At first listen, Van Halen II
doesnít seem to meet the expectations of following up their self-titled debut. However, listening once more, the 1979 release begins to sound more like the album it was built up to be.
The vocals are as skilful as ever, and the guitar work is everything you could hope for from the highly imitated Eddie Van Halen. Bass player Michael Anthony even has a few moments in the sun, introducing DOA
and drummer Alex Van Halen performs well with great technical skill and carrying a number of tracks such as the single Dance the Night Away
Van Halenís first release was superior to the proceeding album in the sense that the musicianship is less dedicated at some points and many tracks can seem primarily like fillers. It takes a while to become as captivated with this almost new direction as it is with Iím the One
, or even later released tracks such as Hot for Teacher
, but musicians themselves will be more than impressed with Spanish Fly
and the hooks within this almost forgotten album will soon dig deep in you. These are 10 tracks lined up, deserving both the time to listen and the time to become attached.
The opener sees a somewhat slow start with a cover of Clint Ballard Jrís Youíre No Good
, followed by Dance the Night Away
. This single plays at a lively pace, with adroit instrumentals and a great hook.
Somebody Get a Doctor
has an almost lacklustre feel to it at first, but as I mentioned before, it begins to grow on you with itís catchy chorus and strong drumming, combined with brash, yet subtle guitar parts.
The next 3 tracks all seem to feature that charming acquired taste, with Bottoms Up!
presenting the most energy and Outta Love Again
featuring some true vocal talent, especially during the interlude.
is 58 seconds of Eddie Van Halen playing a Spanish guitar swiftly and fluidly, with a very ostentatious feel.
It feels as though Van Halen II
truly begins with DOA
, a memorable story of a child brought up in the streets, striving for no more than survival. Women in LoveÖ
is a comparatively slow track, yet before long, it befalls into a personal favourite from the album. To end Van Halenís second LP, Beautiful Girls
starts with a slightly bluesy feel and turns into an toned down feel of any classic Van Halen song. Not only a track to emphasize the band, but a song to emphasize the skill of the band (if enough wasnít said in their previous album).
If you come across this album for a more than reasonable price, you would be wise to get a hold of it. It may not be the most exciting release from the band and perhaps not even an excellent album, but a more than great set of underrated songs from the boys that came, saw, conquered and even messed up a few times.
: Somebody Get Me a Doctor
, Spanish Fly
, Beautiful Girls