Album Review: Eddie Van Halen-VHBNVH (2021)

Today marks the 1st year anniversary of the death of Eddie Van Halen. I still can’t believe he’s gone. I stopped blogging for a while during 2020 but Eddie’s death hit me real hard. I almost gave in and wrote a post that day but I didn’t. Today, hopefully I make up for that. I wanted to respect his greatness by reviewing an album. I narrowed it down to the DLR era. However, I hold those albums in such great regards, as do many others, so I felt that I would be preaching to the masses. Saying 1984, 1978’s S/T, WACF, II, and Fair Warning were great albums would be like saying water is wet. My favourite album by the band is Diver Down, and I contemplated that one. Many people would put it way down the list, but it was the first VH album I bought, with my own money that I earned on my paper route. Also, it was my first cassette purchase ever, and you know how I feel about cassettes. Diver Down holds a special place in my heart. I was close to doing a review of that album but wasn’t ready yet. I’m not sure how to describe it. How can I tell others what this album means to me? I think it would take me days, maybe weeks to write about that album and how it makes me feel. Who has that kind of time? Not me. Therefore I chose to review an imaginary solo Eddie Van Halen album called VHBNVH (Van Halen But Not Van Halen). For the sake of honouring Eddie, I will imagine that all of the songs were EVH solo songs, and any additional vocalists/musicians were guests on his solo album.

That’s Why I Love You – Van Halen III never gets the love. Probably wrong place at the wrong time for Gary Cherone. It might have been better for him if Eddie had just asked him to do the vocals for a song on his solo album. He probably would have been seen in a better light over time.

Crossing Over – This Japanese bonus track/single from the Balance era has been heard by few VH fans. This is a shame that will be rectified by this EVH solo album.

Joy To The World – I am not a huge fan of hearing Christmas songs in October, however if the song has a a mix of Steve Lukather and Eddie Van Halen I could make an exception.

Blinded By Pain – Eddie showed off his prowess not only on guitar but bass on this track. Rich Wyman does a pretty good job handling the vocals on this one.

Untitled (Gene Simmons Demo-Vault Collection) – It’s my imaginary album, so I say there is a killer song that Gene didn’t want to release because a) he was jealous b) he couldn’t take all the money from c) all of the above.

Eastern Bloc – When Thomas Dolby wasn’t getting blinded by science, he and his wife were hanging out with Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli, and not even producer Andy Johns crashing his car on Eddie’s property or Alex Van Halen telling Thomas he was not welcome could keep this song from being on the album.

Bluesbreaker – Brian May and Eddie trading off riffs in tribute to Eric Clapton. Sounds like a bluesbreaking trifecta to me.

Eagles Fly – Sammy Hagar singing on the Eddie Van Halen solo album. If only there was a cutesy name that could represent the collaboration. Eddie Hagar? Sammie Van Halen? How about Van Hagar? Yes!!

Twist The Knife – Eddie actually plays the bass and lets Toto guitarist Steve Lukather take the guitar/vocal duties for this song which started out as a demo for the 5150 album called “I Want Some Action”.

Respect The Wind – Hey Bro, do you want to do a song on the Twister soundtrack with me?

We’re The Greatest – “I got Van Halen, I don’t need a bass line.” LL Cool J gets it.

Lost Boys Calling – Roger Waters will only work with Eddie if he does his best David Gilmour impression. That is ok with Eddie and it’s totally fine by me.

Can’t Get Away From You – I listened to this song years ago on Nicolette Larson’s s/t solo album years ago. As I was listening I was looking at the credits to this song. The guitar musician was credited as a question mark. The first second of the solo I knew who it was. Eddie takes credit here on his solo album.

Beat It – Say what you want about Michael Jackson’s personal life. The man could really make a pop song “pop”.

Evil Eye – Eddie was in England and Tony Iommi invited him to his house. They went to the local music shop where Tony asked the chaps if Eddie could borrow a guitar(a signature EVH series). This song is both the result and the album closer.

Rest In Peace Eddie. Say hi to Ronnie James Dio and Gord Downie for me.

12 thoughts on “Album Review: Eddie Van Halen-VHBNVH (2021)

  1. I think you told everyone quite nicely what Diver Down means to you. You bought it with your own money earned from a paper route and it was your first cassette every. That my friend is reason enough. I have the 3 Gene Simmons demos from The Vault with Eddie & Alex and they are pretty good. His solo on one of them was so good, Gene made Ace re-do note for note for the song that made it on the Kiss album.

    Liked by 1 person

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