Van Halen IIby Van Halen
It's called Van Halen II not just because it's the band's second album but because it's virtually a carbon copy of their 1978 debut, right down to how the band showcases their prowess via covers and how Eddie Van Halen gets a brief, shining moment to showcase his guitar genius. This time, he does his thing on acoustic guitars on the remarkable "Spanish Fly," but that temporary shift from electrics to acoustics is the only true notable difference in attack here; in every other way, Van Halen II feels like its predecessor, even if there are subtle differences. First, there's only one cover this time around -- Betty Everett's "You're No Good," surely learned from Linda Ronstadt -- and this feels both heavier and lighter than the debut. Heavier in that this sounds big and powerful, driven by mastodon riffs that aim straight of the gut. Lighter in that there's a nimbleness to the attack, in that there are pop hooks to the best songs, in that the group sounds emboldened by their success so they're swaggering with a confidence that's alluring. If the classic ratio is slightly lighter than on the debut, there are no bad songs and the best moments here -- two bona fide party anthems in "Dance the Night Away" and "Beautiful Girls," songs that embody everything the band was about -- are lighter, funnier than anything on the debut, showcases for both Diamond Dave's knowing shuck and jive and Eddie's phenomenal gift, so natural it seems to just flow out of him. At this point, it's hard not to marvel at these two frontmen, and hard not to be sucked into the vortex of some of the grandest hard rock ever made.
- Release Date:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Performance CreditsVan Halen Primary Artist
David Lee Roth Vocals
Eddie Van Halen Guitar
Alex Van Halen Drums
Michael Anthony Bass Guitar
Technical CreditsDonn Landee Engineer
Ted Templeman Producer
Patrick Whitley Stage Manager
Corey Bailey Engineer
Dave Bhang Artwork,Art Direction
Jim Fitzpatrick Engineer
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This album is a add on to the first, but it has its differances. On there first album they didnt do anything like dance the night away. Eddie still rocks, although on this joint he dosnt show off his skill quit as much. It may not be as good as the first album, but it still rocks the night away.
Not as good as their first, thats why i only gave it four stars. Eddy Van Halen is the man and my fave song on it is Beautiful Girls
Really, how can one follow up such an astounding debut as Van Halen's first album? Literally anything the band could have done would have been found lacking in the light of that record. So, the band chose the wise course and plowed ahead, dealing out their particular brand of high-energy metal licks and vocal exuberance. As on the first record, Eddie Van Halen's playing is absolutely pyrotechnic, giving proof positive that, at the time, he was simply light years ahead of his nearest competitors. As for David Lee Roth, well...you either loved him or wanted him to shut up. I'm of the former stripe, and his contribution to any of the VH records he participated in should never be underestimated. There are some radio evergreens here, like "Beautiful Girls", "Dance the Night Away" and "Somebody Get Me a Doctor". What is still a distracting annoyance is Ted Templeman's production style. In aiming to replicate the band's onstage sound, he kept the guitar panned over to one side, the bass to the other, and mixed the drums and vocals down the center. It doesn't make for pleasant listening sometimes, especially on headphones, but I suppose it's better than having someone go in and remix the albums, potentially ruining their impact. As far as party albums go, you really can't go wrong with this one. Even after thirty years it still makes one want to grab a beer, a smoke and a girl.