Tag Archives: Brown Sound

EVH/Fender Accessories

Being the entrepreneur that Eddie Van Halen himself is, through his EVH Gear brand with Fender, he has released a variety of products outside his own line of custom guitars and amps. This article aims to cover such products that Eddie himself has released through the EVH Gear blueprint. All products are available at www.evhgear.com

First off, let’s observe the custom pickups that are sold by EVH Gear. The first is the EVH® Frankenstein™ Humbucker Pickup. Retailing at $200 US, this is a modern day replica of the Frankenstrat humbucker pickup which is designed to the specifics of the original pickup used in the Frankenstrat by Eddie himself. Not bad considering that in most people’s budgets the Frankenstrat Replica is way out of the ordinary price range of many people’s budgets.

The EVH Gear Pickups on sale are worth the money if you cannot afford an EVH Wolfgang yourself, and you wish to buy something that can be installed into your guitar to get closer to the Van Halen sound.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/accessories/evh-frankenstein-humbucker-pickup/

There are also some other alternatives for EVH Gear pickups. There is also the same pickup presently being marketed with a Chrome Cover with a limited edition run of 200, retailing also at $200 US for those who prefer that sort of thing.

Also available in the range of custom made pickups are the EVH® Wolfgang® Bridge and Neck humbucker pickups (no single coil pickups available for purchase) for installation into any guitar. These are the primary pickups that are placed directly into the main line of EVH Wolfgang guitars. The pickups individually retail at $200 US.

For those who desire an even cheaper way to customise the sound of the electric guitar, there are also EVH® Custom Potentiometers. For those of you unaware of what these are, they are used underneath the tone and volume knobs to “shape” the sound. For $15 US per set, you can choose from 250K low friction, 500K low friction or 250K High Friction pots. Given the price of these, this is an excellent way to “hotrod” your own electric guitar, EVH style.

The EVH Gear custom potentiometers are another great option to consider from EVH Gear itself.

Picture courtesy http://www.musiciansfriend.com/potentiometers-knobs-for-fretted-instruments/evh-custom-low-friction-500k-potentiometer

One of the more interesting trends amongst guitar amplification companies in modern times is to sell so-called “Micro” amps. Many companies such as Marshall, Blackstar, Vox and Fender themselves have successfully marketed these amplifiers that are so small that they can be taken virtually anywhere with ease. So in a good effort of marketing and thought, EVH Gear made the 5150 III® Micro Stack.

Although a relatively new addition to the EVH Gear line up, the EVH version of the Micro amp is the smaller version of the larger 5150 III amp line. Retailing at $70 US, it comes with four controls: Gain; Volume; Tone and a Power switch. Listed on www.evhgear.com are the follow attributes of this particular amplifier:

  • One-watt single-channel amplifier
  • Single 3” speaker
  • Integrated tilt-back kickstand
  • 1/4” headphone jack and 9VDC adapter jack
  • Dimensions: Height – 6.92”; Width – 5.35”; Depth – 2.63”

The option of purchasing an EVH Gear Micro Stack is a good idea for one who wants a cheap, affordable and portable option of the latest line of EVH Gear amplifiers.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2016/01/21/evh-5150-micro-stack/

If you are looking for a small and affordable way to hear the 5150 III, this amp may be your best bet.

Another interesting product for sale is the previously mentioned product on this website called the D-Tuna. Eddie Van Halen has previously used this on both the Ernie Ball Music Man and Peavey guitar line of guitars that he marketed, and is a simple and useful addition onto the Floyd Rose tremolo system. For sale for $60 US, it comes in three different colours for the guitar respectively.

Since the early days of Van Halen, Eddie himself has gone to curious methods to create guitar strings that are highly personalised and branded to his own nature of playing. From the very early days boiling a mixture of Fender electric guitar strings, to the latest EVH branded guitar strings, which are Nickel Plated Steel strings, Eddie has made a good effort into the use of guitar strings.

With the EVH® Premium Strings, retailing at $13 US a packet, one can find the modern day electric guitar strings that Eddie himself uses on his EVH Wolfgang guitars. Bear in mind that Eddie uses 9-46 string gauge on his guitars, a must to remember to get the specific feel of Eddie’s playing. Other string gauges include 9-42, 10-52 and 10-56.

Trying a set of EVH Gear strings is a good and cheap way of testing out what Eddie Van Halen himself uses currently.

Picture courtesy http://www.vanhalenstore.com/page/VH/PROD/EVHGS

For a cable to carry the signal from the guitar to the amplifier, EVH Gear do market and sell a 6” R to R cable that Eddie Van Halen uses himself in his guitars. It is a 24 gauge copper cable with double shielding for extra protection of the cable itself. Retailing at $40 US, it is an affordable way of finding a cable that could work for the guitarist.

Alternatively there are other cables from the EVH® Premium Cables line ranging from $20 US to $40 US marketed and made in a similar way to the 6” R to R cable.

For those playing gigs and live performances, there are straps available for the guitarist. The regular strap is priced at $60 US whilst the Nylon strap is priced at $35 US.

Picks, anyone? For those who enjoy collecting various plectrums and brands of plectrums, the array of plectrums available from EVH Gear should be worth considering.

Picture courtesy http://www.vanhalenstore.com/page/VH/CTGY/GG

For those who do really wish to chase bargains of the EVH Gear sort, there are Eddie Van Halen custom plectrums (aka Picks) for one to purchase. For an EVH® Premium Pick Tin, including 12 plectrums, is worth $12 US.  Alternatively there are individual plectrums to buy, starting from $6 US for a small set. These are made by Dunlop with a special grip on the plectrums, as well as coming in a variety of thicknesses for the player.

Lastly, there are two different types of gig bags available for those who are interested. Featuring waterproof padding and a black exterior and red interior, the price of a gig bag is $100 US. Also for the star shaped guitars, there is another slightly different shaped gig bag also selling for $100 US.

All in all, these are some rather interesting, relatively affordable and varied accessories to choose from if you are a Van Halen fan. Certainly worth checking out as well if you are a fan of not just Eddie Van Halen, but EVH Gear as well.

Eddie Van Halen certainly has approached the broad variety of products available under the EVH Gear name very well.

Picture courtesy http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/6605131/eddie-van-halen-synesthesia-rumors-brown-sound

EVH/Fender 5150 III

Understandably Eddie Van Halen, after leaving Peavey, needed to work together with Fender on a line-up of amplifiers that were more modern and that would do the job for him on the road.

Released around the same time as the EVH Wolfgang, the 5150 III amps are arguably one of the heaviest sounding amps on the market, ideal for a variety of metal style sounds and output. This amp is a powerful piece of equipment, one which Eddie Van Halen himself has stuck by.

No doubt Eddie Van Halen and Chip Ellis of Fender put their best efforts into creating the EVH 5150 III.

Picture courtesy https://i.ytimg.com/vi/VG6WaL4Iel4/hqdefault.jpg

Eddie himself uses the all-tube amp, using eight 12AX7 and six 6L6 tubes. On each amp, and specifically Eddie’s amp, there are three channels of output: Clean, Crunch and Lead.

To get a good idea of what Eddie uses, we will observe the stats of the 5150 III® 4×12 Straight Cabinet and the 5150 III® 100W Head. The Cabinet itself is valued at around $1,333.32 US and the head is valued at around $2,399.99 US, in itself, not cheap. But since the release of the original 5150 III amplifiers, there have been a variety of models released for the gigging and home musician.

Let’s observe the stats of both of these, focusing on the cabinet first then the head, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

The EVH 5150 III was modeled heavily on the original Marshall Superlead that Eddie himself had used for many years.

Picture courtesy http://musicplayers.com/reviews/guitars/2007/0907_EVH5150.php

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: 5150III® 4×12 straight cabinet, Black

Model Number: 2252100000

Series: EVH® 5150III® Cabinets

Amplifier Type: Speaker Enclosure

MSRP: $1333.32

Colour: Black

Electronics:

Inputs: One ¼”

Channels: N/A

Rectifier: N/A

Wattage: 60 watts at 16 Ohms

Hardware:

Cabinet: Birch/Pine

Handle: Two Recessed Side-Mount Plastic

Tubes:

Pre Amp Tubes: N/A

Power Tubes: N/A

Miscellaneous:

Included Accessories: Removable Casters Included.

 

As you may be able to tell from reading this, the cabinet itself is a very basic set up and construction. Let’s next observe the specifications of the head, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: 5150III® 100W Head, Ivory, 120V

Model Number: 2251000400

Series: EVH® 5150 Heads

Amplifier Type: Tube

MSRP: $2399.99

Colour: Ivory

Electronics:

Controls: Gain, Low, Mid, High, Volume, Channel Select, and Presence for each Channel.

Effects Loop: ¼” – (Send/Return)

Inputs: One – ¼ inch

Line Out: One – (1/4”)

Channels: Three – (Clean, Crunch and Lead)

Voltage: 120V

Wattage: 100 Watts

Hardware:

Cabinet Material: Birch/Pine

Handle: Molded Plastic Strap with Nickel-Plated Caps

Front Panel: Black EVH Striped Steel

Control Knobs: Chicken-Head Style Pointer

Tubes:

Pre Amp Tubes: 8 x JJ ECC83

Power Tubes: 4 x JJ 6L6

Miscellaneous:

Included Accessories: 4-Button Footswitch Included

Accessories:

Footswitch: 4-Button Footswitch Included

 

There are many different models of EVH 5150 III amplifiers out there on the market. This is merely just a sample of what one can purchase if one desires and a good way to follow the modern Van Halen amplified sound.

The EVH 5150 III is a perfect selection for the metal players out there.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/

 

References:

  1. Ground Guitar. 2016. Ground Guitar – Everything guitar-related. http://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/

EVH/Fender Wolfgang

Now that Eddie Van Halen was working together with Fender on various products, it was time for him to work hard with Fender on creating a brand new guitar to sell and market under the EVH Brand.

To begin with, discussions were made with Fender about making a new guitar for Eddie. Once the 2007-2008 reunion tour was underway, Eddie Van Halen took at least two prototypes of the new collaborative guitar that he was working on with Fender. He gave Fender feedback and information about the sound and performance of this new project that he had been working on with them along the way after each night of performance onstage. This project was almost top secret, until the release of the EVH Wolfgang in January 2009.

The clever thing about the new prototypes from Fender? Similar look to the previous Peavey Wolfgang line of guitars.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2008/06/06/van-halen-2007-2008-tour-highest-grossing-in-bands-history/

To make things clear, this guitar, although sharing the name of the previous guitar line that Eddie Van Halen had promoted and used for some time, in actual reality the guitar itself is completely different in many aspects.

In a video recorded around the time of the release of the guitar, Eddie Van Halen had a discussion where he stated, “Everything that I have built, destroyed, stumbled onto, learned and experienced is in this guitar”. Indeed, the guitar itself is a one-of-a-kind and is basically impossible to copy. Indeed, if Eddie himself had desired to create a monster, he indeed, has.

The guitar line itself has been one that Eddie Van Halen himself has stuck by for a long time now. Although initially there was only one type of EVH Wolfgang, other models were introduced at a later date. For historical purposes, the main Wolfgang model will be observed here.

The EVH/Fender Wolfgang is here to stay.

Picture courtesy http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/EVH_Wolfgang_Special_Electric_Guitar_Review

Some of the features are very unique to the Wolfgang, such as the custom wound double potted EVH licensed humbuckers, stainless steel frets and the hand rubbed urethane oil finish. Eddie’s own EVH Wolfgang has a custom made “kill switch” on it, to cut out the sound manually, useful for tremolo sounds. The specifications for the main EVH Wolfgang are listed below, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

 

SPECIFICATIONS:

General:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® USA, Ebony Fingerboard

Series: Wolfgang® USA

Body:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: 5-Ply

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Gloss Urethane

Neck:

Neck Material: Quartersawn Maple

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: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® Original Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Block

Electronics:

Bridge Pickup: Custom Designed EVH® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Custom Designed EVH® Humbucking

Controls: Master Tone, Master Volume

Pickup Switching: EVH Reverse-Style 3-Position Switching

Pickup Configuration: HH

Hardware:

Bridge: EVH®-Branded Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome with Pearloid Buttons

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

Miscellaneous:

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

Unique Features: Hard mount pickups; Magna Coatings Paint, 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods, Scaller®; Chrome String Retainer, EVH®; D-Tuna, Square Jack Plate

 

In short, if you are looking for the main go-to guitar that Eddie Van Halen himself has used in the most recent times, look no further than the main Wolfgang USA that is on sale for around $4,000 US from EVH Gear, depending on the colour. This is the main guitar that Eddie himself uses to this day.

Eddie Van Halen loves the good job that Fender did for his latest line of guitars, and the easygoing relations commercially shows in both of their own outlook with each other.

Picture courtesy https://hardrockhideout.com/2008/12/17/eddie-van-halen-launches-the-all-new-evh-wolfgang-guitar-available-jan-2009/

 

References:

  1. Wolfgang USA. 2016. EVH Gearhttp://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-usa-ebony-fingerboard-5a-flame-top-3-tone-burst/
  2. EVH Wolfgang Guitar. 2011. YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCePMSJ_0-E
  3. Eddie Van Halen Guitars and Gear. 2016. Ground Guitarhttp://www.groundguitar.com/eddie-van-halen-guitars-and-gear/

Van Halen: Best Of Volume One

As previously discussed, the first Van Halen compilation came along with the rotation of singers. Yet, despite this, how does it sound?

It was a shame that for this particular compilation only one disc was released. Van Halen had more than enough material to fill up two discs of songs, but regrettably only chose one instead. There are many tracks that could have made it onto another disc which would have been amazing.

The two new songs with David Lee Roth were amazing.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2014/09/04/van-halens-original-lineup-presents-mtv-award/

Still, there is a fairly good selection here of music by Van Halen. It begins with ‘Eruption’, leading all the way to ‘Panama’ (or ‘Hot For Teacher’ if you had the Japanese copy of this album) for the first David Lee Roth era. Once that is over, very much the hit singles from the Sammy Hagar era are here. And yes, many fans were aware of these songs yet for a one disc compilation it strikingly sounds well chosen.

Then we have the new tracks. ‘Humans Being’ is very much of one the worst “Van Hagar” tracks you will hear. It is a dirge like song, only redeemed by the loud, prolonged scream at the end of the song. A poor effort indeed.

It is really hard to know what Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen himself were really thinking around this time.

Picture courtesy http://www.guitarplayer.com/news/1024/eddie-van-halen-performs-jimi-hendrixs-fire-and-little-wing–video/52965

Then we get two brand new David Lee Roth songs, ‘Can’t Get This Stuff No More’ is very cool indeed. “Got a date with a supermodel, I know I can make it…” begins Dave on the first new song. It sounds wonderful and fresh, something that Balance seems to lack. Not bad.

More catchy though is ‘Me Wise Magic’. A full on, rhythmic tune with style, it is an underrated gem out of the Van Halen cannon. Eddie Van Halen uses some cool licks on his new Peavey Wolfgang here, and it does justice indeed.

Eddie Van Halen really does show his Brown Sound progression on this particular album.

Picture courtesy http://atlasicons.photoshelter.com/gallery/EDDIE-VAN-HALEN-1996/G0000wb.BUOeMwgk/C0000YdNgrVtpTBs

The good thing about this compilation, regardless of it needing to be more inclusive, is that we can clearly hear for the first time Eddie Van Halen’s Brown Sound transition throughout the years. From the first Frankenstrat on ‘Eruption’ to his Peavey gear on ‘Me Wise Magic’, somehow upon listening one gets the feeling that this is exactly what Eddie desired to show listeners. He seemed very content with showing the difference in sound and tone over the years.

The bad thing about this compilation though is that it does fall short of a truly amazing listen by being too selective of some songs and also needs more of them. After the fade out of the last track, you may sit there and feel left out of what could have been much more.

There could have and should have been another disc of Van Halen material. Yet, despite this, this album is absolutely essential to understanding the Brown Sound progression over the years.

Picture courtesy http://www.covershut.com/cover-tags/Van-Halen-Best-Of-Volume-1-1996.html

It is the better of the two compilations though, and is a must for those who wish to understand the Brown Sound in a logical progression. A photo of Eddie’s Peavey Wolfgang is in the booklet. Unfortunately, nobody saw the future at the time, which is exactly what this compilation was for.

Soldano SLO-100

The story of Eddie Van Halen’s involvement with Michael Soldano is limited and brief. Given that over time, Eddie noticed that his Marshall Superlead amplifier was losing its power in terms of tone, Eddie needed a new way of keeping his sound alive.

Soldano Amplifiers have been around for some time, and are custom built in the Soldano factory.

Picture courtesy http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?224992-Soldano-in-a-box

In an attempt to remedy this problem, Ed decided to give a call to Michael Soldano. Soldano worked nearby where Eddie lived at the time, so it was convenient to him to travel down to Michael Soldano’s workshop and pick up a Soldano SLO-100 amplifier. Soldano himself had built up his reputation beforehand as a gigging guitarist and a “Mr. Fix it” style attitude around the west coast for amps. He and Eddie Van Halen perhaps saw the stroke of genius in each other.

When Eddie Van Halen sent in his faithful Marshall to be fixed to Soldano, he replaced the tubes in his Marshall. However, in the meantime, Eddie fell in love with his SLO-100 and used it as a transition amp between the Marshall Superlead and his first line of branded amps, the Peavey 5150 range.

Michael Soldano is an intelligent man when it comes to understanding amplifier design.

Picture courtesy http://www.perfecttranslator.com/Soldano

Was it a necessary move on Eddie Van Halen’s part? Most likely. It seemed that listening to the amp and setup that Eddie Van Halen had used from the 1984 album onwards, it was losing its power. The sensible thing for Eddie Van Halen to do at this point was to search for a new sound, using the SLO-100. Strangely enough, the Variac used on the Marshall amplifier, boosting its tone, killed the tubes in the long run. This was due to the fact that using a lower output of voltage via the Variac killed the operation of the amplifier by adjusting the settings of the tubes, making them burn out more quickly than usual as they were not operating at a normal rate.

Eddie Van Halen used his SLO-100 most notably on the vast majority of For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. He also used his old Marshall (although repaired) and a prototype Peavey 5150 on the album, but for the most part, it was the Soldano sound that made up most of those songs on that album.

The amp itself is an interesting piece of work. It is run on preamp and power tubes, with two channels: Normal and Overdrive. Features include preamp gain, footswitch between channels, bright/clean/crunch switch on the normal channel, plus a two channel tube-buffered effects loop and an additional slave output. A rotary Impedance operation also allows the use of 4, 8 or 16 ohm speaker cabinets.

The SLO-100, although not cheap, will enhance your own understanding of the Brown Sound that Eddie Van Halen sought to progress with around the For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge era.

Picture courtesy http://en.audiofanzine.com/tube-guitar-amp-head/soldano/SLO-100-Super-Lead-Overdrive/medias/pictures/a.play,m.297209.html 

Below are some additional stats:

Retail price (USD): $4 900

Power: 100 Watts

Weight: 42 lbs

Size: 9.5°H by 25°W by 9.5°D

Preamp Tubes: Five 12AX7 / ECC83

Power Tubes: Four 5881 / 6L6

Eddie lost interest in the limitations of the Soldano Amp, noting that the high gain channel was not favourable to him by the time he had developed the Peavey 5150 range of amps. Still, it was another step towards truly being a master and artist of his sonic craft at hand.

Eddie Van Halen was just beginning to develop his truly unique sound in terms of marketing and design. Although perhaps in transition mode, Eddie Van Halen was one step away from creating his own amplifiers.

EVH & SLO photo EVHandhisSoldanoSLOs-1.jpg

Picture courtesy http://soldano.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=print&num=1296516202

References:

  1. Soldano Hot Rod 25 With Mike Araiza and Mike Soldano. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBIcicqIfCM
  2. Soldano’s Story: Getting Started. Soldano Custom Amplification. http://www.soldano.com/about/
  3. Q & A Session with Michael Soldano. Musician’s Hotline. http://pasutto.net/divers/Brown%20Sound/Variac/MichaelSoldano.htm
  4. 100w Super Lead Overdrive. Soldano Custom Amplification. http://www.soldano.com/products/guitar-amplifiers/super-lead-overdrive-slo-100/
  5. Edward Van Halen Interview: EVH at Play. HP Newquist. http://guitarinternational.com/2010/08/20/edward-van-halen-at-play/

OU812

As the eighties drew to a close, the time had come for yet another album by the now commercially successful Van Halen. This time, the album called OU812 was packed full of tunes ready for Van Halen and Sammy Hagar fans alike.

This album, like its predecessor, was a commercial success, reaching #1 in the U.S. Critically however, it was seen as weaker than 5150 in general by critics. Sonically as well, it was the end of Eddie’s traditional setup with his Marshall Superlead amplifier, prompting him to entirely rethink his setup over the next few years.

The “Van Hagar” era was well and truly underway with OU812.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2010/01/07/the-recording-of-ou812-in-sammy-hagars-words/

But, the question is, are the songs there? Of course! There were several hit singles from the album. To begin with, let’s look at a track by track in depth analysis of the album.

The first track, “Mine All Mine” is a dark, deep song about questioning one’s faith within oneself. The line, “You’ve got Allah in the east, you’ve got Jesus in the west, Christ! What’s a man to do?” creates a feeling that one is soul searching, or at least in Sammy Hagar’s case. With a funky synth line, this track is very catchy.

The first song of the album that was worked on, “When It’s Love” is a catchy pop tune that may leave David Lee Roth fans asking, “What?!”. Indeed, it is light years away from anything done with the former lead singer. Still, it is a great song, and well worth listening to. A classic single indeed.

“When It’s Love” is a great Sammy Hagar era Van Halen song.

Picture courtesy http://eil.com/shop/moreinfo.asp?catalogid=519286

Following up is “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)”. This song has some well-structured and interesting sections to it. It has some well varied and interesting work from Eddie and Alex Van Halen whilst Sammy Hagar has some wonderful vocal work on top of it. This is a very underrated piece from “Van Hagar”.

“Cabo Wabo” is a slow, jam like song which probably goes on far too long. Although some sections of it are indeed, catchy, it is a poor effort. It just goes on a bit, which makes it difficult to listen to after the first time.

The following number, “Source Of Infection” is rather throwaway fun. Still, it is rather catchy nonetheless. Enjoyable listening.

Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen got along so well at this point they lived next door to each other, proof of their stable relationship at the time.

Picture courtesy http://www.weissguygallery.com/images/galleries/VAN%20HALEN/

“Feels So Good” follows and is a good piece about finding love lost. Still, compared to some of the other numbers on the album, it seems very much weaker. But this is the strength of OU812. Even the weaker cuts are listenable, not a bad thing in itself.

Next up is, “Finish What Ya Started” is a more interesting touch from Van Halen. Nonetheless, it is humourous enough to engage listeners in its “we have all been there” type story. A good variety of instrumentation exists on this track, with Sammy Hagar playing acoustic guitar.

This is the last traditional “Brown Sound” album that Van Halen created.

Picture courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/fmpackerfan/van-halen/

“Black And Blue” follows, a rather bland piece of work. Funnily enough, it was a hit single for the group, but still seems weaker than other Van Halen songs. It seemed that the quality of Van Halen mark II was not as strong as Van Halen mark I, a shame in itself in some ways.

On the other hand, “Sucker In A 3 Piece” is based on a Sammy Hagar real life story, humourous and interesting nonetheless. Obviously referring to jealousy, it captures a side of male sexual desire often unseen in real life. Well worth listening to.

Van Halen were still creating great songs, and were very popular at this point.

Picture courtesy http://www.rockmusictimeline.com/1988gallery.html

The last track is a throwaway cover suggested by recording engineer Donn Landee. “A Apolitical Blues” is just that and seems humourous in retrospect. Admittedly, it is filler, but good filler at that. Humourous.

So, in retrospect, how does OU812 fare? Fairly well. Although some songs on the album are fairly weak, it delivered more or less the same outcome as 5150. Still, some of the sonic output by Eddie Van Halen is less powerful than before. Was it the end of the Brown Sound? Some agree so…

This is the last Van Halen album to feature Eddie’s Marshall Superlead, which was wearing out after years of use in the studio and onstage.

Picture courtesy http://guitarvillage.uk.com/product/9857-279/Marshall-JMP-1959-Super-Lead-Head-Pre-Owned-1972-VG-100-Watts.aspx

References:

1. Popoff, Martin. The Recording of OU812 in Sammy Hagar’s Words. http://www.vhnd.com/2010/01/07/the-recording-of-ou812-in-sammy-hagars-words/