Van Halen
Fair Warning


4.0
excellent

Review

by mav69 USER (2 Reviews)
August 26th, 2011 | 16 replies | 3,345 views


Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A "darker" and different Van Halen album but one of their greatest albums and a ridiculously underrated album

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Fair Warning- Van Halen

Van Halen was:
David Lee Roth- Vocals
Edward Van Halen- Guitar
Michael Anthony- Bass
Alex Van Halen- Drums

Fair Warning was Van Halen’s fourth studio album which was released 30 years ago in 1981. From the albums released by Van Halen, this is the second worst selling album as it has sold 2 million copies to date. Fair Warning caused a lot of inner problems in Van Halen. David Lee Roth and Edward Van Halen expected different things from Fair Warning. Roth wanted to make Fair Warning more mainstream while Eddie wanted to make it more focused on rock and hard rock elements. This and the added pressure from Warner Bros. music label to release a record every year and world while touring while recording an album caused Fair Warning to be a ‘dark’ album. Fair Warning is a short as it only has half an hour worth of content. Fair Warning contains 9 tracks with one of them being an instrumental. Here’s a track by track review:

1. Mean Street From all the Roth era albums, this has to be the best opener from his 6 albums with Van Halen. Classic song and it starts off with a great tapping solo by Eddie. After the solo a nice riff is played as the drums and bass enter. Roth starts singing “At night I walk past this stinkin’ street, past the crazies on my block.’ Roth sings very well on this track, none of his screams and the harmonies from Michael and Eddie make the song even better. This song should be on every Van Halen best of collection…. Rating: 5/5

2. Dirty Movies Great start to this song with a catchy drum beat from Alex Van Halen. The bass is audible in this song and you can hear the drums and bass in sync. Eddie’s performance on this song is average and the solo is not one of his greatest moments. Roth’s vocals are hilarious in this song as he does some funny yells on phrases like ‘ Lights camera ACTION, TAKE IT OFF and oh wow. Van Halen finds a way to make this song interesting. Some may call it filler but I say it’s an average track. Rating: 3.5/5

3. Sinner’s Swing! Great rock n’ roll riff from Eddie on this track. Alex has some great sounding fills and rolls in this track that make the track even better. Roth’s singing is great in this song but I really like the harmonies in this song. The harmonies are memorable. Once again there is a great solo from Eddie midway through this song and it ranks up there from the solos on this album. All in all, a very underrated song. Rating: 4.5/5

4. Hear about it Later My favorite from the album. The intro is so calming and beautiful. The rest of the band joins in after the solo and Roth starts to sing. I like how Roth sings in this track. The way he sings fits the mood of the song and the topic. Amazing guitar playing at the end of the verses and the solo is amazing as usual. There is one annoying thing about the solo though. Roth is playing a cowbell and it gets annoying sometimes. It’s just a minor annoyance though. Rating: 5/5

5. Unchained Arguably the most well known track from the Fair Warning album. I still hear this song being played at sports venues in 2011. Eddie starts the song with a heavy and recognizable riff. Once again there are great harmonies in this song. Eddie has a brief solo that then leads into Roth randomness. Roth starts having a conversation as the riff changes. “ Woo hoo take a look at this. Hey man that suit is you. You’ll get some leg tonight for sure. Tell us how you do. Afterwards the random guy responds and says “Come on Dave give me a brake.” Dave ends this random section by singing one break coming up!!!!. The song ends with the chorus being repeated several times. One negative about this song has to be the amount of times the chorus is repeated. Rating: 5/5

6. Push Comes to Shove This song demonstrates how this Van Halen album is different from the others. Michael Anthony gets some spotlight as the song starts with this funky bass riff. This song reminds me of Little Dreamer from the first Van Halen album. Both songs are serious and there is no joking in these songs. Dave’s best vocal performance on this album is on this track. He sings with a lot of emotion and seriousness on this track. Eddie also has a solo midway through that fits the mood of this song well. This song is underrated and it’s one of the better songs from the album. Rating 5/5

7. So This Love? This song starts like the previous song with Anthony having some spotlight in the intro. Dave has another good performance in this song and the harmonies are great. The greatest part of this song has to be Eddie’s solos. Two solos by Eddie in this song and they show his incredible abilities on guitar. This song is fun to listen to. Rating: 5/5

8. Sunday Afternoon in the Park An instrumental and filler. A youtube comment sums up this song best: “..they shortened the name "Sunday Afternoon In The Park" from "Sunday Afternoon In The Park After A Week Long Acid Trip” Rating 1/5

9. One Foot out the Door A short conclusion for the Fair Warning album. This isn’t the worst outro to a Van Halen album (cough cough* Happy Trails) but it seems like filler to me. The songs seems forced and there are annoying synths in the background. Eddie saves the day with his ridiculous solo to end the album and a good way to finish off this album. Rating: 3/5

Closing Words

This album is very underrated and I don’t understand why. Quite a few hidden gems in this album. This is one of Van Halen’s better albums. The last two tracks stop it from being a 5.0. It's still an excellent album though and if you don't have it then you should get it.

Songs Rated
1. Hear about it later
2. Mean Street
3. Push Comes to Shove
4. So this is love?
5.Unchained
6. Sinner’s swing
7. Dirty Movies
8. One Foot Out The Door
9. Sunday Afternoon In The Park


user ratings (327)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Daniel Dias (4)
C'mon, Dave! Give me a break!...

John Cruz (2)
...

acdc for ever (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
mav69
August 26th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Second review. This is my seventh or so version of my review because I had to restart so many times due to the submission not working. Anyways comments, what to add/remove from review etc.. are appreciated

mav69
August 26th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No comments anyone?

Exodus287
August 26th 2011



43 Comments


Great review man. I love this album, just recently bought this on vinyl and can't stop playing it. Without a doubt this is underrated. Was excited to see them at soundwave revolution but that's cancelled now. Great review.

mav69
August 26th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the comment. Despite soundwave revolution being cancelled, Van Halen has a good shot at coming to Australia in 2012.http://www.vhnd.com/2011/08/17/van-halen-to-tour-australia-early-2012/

Hopefully Van Halen will release this "album of theirs' this year. Can't wait to hear some new material with Dave back. Too bad I wasn't around in their great days.

mav69
August 27th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Some input from other will be nice.. Expect more reviews of dlr era van halen and a possible best of volume 1 or possibly ou812 review

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
August 27th 2011



20380 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album. Pretty good review although I'm not really a fan of track-by-track reviews.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2011



6005 Comments


In your following reviews, try to describe the album as a whole.

These reviews are much easier to read than the tbt ones.

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sublimefan1991
August 27th 2011



754 Comments


in the first paragraph alone, you say album 11 times. "This and things like doing an ALBUM every year and touring while doing an ALBUM caused this ALBUM to be a ‘dark’ ALBUM." seriously? this, coupled with the fact that van halen is one of the most obnoxiously horrible bands of all time, makes me hate this review. not to be a dick, but there's some major flaws with your writing, man. keep working at it, though.

mav69
August 27th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for pointing that out. I'll replace the word ALBUM with FAIR WARNING

mav69
August 27th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There finished editing the amount of times ALBUM showed up. Anyone else like this album? There are very little votes for this album on this site. It's like in the 100 range. Won't you tell me where have all the halen fans gone?

sublimefan1991
August 27th 2011



754 Comments


it sounds just as bad. the point is to not be so repetitive and vary the vocab. how about, "This, coupled with the band making a record every year and touring steadily, caused this album to be a relatively dark release."

mav69
August 29th 2011



28 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the helpful comments sublimefan1991. Edited. Anyone have any comments or input?

sublimefan1991
August 30th 2011



754 Comments


yea it def sounds better, and, like i said, keep working on it. you can really only go up (not as an insult to your review, just saying, you'll get better in time). also, i'm an english major haha so i'm most def a grammar nazi.

maxpower
April 6th 2012



3 Comments


uh....ok.

Let me start by saying I agree with a lot of what you have to say about this album. It is darker than most Van Halen. It is greatly under-appreciated. It is pleasing on a sonic level as well as an intellectual one. It is probably Halen's 3rd best release after the first album and II. So I don't have an issue with anything you say or attempt to say. I just have a problem with how you say it.

I'm not some dick looking to troll you for sucking at writing, but since you ask for input several times in the above comments I figure I can maybe help you out a little.

Let's take a look at your very first sentence: "Fair Warning was Van Halen’s fourth studio album which was released 30 years ago in 1981."
Right off the bat you use at least 4 or 5 words too many. You also assume that the reader is too stupid to subtract 30 years from the year in which your review was written. I understand that 30 years prior to 2011 was 1981. You should either say "released 30 years ago." or "released in 1981." , but not both. You also can tighten the sentence up by omitting the "was" and "which".

Here is a cleaner version of your first sentence:

"Fair Warning, Van Halen's fourth studio album, was released 30 years ago."

It says the same thing, but makes it seem like English might be your first language. But what do I know? I'm stoned and for some reason giving some tool an English lesson while I listen to old Van Halen and have ME3 paused. Who pauses an awesome game to critique douchy reviews of thirty year old Halen albums released in 1981 on a Friday night? This fucking guy.


Zeppelin14
January 18th 2013



38 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good album. you gonna write any new reviews soon?

johnnydeking29
January 18th 2013



9012 Comments


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