Van Halen – ‘Women and Children First Sessions’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I was out for Record Store Day in September and while waiting in line to buy my RSD purchases, this was sitting at the top of the shelf staring at me. I swear I heard it calling my name…”John, buy me!”. I stopped, looked around, no one else in the store heard it, but it said it, I know it did!! Now who was I to argue. I grabbed it, give it a quick once over and when I saw that it was a bootleg of demos from the Van Halen album “Women and Children First”, SOLD!! I mean look at the cover. They took the original album cover and made it way cooler. And to match the cover, the vinyl is even red to go with the stripes. Sweet!

I took it home and couldn’t wait to hear it. Now, I just bought several record store day items and I was way more excited about this album then the RSD purchases. And after listening to it, I am still more excited. Being a bootleg, I was worried about the sound quality of the demos and let me tell you, it was fantastic. These demos have been floating around for awhile and they are normally very muddied down and a little rough. These have been cleaned up nicely. The sound is crisp and clear and though they do sound like demos, they are also pretty damn cool.

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October 2020 Purchases – Vinyls & CDs

Is October already over!! Wow! The time is flying by now. Luckily for me, it was another stellar month for picking up so new stuff (most is old stuff new to me though). And I didn’t waste any time as right at the end of September after I wrote the September Purchases post, a few things came in the mail from Amazon within minutes and days of each other. First up was Ace Frehley’s Origins. Vol 2…and yes I have Vol 1…duh!!

Then Queen & Adam Lambert’s Live Around the World. I chose CD on this only because when I ordered it the vinyl wasn’t listed. It did come with a DVD of the shows as well. Since my daughter saw this tour a couple years ago, no brainer…

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Van Halen – “Hot for Teacher” (The 45 Single)

I was out the weekend after Eddie Van Halen passed away casually digging for records with no intent of really looking for anything. I was still a little down from him passing and nothing makes me feel better than digging through stacks and stacks of records (my wife and kids, of course make me feel better as well). I digging through a small batch of 45’s and this was nonchalantly hiding in that batch. I pulled it out and the owner of the store said “that must of slipped through as I completely sold out of everything Van Halen this week”…no surprise.

The single is really cool as it is a gatefold housed in a clear PVC sleeve. It also includes a mini 4-panel poster with each panel being a member of the band, naturally. The single itself was the same single as the one issued in 1984 and strangely has “Little Dreamer” from the debut album as the B-Side.

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You Pick It – Which Album to Review in July?

Welcome to something new at 2 Loud 2 Old Music.  You, my reader, are going to pick an album for me to review each month.  It is really simple…first, I will give you 5 albums to choose from and second, you will tell me which one of those you would like to see reviewed on the site.  See…simple!

There are a few simple rules I have put in to place in my selections.  They are…

  • One has to be a new release (within the last month)
  • One has to be one I have never heard before (new releases don’t count for this one)
  • One has to be from a genre I don’t normally listen to at all or very often
  • And the last two are choices from my collection that I haven’t reviewed before

What are the 5 albums you ask?  Funny you should ask because I have those right here…note: I tried to pick non-obvious choices to make things a little more interesting. Continue reading “You Pick It – Which Album to Review in July?”

Tuesday’s Memes – Sammy Hagar

The Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, is up next for this edition of Tuesday’s Memes.  And why shouldn’t he be.  The man is a legend…a rocker, a tequila genius and a man that doesn’t age and knows how to live life to the fullest.  I am supposed to see him this Summer in concert, but don’t know if that will happen.  Whitesnake already had to pull out, but I might still go as it will be Sammy, Night Ranger and hopefully some other great band.  I just hope we are able to get out by the time that rolls around in July.  Until then, enjoy these memes on Mr. Sammy…

I can’t drive 55!!!:

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Tuesday’s Memes – Van Halen #2

It is time for the second collection of Van Halen memes from around the world.  With David Lee Roth now opening for Kiss on the End of the Road Tour and then Billie Eilish not knowing who Van Halen is, I felt the world needed more memes celebrating and poking fun at the band.  So, let’s “Jump” “Right Now” in to it.  Enjoy…

Gary Cherone…

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My Sunday Song – “Mean Street” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #150, we are ending the Van Halen set of 10 songs with “Mean Street” off the album “Fair Warning”.  The song reached #13 on the Mainstream Rock station and help propel the album to #5 on the Billboard charts.  It is the opening track and the song were the title of the album comes.

The song comes blazing out of the gate with the vintage Eddie style riffs that scream…I am the best guitarist and don’t you forget it!!  The opening was inspired by the slap funk bass style and I would say there is nothing the man can’t do with a guitar.  Then the song gets dirty and a little nasty.  Musically and Lyrically, it is a dark song for the band. I also love the fade out at the end with those wicked guitar parts Ed is playing while it is fading out.

The song seems to be about life on the streets.  The pain and agony of living on the street and the fighting to stay alive.  The streets will basically chew you up and spit you out.  Funny thing, the band aren’t from the streets so they really have no idea about “mean streets” now do they. Don’t get me wrong, that takes away nothing from the song.  It is badass and delivered very convincingly.

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My Sunday Song – “Panama” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #149, we are not going real deep for this one.  We are going to one of their big hits and a personal favorite called “Panama” off the album ‘1984’.  The song reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.  For me, the song brings back memories of my Senior Trip in High School when we went to Panama City, Florida…the song was blasting in the car on the way down!!

The song has two theories behind its meaning.  The first is it is about a car and the second theory is it is about a stripper.  The lyrics work either way as it is a wonderful double entendre.  The song does mention all the typical car parts and hell there is even a part during the bridge where you hear an engine revving.  That car engine is actually Eddie’s 1972 Lamborghini Miura S with a mic up to its tailpipe.

The album 1984 brought the keyboard sound into the bands music, but this song would have none of that.  It had Eddie blasting through some brutal riffs and Alex was pounding away at the drums and the brothers gave us the Van Halen of old.  Dave is his classic self and is belting out the lyrics and even giving us a little of that spoken verse style he does so famously towards the end.

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My Sunday Song – “Everybody Wants Some” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #147, Van Halen’s song “Everybody Wants Some” will get the royal treatment this week.  The song is off the album “Women and Children First” and the second one I have done from that album (because it is that good).  The song was never a a single, but a B-Side to the song “And the Cradle Will Rock”.

The opening of the song is the tribal drum beat by Alex with Dave making some little noises in the background and Eddie comes in with that sinister riff.  The music sounds menacing and when they kick it in to full gear, it is a slammin’ rock song.  Eddie’s guitar playing on the solo has him two-handing the fretboard on his guitar and really breaking new ground as usual.  The driving force though is Alex with that drum beat throughout.  Really killer.

Lyrically, there isn’t much there.  It is a pure sex song and Dave’s talking vocal performance is the star here.  His vocals sound almost like he is ad-libbing the whole thing.  Just making it up as he goes along, but it works so well.  The first line on the second verse is “I Seen a Lotta People Lookin’ for a Moonbeam”, but seriously, can you understand one word of what he says…except for maybe moonbeam?  No, as I don’t think he knew what the hell he was saying.   The song ends with Dave going “Look, I’ll pay you for it, What the fuck”, but the “fuck” is not really audible with the way they phase it out the sound.

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My Sunday Song – “Atomic Punk” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #145, we are tackling “Atomic Punk” which is off Van Halen’s debut album.  The space age song is a very deep cut and was never released as a single, but was the B-Side to “You Really Got Me”.  It is one of those gems that only the true fans listen to probably more than some of the band’s big hits (maybe that is just me)  I believe it helped drive the sales to way above 10 million copies.

The song is a sci-fi song about a dystopian society and Dave is the leader of this rag-tag crew.  The opening of the song has these space age sounds coming from Eddie’s guitar almost like a space ship sound.  Eddie captures the sound by rubbing his palm over the strings with the guitar going through one of his pedals.  It is captivating.

Lyrically, there isn’t a whole lot here.  Not in context or theme, but in length.  This is more of a showcase for more of what Eddie can do.  Not to take anything from Dave as he delivers the lyrics earnestly and convincingly as it does set the tone for the dark feel of the song.  But it is Eddie’s guitar playing that is again in full force with all the tricks he throws at you.  You hear something a little different and new each time you listen.

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