My Sunday Song – “Pleasure Dome” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #148, we go with “Pleasure Dome” off the album “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”.  This is the second one off this album I have done and for good reason, it was the first Sammy led album I actually liked but that is for another time and place.  The song was never a single, but a B-Side to the song “Poundcake” and I am not sure which one I like more.

The song is actually based on Rush’s song “Xanadu” from what I can gather and that is not a bad song for inspiration.  And…a “Pleasure Dome” could be referring to the poem “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coolidge.  Of course, Kubla Khan’s empire was known as Xanadu so the connection is complete (maybe, I am just piecing together bits and pieces from what I found on the song).

The song is a strong showcase of Alex’s stellar drumming and after doing “Everybody Wants Some” with a strong drum sound, why not continue with another that showcases Alex.  Alex has a very distinct sound he creates with his drumming and there is so much on here that fills the song.  It is one of the main things I take away from it.

Lyrically, it reminds me a little of “Everybody Wants Some” as well with how Sammy talks out a lot of the lyrics like Dave was doing.  The lyrics seem to be about Sammy taking some drug tripping journey in his mind or in the universe or wherever.  He is getting lost and further away from home with no escape.  I don’t know what it really means, but it is fantastic trip.

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My Sunday Song – “Poundcake” by Van Halen

For My Sunday Song #143, we have “Poundcake” off  Van Halen’s 1991 album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (or F.U.C.K. for short).  The song was the first single off the album and went straight to #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.  The song was also the first song on the album which was one hell of a way to open an album.

The song comes firing at you with a freaking power drill.  That is right.  The song opens with a power drill being played through Eddie’s guitar.  Playing it near or against the strings allows the guitar pickups to actually “pick up” the sound.  It was totally cool as there seems there is nothing Eddie can not do with a guitar.  It was so popular, that Eddie painted up a drill in the Frankenstrat motif to use in the video and tour.

That wasn’t the only cool thing about the song.  The rest of the guitar sounds were great as well.  Eddie beefed things up playing a 12 string throughout for the rhythm guitar as well as his normal guitar for the solo.  And let me tell you that solo was something else too.  Eddie pulls out all the tracks accompanied by the heart pounding drums of his brother Alex.  It is one of those songs I liked more for the music than the actual lyrical content of the song.

Lyrically, the song is about being real.  Most people are fake and pretend to be something they are not.  It is sexier if you are just who you are, no pretentiousness or b.s. of any kind.  If you can find a woman (or a man) that is who they say they are, then get a hold of that and wrap it up nice and tight.  Poundcakes are simple, there isn’t anything to hide.  What you see is what you get so I guess that is why they chose that as its title.

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