EVH/Fender Striped Series

Shortly after Eddie Van Halen signed up with Fender, Fender took over Charvel’s striped series and made it into their own through the EVH Gear company.

The interesting thing about these guitars is that Charvel only offered three different versions for the time that Eddie was licensing Charvel to sell these guitars, based on the previous guitars that Ed had used, namely the Frankenstrat Mark I and II, and also the Bumblebee guitar. Yet in recent times (around 2015) the EVH Striped Series Star and Striped Series Circles were released as well. The latter two guitars were based on guitars that Eddie Van Halen had built himself many years ago, and are relatively affordable collector’s items today.

The EVH/Fender Striped Series guitars go way back into the history of Van Halen.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2015/01/18/evh-stripe-series-star-guitar-coming-soon/

Each guitar is rather cheap for a unique piece of kit. The guitars go up to the max of around $1,500.00 US each and all are beautiful and simple, with a powerful pickup in the bridge position.

Listed below are the specifications of each different model of the EVH Striped Series:

There is a good variety of different EVH/Fender Striped Series models to choose from, depending on your taste.

Picture courtesy http://iheartguitarblog.com/2013/04/get-yer-evh-striped-series.html

SPECIFICATIONS:

Body:

Body Shape: Other

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8 mm)

Headstock: Standard Stratocaster®

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Hand Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH® Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D -Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: One White “Tone” Knob On Volume Pot

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (0.009-0.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: EVH® Neckplate, Bar String Retainer, Thumb Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment, Vintage Strap Buttons, 1-Ply Black Pickguard on Black and White Model Only.

 

The EVH Striped Series Circles has some slightly different characteristics to it as a guitar:

The EVH/Fender Striped Series Circles guitar was based on the original “Unchained” guitar that Eddie Van Halen specifically built and recorded that song with.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/striped-series/evh-striped-series-circles-maple-fingerboard-black-and-white-crop-circles-graphic/

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH® Striped Series Circles, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Crop Circles Graphic

Model Number: 5107902586

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1199.99

Colour: Black and White Crop Circles Graphic

Body:

Body Shape: Other

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.86 mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

Unique Features: “Bye See Ya Later” Graphic on Guitar Back, EVH Neckplate, Bar String Retainer, Thumb Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment Vintage-style Strap Buttons

 

Understandably, the EVH Striped Series Star model has its own features as well for a guitar:

There is just something genius-like and amazing about the various EVH/Fender Striped Series Models.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2015/01/18/evh-stripe-series-star-guitar-coming-soon/

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH Striped Series Star, Rosewood Fingerboard, Black and White Stripe

Model Number: 5107902536

Series: Striped Series

MSRP: $1527.76

Colour: Black and White

Body:

Body Shape: Star

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: 1-Piece Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple with Graphite Reinforcement and Scarf Joint

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (64.8 cm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” to 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to 406.4 mm)

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R3 Locking

Nut Width: 1.6875” (43 mm)

Neck Plate: EVH® Branded

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane

Fingerboard: Rosewood

Position Inlays: White Dot

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Master Volume

Pickup Switching: None

Pickup Configuration: H

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH® Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo with EVH D-Tuna®

Tuning Machines: EVH® Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

Miscellaneous:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.042 Gauges)

 

From a collector’s point of view, these guitars are not just simply playable, but worth your money. If you are a fan of Eddie Van Halen and want to embrace a piece of your own artistic value, the EVH Striped Series is the way to go.

The Eddie Van Halen collaboration with Fender has been nothing but wonderful.

Picture courtesy http://eddietrunk.com/eddie-van-halen-unchains-long-awaited-stripe-series-circles-guitar/

EVH/Fender Frankenstrat

Once Eddie Van Halen and crew pulled their act together and a new contract with Fender was signed, Fender became a reliable and productive ally for Eddie Van Halen. Historically Eddie had fallouts with each company that he had been with after a period of generally five to ten years. Since being with Fender, Eddie has not wavered in his faith with that company for the service that has been provided to him.

Fender granted Eddie Van Halen his right to market their products under his outlet called EVH Gear. The first fruit of this collaboration came in 2006, when Fender began a limited edition run of custom made Frankenstrats with specifications to be the exact same as the final incarnation of the original Frankenstrat that he had built and modified over a time frame of many years. This is truly a collector’s piece, provided that you are able to afford it.

The principle man to deal with EVH on his gear needs was a younger but clever man named Chip Ellis. Chip is the main guy that Eddie deals with for his gear via Fender.

The idea that the Frankenstrat could be replicated entirely and made in a limited edition run of 500 guitars was conceived and has been on the market since 2006. It is virtually the same guitar as the original Frankenstrat in every detail: from the striped paintwork and a custom wound Seymour Duncan humbucker in the bridge position to the more intricate elements of the guitar, such as the cigarette burns and the 1971 quarter near the Floyd Rose tremolo system. It also comes with some wonderful accessories, a hard case and booklet and certificate of authenticity.

Eddie Van Halen and Chip Ellis are two very clever men indeed who wore together well on the EVH Gear based products.

Picture courtesy http://www.jameslimborg.com/music-and-guitar-pedals/van-halen-news-desk/

In a video recorded at the 5150 studios, Eddie revealed the history and some his input into the guitar itself. Noted in the video to avoid confusion with the near identical replicas, Eddie Van Halen wrote in capital letters: “THIS IS THE SHIT – THANKS CHIPS” on the original Frankenstrat.

The only real downside, apart from the limited availability of this replica, is the price tag. The replica Frankenstrat goes for around $25,000.00 US and is virtually unaffordable in that respect. A good alternative is the EVH/Fender Striped Series, which was the next collaboration project that EVH and Fender worked together on.

In short, if you have a spare ten grand or two lying about, this is a definite must for any Eddie Van Halen fan to purchase. For more information, visit http://evhgear.com/frankenstein/.

 

 

References:

  1. EVH Gear. 2016. The Eddie Van Halen Frankenstein Replica Guitar. http://www.evhgear.com/frankenstein/
  2. Dan from Ground Guitar. 2016. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/
  3. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 1)”. YouTube video, 6:02, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/xwatch?v=i2mh7zGfFRM
  4. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 2)”. YouTube video, 5:47, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICXeYawQqFs
  5. Guitar World. 2008. “Eddie Van Halen’s Frankenstein Replica Guitar (part 3)”. YouTube video, 6:18, Jun 11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9_ZDxoxhoc

Cleaning Out The Closet – Van Halen Gets Their Problems Sorted

After the disastrous reunion tour of 2004, Van Halen again went into hiding. Nothing really seemed to change for the once mighty and cohesive group. There seemed to be such a long time where nothing but silence was observed from the group. Barely anything seemed to come out of this.

In 2006, some changes occurred, however. Firstly, Michael Anthony, long time bass player of Van Halen was dumped from the band in favour of Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang. For many older fans in particular, this seemed a criminal move. Why on earth would Van Halen do such a thing?

The renewed Van Halen seemed to once again really understand why they were there for rock and roll in the first place.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2014/09/27/7-years-ago-van-halen-launches-first-tour-with-david-lee-roth-since-1984/

Turns out that from a logical marketing point, it was very clever. Although Wolfgang was only in his teen years at the time, he grew into the role very quickly. To this day, Wolfgang Van Halen has proven an excellent singer and bass player, and has ventured outside of Van Halen musically to do his own thing with other groups quite well. Although neither can be compared to one another, Wolfgang Van Halen perhaps seems more musically active than Michael Anthony ever really was in his own right in Van Halen.

Once this had occurred, the three Van Halens worked on the next idea: David Lee Roth coming back to Van Halen. The question was though, how would it be done?

Strategically driven, Wolfgang Van Halen gave a call to David Lee Roth in 2006 and asked if he would be interested in rejoining Van Halen. After consideration, David Lee Roth said yes and rejoined the group.

Although relations between David Lee Roth and the Van Halens are never perfect, the group of four are happier and more productive than ever.

Picture courtesy http://aarontallent.com/?p=4061

Also, Eddie Van Halen cleaned up his state of mind around this time. Inspired by his young son Wolfgang, he began a fight to overcome his addictions. Although taking one step back in 2007 by visiting a rehabilitation clinic for addiction to a substitute drug for alcohol, Eddie took two steps forward and is now alcohol free and much more focused. He also switched from smoking cigarettes to smoking an electronic cigarette in an effort to clean up.

Eventually by 2007 Van Halen were ready to tour again and did just that. The tour of that year was a critical and commercial success, and gave Eddie Van Halen the chance to test his new Fender prototype gear along the way. This happened with a lot of effort, patience and understanding from the Van Halen fans in particular. But now Van Halen were on a definite up, and never looking back.

Now that Van Halen were working properly once again, they fared very well with their contemporaries in music.

Picture courtesy http://aintitbalenews.com/node/2622/van-halen

 

References:

  1. Eddie Van Halen’s Struggle With Alcohol And Drugs: What’s The Root Cause? 2013. Clarity Way. https://www.clarityway.com/blog/van-halens-struggle/

Charvel EVH Art Series Guitars

Ultimately Eddie Van Halen got fed up of the restrictive contract with Peavey and wished to do his own thing.

The original Art Series of EVH guitars that was done by Charvel indicated Eddie Van Halen’s future intentions. Little is known about these guitars except that Eddie Van Halen created them with Charvel and marketed them specifically to be sold on the internet through auctions. They were made to Eddie’s specifications and were intended to be replicas of some of his original guitars: the original Frankenstrat; the VH2 “Bumblebee” guitar; the mark II Frankenstrat. They were presented with a certificate of authenticity and an autograph from Eddie himself.

The Charvel EVH Art Series was a chance for Eddie Van Halen to revisit past glories amidst uncertainty in Van Halen itself.

Picture courtesy http://www.edroman.com/detail_sheets/charvel-evh-art-series.html

Since Charvel are now owned by Fender, shortly after the sales of these models, the contract with Peavey ended in 2004, and Eddie Van Halen went to Fender a few years later to sign a new contract to create and distribute his own line of guitars.

The original Charvel EVH Art Series Guitars are very expensive (at least $10 000 AUS) and only available through places such as eBay, so your best bet is to go for the EVH Fender Art Series that is available today if you cannot afford to get one of the original Charvel models. It will not be covered here as it already has been in the past and will be covered again in the future.

Below are some statistics of the build of these guitars, courtesy of http://www.vintagekramer.com:

Origin: Made In USA

Machine Heads: Schaller M6

Body Material: Solid Basswood

Neck Material: Hard Maple

Skunk Stripe: Rosewood

Neck Joint: Bolt-On

Fingerboard: Hard Maple

Frets: 22

Neck Finish: Oil

Tremolo: Original Floyd Rose – Schaller

Pickup: EVH Humbucking made by Fender

Pickup Mounting: Direct to body

Volume Knob: Strat Type – Labelled Tone

Scale Length: 25.5”

Output Jack: Unknown

Controls: Unknown

Headstock: Fender Shaped

The Charvel EVH Art Series Guitars were a tactically good method of EVH removing himself from Peavey and moving onto Fender as the company that sponsored him.

Picture courtesy http://www.posters57.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=794

This prophetic action by Eddie Van Halen later did him a good stroke of fortune as it eventually sealed his contract with Fender, with who he has remained with to this day.

 

References:

  1. Ground Guitar. 2016. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/

The Best Of Both Worlds

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

A Reunion?

Nobody knew what really began the Van Halen downward spiral. A series of bad events unnerved the once great band that was Van Halen. It started as early as when David Lee Roth left the band in 1985. Sammy Hagar never really got along with the boys terribly well, although early on they shared some good moments together. Gary Cherone left as it really was becoming far worse than anybody could imagine.

Eventually a call by Alex Van Halen after five years of no lead singer was made to Sammy Hagar. There was no real explanation why so, perhaps money was involved. But eventually Sammy Hagar met the boys at a rather notorious meeting at Eddie’s 5150 studios to sign a contract to release another compilation and to go on tour.

A happy reunion for Van Halen? It was a disaster waiting to happen.

 photo SamandEd2004_zps191369ea.jpg

Picture courtesy http://smg.photobucket.com/user/pt5150/media/SamandEd2004_zps191369ea.jpg.html

Eddie was certainly not in a good frame of mind at this point. Really, for many Van Halen fans, their days had gone. A reunion tour out of the blue did not seem very wise, and turned out to be a disaster.

Although the tour was a financial success, from a musical standing point it was really very bad. The band performed well…except for Eddie Van Halen. Eddie constantly made mistakes and sung off key.

But the worst part was how Eddie looked. He was totally drunk at the time, possibly taking drugs (many people who dislike Eddie personally called him “Meth Eddie” around this time), disheveled with black teeth and truly looked like a Frankenstein like creature. Sadly, for one of the greatest guitarists in living history he had lost it around this time. It was such a transformation that had happened gradually over time: from rock legend to living joke.

Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen are definitely no longer friendly due to the events that occurred on the 2004 Reunion tour.

Picture courtesy http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/sammy-hagar-i-dont-see-a-new-van-halen-record-happening-393416

It is no surprise that Sammy Hagar wrote a detailed autobiography after this tour due to the horrific events that occurred during this time entitled Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock aimed squarely at Eddie Van Halen, with some attacks also at Alex Van Halen.

Regardless of the truth or non-truth from either camp, Van Halen were at a terrible stage in their musical career. But once Sammy Hagar left after the last show in Tucson, he and Eddie were never on good terms again. Eddie smashed his favourite Peavey Wolfgang guitar at the end of the show, threw the pieces into the crowd and told the crowd: “You don’t understand. You people pay my rent. I love you people.”

Eddie Van Halen was really messed up at this point.

Picture courtesy http://concertshots.com/vanhalensilvertide604_.htm

Also equally bad was Eddie ending his contract with Peavey in 2004. This was due to breaking contract negotiations with Peavey to sell and market instruments to other corporations, in Eddie’s case, the Charvel Art Series guitars. Also Van Halen had lost their contract with Warner Bros. in 2002 who signed them way back in the late 1970s. Eddie lost his long term wife Valerie Bertinelli in 2001 as well. In general, not a great time for Van Halen.

Still, a compilation with three new songs was released, reminding people of past glories. But Van Halen were still not ready to be a band yet. This part of the Van Halen story will go down in rock history as one of the worst overall. The only way from here was up, however.

The Best Of Both Worlds compilation was the only really good thing to result from the brief reunion.

Picture courtesy http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/File:Van_Halen_-_The_Best_of_Both_Worlds.jpg

 

References:

  1. Ultimate Classic Rock. 2015. 11 Years Ago: Van Halen Mount Disastrous Tour With Sammy Hagar. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/sammy-hagar-van-halen-reunion-2004/
  2. Rock News Desk. 2011. Hagar Tried To Quit Van Halen During Disaster Tour. http://rocknewsdesk.com/world-news/hagar-tried-to-quit-van-halen-during-disaster-tour/712/
  3. Van Halen – The Unofficial Very Cool Fan Site. 2015. http://www.vanhalen.8k.com/bio.htm

Van Halen III

Often considered to be the worst album by the group, Van Halen 3 could have avoided by many means to be that. It was an ill thought idea at the time and represented a turn of the worst for the band.

Were Van Halen thinking straight around this time?

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2009/03/17/van-halen-iii-released-11-years-ago-today/

Before I even begin to review this, there are some main flaws with this album. For starters, the group had a lack of focus after the exit of David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar from the group. There was an air of uncertainty about the future of Van Halen and led to apathy in terms of the effort from the group.

Secondly, Eddie Van Halen himself was on a downward spiral personally and musically. His drinking was becoming uncontrollable, a battle that lasted for another decade or so. Also Eddie was assertive in a bad way creative control over all band members, with bad results. Michael Anthony in particular was hurt by some of the creative measures that Eddie Van Halen used on this album. His backing vocals were not used on any song on this album.

Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen were primarily to blame for this poor recording.

Picture courtesy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnWCHt8-Pc0

Another reason is the production and mixing. Mike Post was assigned to do the production on this album, and although it sounds more variable and somewhat more interesting than your typical Van Halen album, it sounds really like a mockery of what Van Halen represented to fans. Also, the mix sounds lo-fi and there are no separation between the instruments at all, making it sound very scratchy in general. More effort could have been used to remedy this problem.

And lastly, Gary Cherone is not suited to Van Halen per se. Indeed, if time had permitted, Van Halen could have selected a better singer for the group to fit them musically. Although Gary was no doubt the most decently behaved of the Van Halen singers, his singing is not the greatest.

Even the single, ‘Without You’ barely charted.

Picture courtesy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT8RdKN8u9w

So that aside, let’s have a look at the record…

The record starts off with ‘Neworld’ a nice but unimpressive composition. It has some nice harmonics and that is about it. From this point, you realise that the recording is ill thought out.

It leads into ‘Without You’. This is probably the best song off the recording, but still, pales in comparison to what Van Halen were even a few years before. The guitars could have sounded better with some proper mixing, but then again, it is not that good regardless. Not a good start to the recording. Is it Eddie Van Halen progressing or regressing musically? Who knows?

A similar song follows with a poor attempt at social conscience style lyrics, ‘One I Want’. It is neither catchy nor very listenable and makes the stomach churn. Many people would have turned off the recording by this point. The solo is okay though.

In the past Eddie Van Halen would had made his instrument speak. Van Halen III does not do justice to the wonderful Peavey Wolfgang.

Picture courtesy http://www.themusiczoo.com/product/15493/1998-Peavey-EVH-Wolfgang-USA-Electric-Guitar-Transparent-Blue—Used-/

The next song begins with a U2 like guitar part that persists with annoyance throughout the song. The song itself is a drag, and Gary Cherone does fall into the abyss of unsuitable singing for the song. ‘From Afar’ sounds nothing like it should. Disappointing.

Another throwaway track, ‘Dirty Water Dog’ is next. It does not make sense to add this to an already ordinary recording, and just seems like filler. The lyrics don’t make sense either.

Gary Cherone, although a nice guy in relation to Van Halen, struggles on this recording to sound like a Van Halen singer.

Picture courtesy http://www.hollywood.com/celebrities/these-bands-shouldnt-have-kept-going-60232889/

‘Once’ is depressingly bad. There is no joy in this Van Halen song like there was in Van Halen songs of the past. Worth skipping if you listen to this recording.

The next song, ‘Fire In The Hole’, is marginally better. It seems semi-catchy but the mix does not hold the song up well. A good riff and interesting solo for this record but otherwise not really impressive.

‘Josephina’ is a fairly ordinary attempt at a ballad by Van Halen. It does not seem normal for a group like Van Halen to do this sort of thing, and Gary Cherone’s attempt at emotional singing falls flat. Still, a better effort than otherwise expected.

The tour to support this album failed in America, although was successful internationally.

Picture courtesy http://olho.nu/van-halen/history/bio_gary.htm

The overly long, ‘Year To The Day’ is too long and too depressing for any Van Halen fan to really enjoy. Some editing and rewriting would have helped this song, along with the rest of the album itself.

‘Primary’ follows, a coral sitar instrumental. Although unnecessary, it does sound different to the record, a poor attempt at injecting freshness into Van Halen. Okay, but nothing more.

‘Ballot Or The Bullet’ would be listenable, but it sounds terrible. Politics and Van Halen do not mix, and this song is proof of it.

Van Halen were aware that they were running out of breath musically, and disbanded for a long time after this album was released.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Van_Halen_1998_Gary_Cherone.jpg

The last song on the recording is by far the worst Van Halen song ever recorded. ‘How Many Say I’ is Eddie Van Halen’s plea to the world to understand his alcoholic mess of a mind. In particular, it seems like a plea to his wife Valerie Bertinelli, who he divorced with three years later. Eddie taking lead vocals is not a good idea, considering he is not a gifted singer. And it has no guitars and is very depressing. A truly bad finish to this record.

The worst part about this record, technically speaking, is that it lacks the power, consistency and innovation of the Brown Sound that resounded so well in previous times. The Peavey Wolfgang could have been better represented on this recording.

Eddie Van Halen was on the decline for a long period of time from the release of this album onwards. It was their last proper album for 14 years.

Picture courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/43908441@N00/5296953525

But the whole album itself needed a desperate rethink. Van Halen were about to experience a series of losses and personal troubles for nearly a decade. This album, unless you really wish to complete the Brown Sound in your head, must be avoided at all costs. A disaster. None of the songs were placed on the Best Of Both Worlds compilation, proving the need to forget this album.