Tag Archives: Review

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Special Striped

Given the fact that Eddie himself wanted to show that we was not just an one trick pony, the team at EVH Gear went out there to provide a more refined fan based guitar range: the EVH Wolfgang Special Striped guitars.

These three guitars differ in typical comparison to other EVH guitars in that they are collectable pieces of art in terms of artwork and their playability.

The EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Series is an awesome creation by Eddie Van Halen in collaboration with Fender.

Eddie Van Halen's EVH Wolfgang Special Striped Series

Picture courtesy http://equipboard.com/pros/eddie-van-halen/evh-wolfgang-special-striped-series

Indeed, the team at EVH Gear hand paint these guitars. Aside from this, they have all the typical features that one would expect from the EVH Gear Special range.

These guitars come in three different paint based finishes: Red, White and Black; Black and Yellow; Black and White. All three are priced around the same price range, so we can choose (or collect) as we please. Each retails around $2,100 MSRP to $2,200 MSRP respectively.

For those who love statistics and the details of these guitars, they are listed below, courtesy of www.evhgear.com:

For those who like the artwork of the typical Van Halen stripes and the sound of the EVH Wolfgang series of guitars, this may be an ideal choice of guitar for you.

EVH® Wolfgang® Special, Ebony Fingerboard, Red with Black and White Stripes

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/evh-wolfgang-special-ebony-fingerboard-red-black-and-white-stripes/

RED, BLACK AND WHITE:

 

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® Special, Ebony Fingerboard, Red with Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107701515

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2237.75

Colour: Red with Black and White Stripes

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

Finish:  Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Bolt-On Quartersawn Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang® Backshape .805” @ 3rd Fret / .890 @ 12th Fret

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

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

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® RS Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: None

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Dot

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low FrictionPot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction)

Pickup Switching: 3 Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

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

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded Gotoh® Chrome

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black Plastic

MISCELLANEOUS:

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

Included Accessories: 3/2.5 hex wrenches Tremolo Arm

 

BLACK AND YELLOW:

There are three different finishes in this new lineup of EVH Wolfgang guitars, designed to appeal to those with a historical throwback to early Van Halen guitars.

 Wolfgang® Special Striped, Maple Fingerboard, Black and Yellow

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/wolfgang-special-striped-maple-fingerboard-black-and-yellow/

GENERAL:

Model Name: Wolfgang® Special Striped, Maple Fingerboard, Black and Yellow

Model Number: 5107701516

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2167.18

Colour: Black with Yellow Stripes

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

NECK:

Neck Material: Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12”-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: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Urethane Gel

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dots

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low Friction Pot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction)

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

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

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

 

BLACK AND WHITE:

The black and white EVH Wolfgang Special Striped is a hybrid of the original Frankenstrat look – and in addition the latest tonal explorations from Eddie Van Halen himself.

EVH Wolfgang Special, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Stripes

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-special/evh-wolfgang-special-maple-fingerboard-black-and-white-stripes/

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH Wolfgang Special, Maple Fingerboard, Black and White Stripes

Model Number: 5107701517

Series: Wolfgang® Special

MSRP: $2167.82

Colour:

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Basswood

Body Finish: Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Maple

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 25.5” (648 mm)

Fingerboard Radius: 12” – 16” Compound Radius (304.8 mm to

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Jumbo

String Nut: Floyd Rose® RS Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3 mm)

Headstock: EVH®-Branded

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Hand-Rubbed Satin Urethane

Fingerboard: Maple

Position Inlays: Black Dot

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Neck Pickup: EVH® Wolfgang® Humbucking

Controls: Volume (500K EVH® Bourns Low Friction Pot), Tone (250K EVH® Bourns High Friction Pot)

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1. Bridge Pickup, Position 2. Bridge and Neck Pickups, Position 3. Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

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

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Hardware Finish: Chrome

Pickguard: N/A

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: NPS, .009-.042 Gauges

 

To summarise, these guitars are a basic hybrid of the EVH Wolfgang Specials and the EVH Striped Series guitars. They do appeal to those who like the sound and tone of the former, and the art-based paint work of the latter.

Eddie is still constantly creating new and innovative guitars via his EVH Brand to this day.

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

Tokyo Dome Live In Concert

Many older fans of Van Halen in particular were disappointed with the lack of activity from the Van Halen camp between Van Halen III and A Different Kind of Truth. There were calls from some Van Halen fans for a new live set to be assembled with the return of David Lee Roth.

Although Dave is back in the Van Halen camp, this recording is disappointing overall.

Picture courtesy http://logonoid.com/van-halen-logo/

So in early 2015, Van Halen unleased their most recent offering, Tokyo Dome Live in Concert, which was recorded on June 21 2013 and the Van Halen boys chose this as their best from the 2012-2013 A.D.K.O.T. tour. It is their second official live album and is a two disc set.
The biggest problem is that, regardless of the songs here, the band seemingly have not really embraced the necessity for change in the 21st century like they did in the past. David Lee Roth’s singing is undoubtedly awful, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar tone is less “sound” and more just “brown” in quality, Alex Van Halen still pushes a reasonable groove but Wolfgang Van Halen is no Michael Anthony in terms of backing vocals, although he excels on the bass guitar.

Wolfgang has proven to be a great bass guitarist.

Picture courtesy http://ultimateclassicrock.com/wolfgang-van-halen-tremonti-2014/

Still it is sad to hear and see (depending on if you have the CD or DVD) Van Halen become just another old rock and roll act. Although David Lee Roth has his own stage front man personality which is a one-of-a-kind, his singing and his inability to hit the notes properly leaves something to be desired. Although the live recording was edited, Dave’s vocals were not.

A good thing about this record is that it is entertaining to hear David Lee Roth adapt the songs for the Japanese crowd. And of course, Eddie’s solo is okay. But this mixed bag of goods just seemingly falls flat.

Van Halen still have a good future ahead of themselves, regardless of the quality of this recording.

Picture courtesy http://www.laweekly.com/music/i-waited-31-years-to-see-van-halen-and-it-was-totally-worth-it-6127958

The reviews and enthusiasm for this Van Halen live album were more negative than the Live: Right Here Right Now album during the “Van Hagar” era, which is sadly the truth. Still, if you need to have every single Van Halen album in your collection, visit this from time to time. Otherwise, need not bother.

On another note, a highly successful tour was done after this album was released around the U.S. Notably Eddie’s guitar playing was better than it had been for many years. A new album will be arriving soon around 2018-2019, although this is speculation.

A Different Kind Of Truth

The test had arrived for Van Halen to commence on a path once again with David Lee Roth. Indeed, the band had for the most part, gotten their act together. Being a reunited front with the new line up of David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son the band had to deliver a new record for the Van Halen fans.

The test came when the record was released in February 2012. However, although on paper the songs were old, leftover rewrites, the record itself is an enjoyable listen, although not exactly a perfect record itself.

Van Halen have got back to work with a renewed and fresh approach to their music.

Picture courtesy http://loudwire.com/van-halen-launch-2012-north-american-tour/

The record begins with the trashy and enjoyable, “Tattoo”. Although the song is enjoyable, it wears out after successive listens. Still, it is way better than anything on Van Halen III, pure proof of the band’s new and more focused direction.

The glorious “She’s The Woman” is a much better song. It starts off with a brilliant guitar part, leading into a loud and catchy tune, with an interesting solo in the midsection. Not bad overall.

The chugging “You and Your Blues” follows, indicating a different side to the band’s repertoire of music. Entertaining and very listenable.

For the new Van Halen record, Eddie Van Halen used the latest in EVH Wolfgang guitars, an EVH USA Wolfgang Stealth which sounds loud and powerful as it does here.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-usa/wolfgang-stealth-ebony-fingerboard-stealth-black-w-case/

The next song, “China Town” is rather awful. In a way it is sort of laughable, but sounds very ordinary indeed. For those who like skipping tracks, you may be best off doing so here.

“Blood and Fire” follows, which is another rather ordinary song with a forgettable chorus. Still it is miles better than anything that Van Halen have recorded since Balance.

The pseudo-thrash of “Bullethead” follows, rather strangely catchy. It is a loud, full on roar of a song. Good listening.

Eddie Van Halen himself is back on track and happier than ever to create new music.

Picture courtesy https://www.celebritydiagnosis.com/people_tag/eddie-van-halen/

“As Is” continues the rather nonsensical lyrics that seem to dominate this album. Indeed, some of the older Van Halen fans may be disappointed by this approach to lyric writing, yet is very musically viable indeed.

The rather boring and forgettable “Honeybabysweetiedoll” makes as much sense as it sounds by the song title, and the song itself. It seems as though Van Halen had put the worst tracks on the first half of this record…

It is fantastic to see Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen part of the Van Halen crew, a remarkably musically talented young man.

Picture courtesy http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-wolfgang-van-halen-talks-bass-different-kind-truth-and-more

Next up, “The Trouble with Never” is a rather good and catchy piece which demonstrates how wonderful and well respected Eddie Van Halen should be considered and deserves every bit of respect for his great guitar skills on it. Not bad at all.

“Outta Space” is obviously a rework, but not a bad one at that. Deeming indeed that the earth is full, it continues the nonsensical slur of lyrics that predominates the album.

The “Ice Cream Man” of this record, “Stay Frosty” is an anti-religious and reveals that in life, one must Stay Frosty in terms of laidback attitude. Starting off acoustically, it becomes a loud and rocking song that is well served.

David Lee Roth and the three Van Halens have successfully buried the majority of issues between each other and work cohesively together as a unit with great success.

Picture courtesy http://www.vhnd.com/2012/02/16/van-halen-allowing-fans-to-shoot-photos-video-at-shows/

“Big River” follows, which is a good rework of one of the songs on the Van Halen Zero demo. With all these wonderful songs here, one must think that the wait for a new Van Halen record was sure worth it.

The last, loudest and heaviest, and most likely, the best song of the album “Beats Workin’” shows Eddie Van Halen at his best. Indeed, those many years of tone chasing per se have proved that EVH himself can create a monstrous and undeniably brilliant sound. Legendary.

As long as their efforts continue with this new approach, Van Halen will continue to survive well into the 21st century.

Picture courtesy https://wallpapersafari.com/free-van-halen-logo-wallpapers/

Overall, the critics all agreed that this was a good, though not great, effort from Van Halen. Indeed, it has been many years between the previous Van Halen III and the A Different Kind of Truth record. Despite all this, it is a solidly good record that shows the future direction of a reworked and re-energised band. Well done.

EVH/Fender Wolfgang Custom Line

As time moved on, so did the need to make some adjustments to the EVH Wolfgang line. Obviously Eddie’s tastes, as well as the guitar market, were ever-changing and therefore so did the need for other EVH Wolfgang models as well.

The Custom line of EVH Wolfgang guitars featured generally do not come equipped with the Floyd Rose available (except for the EVH® Wolfgang® Limited Tour Relic Replica, which is in a high price range) but have different individual features of their own.

The EVH Wolfgang Custom line is very special and unique indeed.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/

Firstly, let’s observe the EVH Wolfgang Custom Deluxe USA. Available in Black, Gold and Vintage Burst gloss finishes, this particular guitar features a mahogany core body with maple top (AAA maple top on the Vintage Burst model), mother of pearl inlays and plenty of other interesting features. For those who are interested in such a guitar, listed below are the specifications, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/evh-wolfgang-custom-deluxe-usa-ebony-fingerboard-gold/:

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang® USA Custom Deluxe

Model Number: 5108100858

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $5333.32

Colours: Black, Gold, Vintage Burst.

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: Aged White/Black/White

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Gloss

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Neck Binding: White

Scale Length: 24.75” (628mm)

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

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Bone

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickups; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: TonePros® TP6 Adjustable with Stop Tailpiece

Tuning Machines: EVH®-Branded

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

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

This guitar certainly is one of the less orthodox guitars available for purchase by EVH Gear.

 

The EVH Wolfgang USA Custom is one beautiful guitar.

Picture courtesy http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/

Similarly, a later addition to the EVH Wolfgang Custom line is the EVH Wolfgang® USA Custom itself. Built to Eddie Van Halen’s specifications, it has some features not found on any other EVH Wolfgang model.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the specifications, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/wolfgang-usa-custom-ebony-fingerboard-black/:

GENERAL:                         

Model Name: Wolfgang® USA Custom

Model Number: 5108000803

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $4,799.99-$5,066.65

Colours: Black, Cherry Burst, White.

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Urethane

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Scale Length: 24.75” (628mm)

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

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Synthetic Bone

Nut Width: 1.6875” (42.8mm)

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Oiled

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Wolfgang® Custom-Designed Nickel-Covered

Neck Pickup: Wolfgang® Custom-Designed Nickel-Covered

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Toggle: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickup; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: Tune-O-Matic Style with Fine Tuners

Tuning Machines: Gotoh® with Pearl Buttons

Orientation: Right-Hand

Pickguard: None

Control Knobs: Black “Speed” Knobs

MISCELLANEOUS:

Strings: EVH® Branded (.009-.046 Gauges)

Unique Features: ½” AA Solid Flame Maple Top and seven-ply binding; Bound Mahogany set neck 24.75” scale length; Compound radius (12”-16”) ebony or rosewood fingerboard; 22 vintage Stainless Steel frets; Seven-ply headstock binding; Dual Wolfgang Custom nickel-covered humbucking pickups; Stop-tail bridge with fine tuners; EVH custom tuners; Dual EVH custom low-friction 500k volume pots; Dual EVH custom high-friction 250k tone pots.

Included Accessories: Striped EVH case; Truss Rod Wrench.

As you can see from the product specifications, the EVH Wolfgang USA Custom is one unique piece of kit. There are certain features that cannot be found on any other Wolfgang model, and this makes it a collector’s item indeed.

 

Keith Richards was the first profesional guitarist to come up with the idea of a Relic’d guitar.

Picture courtesy https://www.pinterest.com/spyder8674/keith-richards/

The last guitar that we will observe from the EVH Wolfgang® USA Custom line is the EVH® Wolfgang® Custom Relic® USA. For those of you who are unsure what a ‘relic’ guitar actually is, it is simply a new guitar model with a particular process applied to it to make it look aged. In actual fact, this process was initiated by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones many years ago, who once desired a guitar that had a worn out look rather than something that looked brand new.

In any case, below are the specifications for this particular model, courtesy of http://www.evhgear.com/gear/guitars/wolfgang-custom/evh-wolfgang-custom-relic-usa-ebony-fingerboard-relic-black/:

GENERAL:

Model Name: EVH® Wolfgang USA Custom Relic®

Model Number: 5108200803

Series: Wolfgang® USA Custom

MSRP: $7999.99

Colours: Black, Cherry Sunburst, Gold

BODY:

Body Shape: Wolfgang®

Body Binding: Aged White/Black/White

Body Material: Mahogany

Body Finish: Relic’d Gloss Lacquer

NECK:

Neck Material: Mahogany

Neck Shape: Wolfgang Backshape

Neck Binding: Aged White

Scale Length: 25.5” (648mm)

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

Number of Frets: 22

Fret Size: Vintage Stainless

String Nut: Floyd Rose® R2 Locking

Nut Width: 1.625” (41.3mm)

Truss Rod Nut: Heel-Mounted Spoke Wheel Adjustment

Neck Plate: N/A

Neck Finish: Relic’d Lacquer

Fingerboard: Ebony

Position Inlays: Pearl Trapezoid Blocks

ELECTRONICS:

Bridge Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Neck Pickup: Direct Mount Wolfgang Humbucking

Controls: Volume 1 (Neck Pickup); Tone 1 (Neck Pickup); Volume 2 (Bridge Pickup); Tone 2 (Bridge Pickup).

Pickup Switching: 3-Position Blade: Position 1 – Bridge Pickup; Position 2 – Bridge and Neck Pickups; Position 3 – Neck Pickup.

Pickup Configuration: HH

HARDWARE:

Bridge: Gotoh® Hardtail with Fine Tuners

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: 2 Bourns 500k Low Friction Volume Potentiometers; 2 Bourns 250k High Friction Potentiometers; Ebony Headstock Overlay; Amber “Bell” Control Knobs and Cream Pickup Bezels on (815) and (858); Black “Bell” Control Knobs and Black Pickup Bezels on (803); 2 Graphite Neck Reinforcement Rods; Schaller® Chrome String Retainer Bar; Side Mounted Square Jack Plate; 5-Layer Aged White/Black Body and Headstock Bindings; Aged White Fingerboard Binding; Heel-Mounted Spoke-Wheel Truss Rod Adjustment at Butt of Neck.

 

As you can tell, the custom line of EVH Wolfgang guitars are wonderful and uniquely collectable in their own way. The author has chosen not to include the EVH® Wolfgang Limited Tour Relic (Replica) as it will be covered at a later date.

For the meantime, those who are seeking a hardtail model with all the most unique custom specifications of the EVH Wolfgang models, look no further than the EVH Wolfgang Custom line. These models are designed for those who desire an instrument to keep with eternal fascination.

Eddie Van Halen himself seems perfectly happy with the service and array of EVH Gear models by Fender.

Picture courtesy http://cosmomusic.ca/blogs/2016/01/namm-2016-the-eddie-van-halen-replica-guitar-only-one-in-canada-and-were-getting-it

 

Zero

Although not officially a Van Halen album, Zero is being covered as it is a very important addition in the back catalogue of Van Halen releases. It is crucial to recognise this as a worthy listen and also the beginning of Van Halen’s career in the studio.

The story behind Zero is that Kiss’s Gene Simmons stumbled across Van Halen in their club circuit trip around Pasadena in southern California. Simmons was suitably impressed, so much so that he asked Eddie to join Kiss. Eddie declined.

Still, Gene Simmons was determined to promote Van Halen. He booked them some time to record, and the result was Zero, a demo tape of ten Van Halen songs. Simmons sent off many copies of this demo tape to various recording companies, only to be turned down.

The rocker Gene Simmons was crucial in promoting very early Van Halen.

Picture courtesy http://worlds-collection.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/gene-simmons.html

Despite all this, the result was a very good one, musically at least. Gene Simmons forced Eddie to extensively overdub parts, much to Ed’s dislike. Upon listening, the sound quality is definitely not the best. But the songs are exceptionally good.

Beginning with the heavy On Fire, all the way through to story tale like Put Out The Lights, this demo tape is well worth listening to. It is mostly loud, hard rock blending an array of styles and drawing on the great rock groups, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin along the way. Although Eddie had not necessarily reached his artistic peak here, the album was good enough, so much so, that Van Halen later reworked a large majority of the songs from Zero onto A Different Kind of Truth in 2012, over thirty years later.

The latest Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth reworked many songs from the original Zero demo tape, proof of the band’s confidence of the material on it.

Picture courtesy http://3minuterecord.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/van-halen-a-different-kind-of-truth.jpg

Much of what to come on later albums is here, humorous tales such as Woman In Love and House of Pain. But there is an energy and variety that adds to these songs like Babe, Don’t Leave Me Alone and the original She’s The Woman that other bands would have trouble with. This is what makes this album an enjoyable listen.

Although not an official release, it is circulating around on the internet in various forms. Nonetheless, Zero is a great introduction to Van Halen’s music, and a must for any Van Halen fan.