||From the Vault...
© Warner Bros. Records
Year of Release: 1982
Where Have All
The Good Times Gone
Hang 'Em High
(Oh) Pretty Woman
Dancing In The Street
Little Guitars (Intro)
Big Bad Bill
The Full Bug
Van Halen related sites:
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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