Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Can't Stop Lovin' Van Halen...

Hmm.. now Obama is officially the 44th President of United State of America. While watching his inaugural “We Are One” concert, by artists like Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, U2, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonders, etc.. I suddenly recalled the controversial issue by some artists regarding the use of their songs during the presidential campaign. One of the artists is Van Halen. They’ve requested to stop using “Right Now” for Mc Cain’s presidential campaign.

Van Halen's CD

Van Halen is always an interesting band. Either for Eddie’s superb finger work or making headline on their feud between Eddie & Sammy, Eddie & Roth, Eddie & Cherone and Eddie's in rehab. 

Van Halen never had a tour in South East Asia. Japan & Australia are the farthest they have gone. Speaking of Japan, the country is known to music lovers as a place to find a limited edition collectibles. While we were there, I spoilt myself browsing their rare collection including Van Halen “Balance” cd…
Why this album is so special that I eagerly wanted to share with Van Halen fans?

  1. The cover album is different from the US release.
  2. Extra bonus track - Crossing Over. 
  3. Last album with lead singer Sammy Hagar. 
  4. Always a fan, no matter if it's Roth or Hagar. Cherone? He’s a good singer but not for Van Halen. He’s the man of funk & soul.
  5. Luckily it’s still available at some music store in Japan. (Balance was released in 1995). Thanks to my wife for passionately waiting for me as I was browsing thru the whole store in Japan.. muahh!

The album has a mix reviews from the fans and music critics. For me, it might not be as classic as “Van Halen”, “1984” or “5150” (my favourite) but it still a great album. Considered it’s been released in the era of grunge where everyone dig the sound of bands like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. 

Eddie’s guitar work is heavier, crunchier and basically dominates the whole album. What can I say, it’s his band after all. Listen to “Seventh Seal”,“Amsterdam” and “Big Fat Money”, you can hear to his hardwork to create a new sound for Van Halen. “Baluchitherium” is one of 3 instrumental tracks on this album. (and the best too...)

The best track of all is “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”. It’s such a guilty pleasure… Oh! Sammy, what a miss!!!

HRC Nagoya
*Sammy Hagar just released a new album “Universal Cosmic Fashion”.
Picture of Sammy memorabilia I took at Hard Rock Café Nagoya.

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