David Lee Roth was originally the main vocalist for the successful Rock group Van Halen. Inevitably, there were tensions between Diamond Dave (his nickname) and the rest of the Van Halen group, particularly guitarist Eddie Van Halen. David Lee Roth left Van Halen in early 1985, just as his solo career was to ignite its brief spark. This album, released after his departure from Van Halen, was seen as a good solo album by Dave. It had an all-star cast, including producer Ted Templeman, up-and-coming guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, bassist Billy Sheehan and drummer Gregg Bissonette. This should be a fun listen nonetheless, given these talented musicians, so let’s dive in and have a listen to this album.
Yankee Rose begins with some awesome sustained guitar chords, some interesting wah-wah guitar and a call-and-response between Diamond Dave and Steve Vai. Which is really excellent. It quickly launches into a quite good tune and is a mission statement from David Lee Roth. The instrumentation and performances by all are excellent, and the lyrics on this song are hilarious and cool. It seems that Sammy Hagar led Van Halen mark II (or Van Hagar if you will) had some serious competition on their hands. It’s a youthful and sexually charged anthem that sounds really awesome. There is an awesome breakdown in the second half before this piece builds up to a magnificent groove with some truly awesome shredding from Steve Vai. Excellent tune.
Shyboy (Timido) begins with some interesting whammy bar heavy guitars, before going straight into a really cool and awesome Rock groove, that sounds a bit like Hardcore Punk or Thrash Metal. This is a fast and furious piece that is actually quite decent. A really awesome and well-delivered piece of music, David Lee Roth and crew may have been better than many realised. No doubt that this is a lot like Hair Metal, but it sounds amazing, particularly the guitar solos, which do sound Van Halen esque. A nice Rocking and groovy tune, this is superb music, with guitars that are shredtastic. There are some awesome vocals and playing throughout, and a superb set of drum rolls and guitars finish this piece off. Great effort.
I’m Easy (Soy Facil) begins with a pseudo-Jimi Hendrix guitar style intro, before David Lee Roth sings really well here. Diamond Dave sounds really cheerful, upbeat and sexual here, delivering tunes that guys out there would dig and the more promiscuous women would enjoy hearing as well. There are layers of different instrumentation that sound really fine and excellent on this song before this wraps up after only over two minutes long. Good job boys.
Ladies’ Nite In Buffalo? (Noche De Ronda En La Ciudad) comes along next, beginning with some great bass guitar, pounding drums and some really cool 1980s style guitars. A very cool and enjoyable piece to listen to, despite the fact that there is no EVH here, this is a funky and lively tune for music fans and Van Halen fans from the early years to sink their teeth into. This is about more sleazy and sexual endeavours in the mid-1980s. A really cool and excellent listen with loads of whammy bar guitar work by Steve Vai, this sounds really great for essentially mainstream music of the 1980s. A very catchy and headbanging tune that is really awesome, all the way through to the fade-out. Nice work.
Goin’ Crazy (Loco Del Calor) begins with some nice guitar parts that kick one’s rear, before the rest of the group kick in and this song is a really awesome and uplifting listen. There are some colourful textures on this album and song, which are noticeable, including some keyboard and other nicely produced textures by the group. A really upbeat and excellent tune with a scorching hot guitar solo by Steve Vai, this is without a doubt an excellent listening experience. The whole supergroup on this album sounds like they were on a mission to conquer the musical world. Brilliant music, all the way to the ending.
Tobacco Road (La Calle Del Tabaco) begins with some sleazy guitar fills, with a nice mixture of playing and sound effects. David Lee Roth sings gloriously and the backing vocal harmonies on the chorus are absolutely wonderful. A fine and very listenable piece of music, this is terrific and fantastic to enjoy. There are some shredding guitar solos in the second half, proving that Steve Vai was true, a fantastic guitarist. It ends with more brilliant harmonies, great music here folks.
Elephant Gun (Arma De Caza Mayor) comes next and begins with a heavy romp stomp sort of tune. The whole thing is a great tune with some excellent playing on it. The lyrics are about murder via political power, yet it sounds too much like Rock music to not be enjoyed. A strange piece of music, yet nonetheless, David Lee Roth and crew do a superb job. Intricate basslines and burning guitar solos are present, and this is all over in under two and a half minutes. Excellent work.
Big Trouble (En Busca De Pleito) begins with some super catchy guitar riffs that sounds excellent, followed quickly by David Lee Roth’s singing and the band’s excellent musicianship. Singing about suburban troubles, this is a really cool tune to hear. It is an unusual piece of music for these guys, but David Lee Roth’s voice sounds wonderful and upbeat throughout. He may not be as good as a singer (arguably) as Sammy Hagar, but he sings very well nonetheless. Intricate guitar solos and drumrolls combine in the second half to surprise you. A really cool tune, it is clear that everyone on board for this record was not a disappointment. It finishes off with a faded out guitar jam. Excellent tune.
Bump And Grind (Cuanto Frenesi) sounds like a hilarious song title because it is. The piece begins with semi-Black Sabbath guitars and goes into a piece about male sexual endeavours. This sort of concept is rather dated today, but nonetheless, this song is fantastic to listen to anyway. The whole band is on top, and Steve Vai plays some unusual solos in the second half. A gloriously good tune, this is a really cool listen throughout. Great effort, especially Dave on vocals. A must listen, this is hilarious.
That’s Life (Asi Es La Vida) begins with some pounding drum rolls, before going into a Frank Sinatra cover by David Lee Roth that actually sounds very good. This is a midtempo piece with some pretty female backing vocals and a gorgeous string section to boot. This is also a good way to conclude this album, which has been a very good listen throughout. There is a key change towards the end, and it ends with a fantastic ending. Great.
This is a surprisingly good listen from David Lee Roth and his supergroup, and no doubt everyone involved, especially Steve Vai, were to benefit from this album. Any flaws? It does come across as a little cheesy. Mind you so did the Van Halen album 5150, also released in the same year. Still, this is a decent musical statement that is more varied material than early Van Halen efforts with Diamond Dave in it, and just as good quality as those releases. Worth a listen if you are into that sort of thing. Sadly, later efforts from David Lee Roth’s solo career were not up to scratch, so this is the best one to go for.
Funny and witty.
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