After six years of no album releases by Van Halen, a rushed compilation was assembled with the intention of representing Sammy Hagar’s side of the Van Halen story more clearly.
The Best Of Both Worlds does accurately capture much of what made both eras of David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, particularly the latter, great. But it does it in a very schizophrenic way.
Instead of laying out the track list with one disc for either main lead singer, it puts the eras track by track. This does upset the flow of the album significantly, with there being no real progression. It just seems all over the place. The album does have great songs, but there is no structure to this compilation.
The marketing behind Van Halen around this time was very poor.
Picture courtesy http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vanhalen-idUSN0746408220070808
On a more interesting note, there were three new tracks with Sammy Hagar. The first, ‘It’s About Time’ was the best, but very ordinary regardless. The following track, ‘Up For Breakfast’ was humourous, yet a little weaker. And ‘Learning To See’ was horrible. Yet, despite the quality of these tracks musically, they finally show the full on roar of the Peavey Wolfgang, a truly underrated instrument and the great Peavey 5150 amps that Eddie used to create his sound.
So, a collector’s item? Only for those who had been hanging out to hear a bit more Van Halen. In short, rather unnecessary otherwise and a sign that Van Halen needed more time to get their act together before recording more new material. Still, worth buying if you really need all Van Halen in your collection.
At last, the Peavey Wolfgang was well represented on the three new songs with Sammy Hagar.
Picture courtesy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peavey_EVH_Wolfgang