Van Halen
Fair Warning



by acdc for ever USER (2 Reviews)
April 22nd, 2006 | 41 replies

Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

In 1981, coming off their tour for "Women and Children First", Van Halen went into the studio to begin work on a new album. This is one of their most under-rated albums to date, but it still rocks (and you can hear "unchained" at almost every hockey game you go to).

Once again, Van Halen does what they do best, THEY ROCK!!!

1. MEAN STREET: This is, quite possibly, one of VH's finest songs ever. It starts off with some crazy guitar work (what do you expect, it is Eddie Van Halen afterall) which is followed by sort of a bluesy riff, some drums and then evolves into a great song. David Lee Roth out does himself on this track with some amazing singing. Eddie and Micheal Anthony provide some very nice background vocals. This song also has one of the craziest solo's I've ever heard. But that's just me. 5/5

2. "DIRTY MOVIES": A horrible song to follow a classic. This talks about...well, watching dirty movies. Eddie's guitar work is mediocre at best, which is too bad because the song starts off very promising. Even the solo blows (which is rare on any VH track). Eddie even uses his seldom-used slide in some parts. Easily considered a filler track on this album. 2/5

3. SINNER'S SWING!: Now this is more like it! A fast pased song that makes you want to get up and dance. Alex Van Halen's drumming is very good on this particular song. Mike's bass is non-existant during this track except for certain parts, but it gets the job done. Eddies solo is a thing of beauty, but it is a little short. Still a great song though. 4/5

4. HEAR ABOUT IT LATER: Another great track. This one starts off with some strange sounding guitar and then picks up to be a great song. The only down side is how much over dub is used in this song. At one point, you can acutally hear about 4 guitars working at once. Still a strong song, though. 4/5

5. UNCHAINED: This is my favourite Van Halen song. Finally, not a whole lot of over dub, great guitar, noticible and pulsating bass, excellent drums, and who could forget David Lee Roth. His Vocals are supurb and you can hear when the adrenalin takes over his voice (which happens not to long after the beginning of the song!). A short solo, followed by what seems to be Roth talking to Ted Templeman (the producer) about "getting some leg tonight for sure". An instant classic. 5/5

6. PUSH COMES TO SHOVE: A quiet and slow song to calm yourself down from the previous song. Excellent bass by Mike Anthony and some very nice drum work by Alex. Roth adds some soft (and perhaps even sinnister) vocals. Eddie's guitar really doesn't enter the song completly until his solo, but boy does it enter! A great end to an average song. 3.5/5

7. SO THIS IS LOVE": Again, a bass driven track with some good singing. It starts quiet and then picks up into a kind boogie song. Eddie's solo (for some very odd reason) reminds me of Poison's "Your Mama Don't Dance". Perhaps Poison got the idea for that song from this song. Another noticible filler to the album, but at least this one is pretty good. 4/5

8. SUNDAY AFTERNOON IN THE PARK: A strange instrumental that features Eddie on the keyboard. Only two minutes long, this song prepared VH fans for what was about to come only 3 years later. Not a very catchy bit, however. 2.5/5

9. ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR: A fairly good closer to a great album. Mostly crazy guitar courtesy of Eddie, with some vocals by Dave. A crazy solo fades off as the song and album end. Very short (not even two minutes long) but still very rockin'. 3/5

This album deserves a 4/5 only because of some pretty bad songs on it. Let me know what you think of this review, because it's my first one and I think its pretty good.

user ratings (492)
other reviews of this album
mav69 (4)
A "darker" and different Van Halen album but one of their greatest albums and a ridiculously underr...

JohnXDoesn't (2)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

This is a fairly decent track by track. Some closing thoughts would of been nice, but maybe next time. You grammer is solid and your spelling is good. And you should know you can edit the typo's and anything else you want from your Profile.

I like this album. Everything with Dave I like. Women and Children First being my least favorite. This is a solid album, and I too wish they would of finished stronger then the final two tracks. And you are correct, Dirty Movies is fairly silly. So This Is Love is great. Almost a pop song to my ears. In that Van Halen sort of way. And although I don't dislike Sinners Swing or Hear About It Later, I don't like them quite as much as you, so my rating for this album will be lower. But still, this is a good, solid rock record. Nice first review. Keep them coming....This Message Edited On 04.23.06

April 23rd 2006


I was wondering when this album was going to get reviewed. It was good for a first, but I would't say "I think it's (review) pretty good", I don't know, i just wouldn't.

April 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

You didn't like Dirty Movies? thats one of my favorites on that album. I think a lot of VH fans (Including me) agree with you when you say this is their most under-rated album. After all, Guitar Legend's 100 greatest guitarists issue did say this was EVH's classic album. Mean Street should've replaced Love Walks in on the Best of Both Worlds.

acdc for ever
April 26th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

i couldn't agree more with the latter of what you said. I can't stand love walks in. look for my review on "5150"...coming soon

May 2nd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

I know! Why in god's name did eddie write those godawful power ballads? Although Sammy can outsing david lee roth any day, but david lee roth era music is so much better.

May 24th 2006


Very true. The induction of Sammy was the death of a giant.

May 24th 2006


Very true. The induction of Sammy was the death of a giant.

March 7th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

I can't stand love walks in. look for my review on "5150"...coming soon
Love Walks In is awesome, and also lol at you saying that your 5150 review was coming soon and i beat you to it like 11 months later! :lol:

June 16th 2008


this is def my favorite van halen record.
i wish one foot out the door was alonger track. it kicks ass anyway

March 31st 2009


..."reminds me of Poison's "Your Mama Don't Dance". Perhaps Poison got the idea for that song from this song".

Poison didn't write "Your Mama Don't Dance". The song was written by the rock duo Loggins and Messina.
Released on their self-titled album Loggins and Messina back in 1972.

December 18th 2009


What are the best albums to start off with Van Halen, anyone? I want to get a couple of their albums off Amazon.

Digging: Dashboard Confessional - The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

December 21st 2009


Should I get this?

September 6th 2010


I completely forgot how good this album was.

September 25th 2010


Album Rating: 3.0

A good enough van halen album with the likes of mean streets and unchained but some of the material in between here and there is somewhat weak in my opinion

September 26th 2010


Favorite VH album.

Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Arguably Van Halen's most divisive record, the lack of a genuine hit single means that the Californian quartet's 4th LP 'Fair Warning' is often unheralded in the hard rockers stellar discography. Containing a darker & heavier approach than previously, the gritty feel brings out a rejuvenated outfit ready to meet all challenges head on. While the experimentation is a little too ambitious towards the end, Fair Warning's 1st side almost rivals that of the band's superb debut. Hell, 5 minute opener 'Mean Street' is right up there with Van Halen's best ever songs! Recommended Tracks: Mean Street, Sinner's Swing, Unchained & Dirty Movies.

February 21st 2012


Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

It's a good album, but some of the songs were a bit "unvanhalenlike" IMO. VH doesn't do dark very well (leave that to Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Metallica or other such bands). This is a party band, and sometimes it pays to stick to what you do best.

Unchained is easily the best track on the album IMO.

February 21st 2012


One of their best albums. Rules.

August 13th 2012


Album Rating: 5.0

This is the best VH album (slightly, oh so slightly better than VH I) despite the filler. This is because VH I (and VH II) was the result of tried and true songs that the band had played together for the previous four years. Fair Warning was created - by and large by Eddie himself - in the studio.

Extra kudos for:

"Poison's "Your Mama Don't Dance". Perhaps Poison got the idea for that song from this song"

Ha ha ha... gotta love it when the next generation doesn't realize that most songs these days are covers. In this case, Kenny Loggins.

August 17th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Not up there with VH1 but it's still great (Unchained riff is class).

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