-in to a talk radio show. "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" has a more comedical sound as you listen to DLR's vocals. "The Full Bug" returns the band in its traditional hard rock glory. The last track, the classic Roy Rogers/Dale Evans "Happy Trails" is also comedical; an odd way to end the album, but you have to admit, the boys probably had a fun time recording this song, accapella style.

    Diver Down has been known as an album rated less than their previous classic albums. Their biggest album would be two years later, with 1984, then DLR's departure, and then the band's success with Sammy Hagar. Diver Down has its moments, most memorable were the song covers, yet the originals were good also, "Intruder" and "Little Guitars" are the standouts.

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    Previous Review: #1183
    The Brian Setzer Orchestra--Wolfgang's Big Night Out
    Next Review: #1185
    Carl Smith--The Essential Carl Smith 1950-1956