Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby (1998)

Fatboy Slim became a household name with this release. It’s a decent listen for sure, and is a nice mixture between big beat and other electronic sounds. Let’s dive in and have a listen, track by track.

We begin with the eerie sounding Right Here Right Now which is an EDM classic. It takes a while to build up, but when it hits you, it hits very well. It’s a great dance number with many different sections to boot. It has a great midsection and climax, short story of the tune is that is a great tune to listen to, despite the fact it goes well over five minutes. It finishes with some interesting radio chatter, before leading into the next tune.

The next one perhaps is even better. The Rockafeller Skank is an optimistic and cheerful tune with some country-esque Telecaster sounding licks and some other great samples. It never bores once through the listen, and has an ear busting (in a good way) climax with more multi-sectioned goodies sound wise. A good listen.

Fucking In Heaven is ridiculous sounding for THAT sampled quote. This one seems a little overkill for that reason, it’s a good piece without sounding great. It still has its moments, sounding rather comical. It’s throwaway, but decent for a South Park sort of tune. It does have some, once again, good midsection based sounds. Nice.

Gangster Trippin is a much more listenable tune than the previous one. It sounds really good, with alternating sections as well with some alternating samples and melodies. This sort of music isn’t played much at parties or in regular day-to-day life, so it is worth a listen for that purpose. Much like the other songs on this album, it is fairly repetitive, mind you.

The next piece is fairly meh. Build It Up, Tear It Down is merely an exercise in doing that to a dance track, with mixed results. No doubt a fan favourite, but it just lacks quality. Better examples of dance tracks out there have done this sort of thing. Just very, meh.

Following that is a vast improvement. Kalifornia has some weird sound effects and samples to boot. But it’s quite enjoyable. Suitable for a road trip or something similar, it’s a good listen throughout. The beats are quite heavy for sure, propelling this piece along very well. The outro is pretty different.

Soul Surfing is a crowd pleaser. It’s sort of a mixture between a soul and funk pastiche. It’s an adventurous and nice listen. There are many different guitar based samples and some unusual breakdowns. A nice listen, but like much of the album, good, but not great.

You’re Not From Brighton is quirky. It’s likely considered by many to be a filler track, but sounds so cartoon like and different that it does necessitate listening. Sounds not like out of a Donald Duck cartoon or something similar, it sure is interesting. Guessing the tune here, not a lot of us are from Brighton, UK, either. A basic, slowed down outro leads into the next piece.

Probably the defining Fatboy Slim piece is here, Praise You is a good-vibe and uplifting piece with a piano riff, a variety of samples and many different tasty sounds. It kind of blows away a lot of the other songs on the album. It segues to and from the piano riff to an organ led midsection. It’s a good listen. There is some beatboxing here if you listen closely as well.

Following up is Love Island. This could be a reference to Ibiza, the club paradise of the world, off the coast of Spain. Google that one, if you don’t know about it. The song has a very moving intro, before launching into a static sounding acid-like piece with some interesting peaks and troughs. By this point, we recognise the album as a good, yet not great listen. It’s still worth the time if you can put that into the recording itself.

Acid 8000 finishes the album. It’s a beatastic and extended piece for a long period of dancing, in or out of home. Some pulsating sounds make up this one. “It’s so easy to get acid, you can get it anywhere,” launches the more danceable section of this one. The baby screaming is unnecessary and annoying.

This album is okay, but only okay. The main thing letting it down is the length of the album, which is excessively long. If 10-15 minutes were chopped off some of the songs, this would be a much better listen. Still, it’s better than most EDM compilations out there right now, which gives it a sort of place in history. But still, it could be bettered here.

6/10

Van Halen – Balance (1995)

It seemingly was all over for Van Halen at this point. Some of the rot had set into the band. It went way back to 1985 when show master singer David Lee Roth had left the band. Then Sammy Hagar arrived, splitting the fan base. Their output slowed from then on in.

If that weren’t enough, Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen were constantly fighting. There was also Eddie’s claim he was “clean and sober” at the time, which wasn’t exactly true. He was drinking constantly and on painkillers as his hips were shot, and taking other drugs as well. Everyone inside of the Van Halen circle were unsure about their future.

But Balance is a decent record. Okay, it is not Van Halen’s best by any measure. But Eddie’s tone sounds great here, better so than any other “Van Hagar” record that was recorded. His constant evolution of tone and sonic ability still shines through this record, and the rest of the band sound empowered because of this. It’s a good, but not great listen. So let’s hear it.

The Seventh Seal begins with wind chimes and the freakiest Buddhist chanting that you will ever hear, before crashing into an okay rock song that dates back to the very early days of Van Halen. The guitar riff by Eddie Van Halen is pretty good though, and the whole thing sounds different. It’s a better piece off this recording. The lyrics on this one, are very biblical. A nice effort.

Can’t Stop Lovin’ You follows. It was one of the singles off the album. It seems rather soppy in approach, even for a “Van Hagar” song. It still affects one emotionally, but we cannot but help think that these songs could be better done. But still, it’s a good flashback tune anyway. Nice vocal harmonies here though.

The next song is the polarising Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do). It was originally designed to be a vastly different song, but Eddie Van Halen disliked the original. So this version comes across as a badass piece, despite it being originally written in memory of Kurt Cobain after his suicide. Strange, but a fairly ordinary song anyway, despite the intention of the song.

After that, we go to Amsterdam. Sammy Hagar, being a bit of a pothead, no doubt loved this song as sort of ritualistic piece. But, it has some great riffs and playing by the band in general. It’s a more cheerful uptempo number by Van Halen, and one of the better songs on the album. It’s about the city in Europe where all the tourists go to smoke pot. A good effort here.

Big Fat Money is a song about desiring money. It’s a great uptempo rock number which paces very quickly. Alex Van Halen shines on here, and there is a jazz guitar solo in the middle. Nice to hear, even if the song is rather rubbish anyway. At least it is positive and fun.

Strung Out is a short instrumental that was recorded years before Balance was. It’s Eddie doing a muck around on a piano. Rather unnecessary for this album, doesn’t need to be here at all. But hey, at least it is short. It segues into the next song.

The piano driven Not Enough is a song about love being not enough from another person. It’s a rather depressing listen, but a good one. It has a great line in the song: “Because my heart will always be…yours honestly.” It was a hit single at the time, and is no doubt a good listen, even if it feels uncomfortable to listen to throughout.

The following song, Aftershock, is more or less a continuation of the previous song. It has some pretty sweet guitar playing by Eddie Van Halen. It sounds as though the band were about to fall apart, even on this recording. Still, it’s a great number to here, and there are some great guitar tapping and harmonics here. Nice.

Doin’ Time is an Alex Van Halen drum solo. It’s actually pretty good, although unlike his live stuff, didn’t go on for 20 minutes or longer. It’s just a short and decent piece with a variety of different drums and drum sounds here. A nice change from the other songs.

Baluchiterium is another instrumental. Plenty of instrumentals on this album, it is here mainly to show off Eddie Van Halen’s playing here. It’s a good listen, and the outro in particular is very psychedelic. Just an interesting and quality piece by the group, although Sammy Hagar is missing here, mysteriously.

The next song, Take Me Back (Deja Vu) is about reliving a good time that is being sorely missed. It relates this experience to memories about a certain place, “Some desert island off Morocco”. It has an acoustic guitar in it, too. A nice number from the group here on the album.

The last song on the album, Feelin’ is a good way to finish off this album.  It has some good playing by Eddie Van Halen, but you can kind of hear that the band were sick of each other at this point. Still, it rocks hard.

The album which was considered a balanced effort by the group (hence the title of the album) went to #1 and was the last real effort by Van Halen for many years. Still, it is a good listen and shows that Van Halen still had a few musical tricks up their sleeve. Ironically, the album artwork was changed in Japan due to it being considered offensive. It is still a good listen, although not a great one.

7/10

The Verve – Urban Hymns (1997)

This is it, ladies and gentleman. The greatest of them all. It’s a musical nirvana here, and no, we are not talking about Kurt Cobain either.

This possibly could be the greatest album ever, or at least in the author’s opinion here. The reason? It’s the most positive and bold statement out there from an artist in all history. Yes, we are talking from classical music onto today’s postmodern 21st century offerings. It’s just great. So, here we go, let’s observe this, track by track.

The most famous song from here begins this album. Bittersweet Symphony is no doubt a great tune from the word go. It has a beautiful string section and pounding drumbeats, before launching into modern poetry about the beauty in life. Literally. Some great and memorable lyrics are here, concluding by saying: “I’ll take you down the only road I’ve ever been down…” A truly great piece of music. It sounds semi psychedelic too. London was swinging again in the 1990’s for sure.

The next song is so wonderful. Sonnet is just that, modern day English poetry. It has some lyrics which are so inspired. “Eyes open wide, looking at the heavens with a tear in my eye.” It’s a very nice piece indeed. Great to listen to as well. The album sounds so well produced and mixed, a good example is this song.

The Rolling People is a psychedelic and hard rocking number. The lyrics here are really trippy and interesting. Guitarist Nick McCabe does really well here, showing that despite the tensions in the band, he could do an excellent job at artistry. The whole band pulls this off fantastically. A great job here, never a dull moment in the whole seven plus minutes or so that this goes on. A great piece. The outro is out there in terms of sonic production.

The Drugs Don’t Work is a sad lament about Richard Ashcroft’s father dying. It still sounds great, and was a hit single. But, all the same, it’s a melancholy piece about that subject. It’s a nice piece about losing a loved one, and has a beautiful string section to boot. Nice work here.

The next piece, the wah-wah and feedback heavy looped guitar parts of Catching The Butterfly arrives and we are dazzled as a result. It’s a great piece that has some great drumming in it, too. It has some artistic lyrics in it too, “In my lucid dreams”. Boy, can these guys make music! The band does very well here.

The brief glimpse of an urban trip Neon Wilderness arrives. It’s a short trip into oblivion with some great sound effects and heavily drug influenced lyrics. It’s a nice addition to the album, although not the best song on it. It’s still very good listening though. The harmonies are great here.

Space And Time is a beautiful piece. It combines destiny with love, and is so reassuring sounding that it makes you want more from the group. Richard Ashcroft pleads that he cannot make it alone, and has some romantic sensibilities in the music here at hand. It just sounds wonderful. A great tune.

Weeping Willow is a trippy song. It is much more rhythmic based than previous songs, and just seems a little weaker than the other songs. But, it is still a powerful statement nonetheless. It has some deep introspection here, mind you. “I hope you see what I see, I hope you feel what I feel…” It’s a great statement from Richard Ashcroft, with drug references towards the end. Like you noticed though.

The next song is so beautiful and wonderful, you will be dazzled in awe. Lucky Man should be a depression killer for anyone going through struggles. If you ever listen to this piece, consider yourself lucky. It’s an audio treat for everyone to hear. Brilliant. “I hope you understand,” sings Richard Ashcroft. We sure do on this record. It will bring tears of happiness to your eyes.

The slow ballad One Day is surreal and impressionistic in its approach. It’s another great piece to sink your teeth into. Some melodic riffs and Richard Ashcroft’s simple singing drive this piece along very well. It some ways it talks about personal sacrifice for happiness. But the song sounds so cheerful that it is a great listen indeed. There are repeated lyrics are here towards the end, giving the song emphasis. Another good song by The Verve.

This Time is a great melodic and wah-wah pedal based piece with melodies that are unforgettable. It’s about making things happen in life, and Nick McCabe’s playing on the guitar will inspire you to take your own musical interests further. It’s a great number here, and like all the others on the album, a great listen. There are some great arrangements here on this song for sure.

Velvet Morning is a super trippy piece with some subtle slide guitar as well. Sounding like a million dollars, it’s a drug influenced trip that will take you into the next dimension of music listening. It just works so well, along with all the other cuts on the album. The string section here is beautiful too. A nice effort by the group.

The last track is the Come On/Deep Freeze hybrid.

The former is a great jam based tune with great bassline and guitar parts to boot. It’s unlikely we have ever had something so good in musical history for a simple jam. Still, it sounds musically accomplished and thorough here. Even after the majority of the singing concludes, the jam breaks down musical barriers for us to enjoy. Brilliant.

After several minutes of silence, we have the interesting second part of the hybrid, which is a montage of excellent sounds. It sounds intellectually well thought out, and we finish the album here.

This album is damn near perfection, at least musically. Anybody who had a glimpse into the music of Britpop in the 1990’s, or who may just want a great positive spin on life musically should check out this album. It’s really that good. Fans should check out the deluxe remastered re-releases with loads of extra tracks, rarities and goodies on them.

An awesome listen.

10/10

The Prodigy – Music For The Jilted Generation (1994)

The Prodigy broke free of the old UK Hardcore scene that they were a large part of, with this album. It’s also a very good EDM album, and has aged very well and has its own sound. Let’s dive in and have a listen to this masterpiece. It’s also a semi political album as well.

We begin with the dark sounding Intro with a typewriter and some dark sounding electronic textures. It’s a great piece to hear, short and interesting.

The first tune is Break & Enter. It’s an excellent introduction to the album, with the sound of glass smashing and a dirty, dark electronic riff. This album is completely different to the previous album by The Prodigy and kicks ass. The beats are bigger, the textures are more unique and the breakdowns are intense. This piece in particular sounds dark and eerie. A great piece, even though it goes well over five minutes. A must listen.

Their Law (feat. Pop Will Eat Itself) is the best electronic political piece you will ever hear. It has drum and bass style breakbeats, chugging metal guitars and that refrain, “Fuck ’em and their law!”. It is definitely a political piece, although main man Liam Howlett denies this. The UK Conservative government implement a law around this time preventing underground raves and parties from occurring, and The Prodigy reacted very well in this respect. A classic tune.

Full Throttle is a more upbeat and textured piece that sounds mega. It contains some truly great samples and instrumentation. The laughter is actually sampled from the original Star Wars movies (it’s Emperor Palpatine laughing). The piano is a wonderful riff throughout and it’s never a dull listen. Truly great, maybe some of today’s EDM artists can take note of pieces like this more often? We hope so.

The hit single Voodoo People actually has the Very Ape Nirvana riff, but like people really recognised that. The piece is great though. Some great breakbeats and samples here brought this song into the charts. It’s awesome, and a trip as well. A must listen for fans of The Prodigy. It’s another rather long piece, but never dull for a moment.

The next piece, Speedway (From Fastlane) is a great piece designed for high speed driving. It has some wicked sounds in it, mainly car sort of noises. There are more pounding beats, plenty of acid squelches and science fiction sort of sounds. The breakdowns are intense, and this album is very consistent throughout. A great job here done by Liam Howlett. It sounds urgent all the way through.

The Heat (The Energy) is a good piece to return us back to more ambient style sounds here. It’s a really intelligent sort of album this one, with twists and turns you’d never expect. Case in point, tunes like this. There are liquid and surreal sounds throughout, a great listen. It then morphs into a good dance tune. A great listen all the way through.

Poison was a big hit. It begins with cocaine being chopped up by Liam Howlett. Yes, really. It then kicks off as a killer EDM classic. This may be even the best piece off the album. It was designed to be a punchy, slower than drum and bass sort of thing. It works well and the sampled phrases and the beats just make this a classic tune. Mint. The Prodigy really come into their own here.

The next tune is an older one from this era, but it’s great. No Good (Start The Dance) is a great piece which is a transitional piece between the first two albums by The Prodigy. It’s a very good piece indeed, and sounds killer. It has some great sound effects here, and is fast and pacing. Nice effort here. It sounds a little cheesy and dated, but so what? It’s a good listen.

Following up is One Love (Edit) which is a good tune, although the vocals at the start are super annoying. But then it gets 10 times better, with some likely drug influenced acid noises and pounding beats. Proves that even a bad sounding tune at the start can get better over time. Unfortunately the vocal samples ruin this piece as it is reoccurring.

The Narcotic Suite:

3 Kilos begins this three piece song kit without any vocal samples. But it’s mega. It’s sounds like the song was done under the influence of a lot of drugs. It’s a chill piece with flute and other great melodies in it. A more kind sounding piece than the stuff beforehand. It ends with some strange sound effects, including some frequency modified sounding wind. Excellent.

Skylined is a more concise piece from Liam Howlett’s brain and sounds much more exciting in general. It’s a non vocal piece again, but has some reassuring melodies within. It slowly builds and releases, a bit of a proto Narayan here. It transforms from structure to structure and just sounds epic. A good listen. It ends with crashing waves before entering the last piece on this album.

The last piece of the suite and album, Claustrophobic Sting, begins with creepy laughter and launches into a great sonic based and textured piece, with some really great samples here. Definitely worth listening if you can hear it. It has a vocal sample, “My mind is glowing!” which makes it seem partially psychedelic. A great tune, and we finish the album after this seven minute track.

This album brought The Prodigy closer to the mainstream of music, and gave them the success that they deserved. It’s probably better and worth more of your time than The Fat Of The Land. If you want to hear some darker EDM and want a good starting place for it, here will do. Try the More Music For The Jilted Generation if you can, a re-release with some extra goodies with this album too.

9/10

Nickelback – The State (1998)

Ah…Nickelback. The most hated famous rock band to many. But back in their older days, they were actually musically decent. The State is one of their better albums, so cue the hysterical laughter, and here we go.

We begin with Breathe. It’s a pumping and pulsating rock tune that is actually quite good to listen to. There are some interesting chords and chord structures here, with some lyrics about social interaction. The breakdowns are interesting as well. It’s an almost political talk here. Interesting to listen to.

The follow up is the acoustic driven Cowboy Hat. It’s a weird tune that only Southern Americans with a twisted mind would enjoy. It talks perversely about weird relationships with…well if you listen to the song you’ll understand. A lot of the lyrics seem nonsensical, but the sound is fantastic.

Leader Of Men is an introspective and acoustic driven piece about considering what one has to say in life. It evolves into a strange love song of sorts, with great chords and nonsensical lyrics. It sounds very musically accomplished here.

Old Enough sounds quite, bad, really. It could have been rethought here, but the production powers this piece along. It does sound good in that respect, but is a very ordinary piece. Some questions are raised here about the quality of this song.

The pothead anthem Worthy To Say comes next. It’s a brilliant piece about weed and paranoia, and seems catchy enough for the mainstream audience. A great song, with some great sound effects here. Mint. “They’re growing dope everywhere around the block,” indeed.

The next song Diggin’ This is a song about wasting time. These guys here at this point were very musically accomplished. There is a great deal of variation in their chord structures, sound effects and structures here. A good listen.

Deep doesn’t sound that deep musically, but it’s a good tune anyway. It has some tripped out guitar sounds midway through, which add to the song. An interesting listen with a drum solo midway through as well, or is it? Adds to the album here. The producer here deserves kudos for the interesting sounds at hand.

One Last Run is a good listen. It sounds more uptempo and varied in terms of playing and structure here, adding something extra to the album. A good song. The drummer sounds like he is having good fun here.

And a real stinker is here now. Not Leavin’ Yet sounds pretty awful. This is easily forgiven here as much of the rest of the album is good. But come on guys, if a track stinks, edit it at least, rather than leave it in its entirety. That is a poor error of Nickelback’s in retrospect.

The next song is much better. Hold Out Your Hand sounds cool, and has some interesting lyrics as well. It’s got some Nine Inch Nails esque percussion here as well, a nice touch. It’s just a mint song on the album. Cool interplay between the instruments here.

Leader of Men – Acoustic is the last one on the album. It’s a good take on the song earlier on, with strummed acoustic guitars here. It sounds melancholy and different. A good way to finish up here. Sounds just as good, if not better than the original.

This album is actually quite decent. It’s not perfect, but then again it’s a very good listen overall. Nickelback deserve more credit than what they often receive, and this is a good example of that status.

7/10

The Chemical Brothers – Surrender (1999)

It had been two years since the previous album by The Chemical Brothers had been released. The (then) new album is a good mixture of quality tunes. Let’s dive in and have a listen.

We begin with Music:Response, a futuristic and funktastic piece which sounds expertly and wonderfully done. It has pounding beats, a robotic voice sample, funky guitar sounds and all sorts of twists and turns. Mint. It sounds surreal for sure. Tripped out to the max here.

The next cut Under The Influence of course, refers to drug use. It’s an uplifting and futuristic psychedelic piece here which is thoroughly enjoyable. “Who’s under the influence?” indeed. It concludes with subsonic bass and a statement saying: “Don’t run…” What were the duo implying?

Out Of Control is a great house music like piece featuring New Order singer Bernard Sumner and does well here to show off its musicality. It’s a great mainstream sort of piece here without being unoriginal. A good effort here. Some nice singing here and lyrics as well. “Could be that I am just losing my touch, or maybe you think my moustache is too much?” Great lyrical insight here.

Orange Wedge has some great plucked bass guitar parts and some interesting static squelches. It’s The Chemical Brothers broadening and expanding their sound. It’s perhaps not the greatest thing the duo ever did, but sounds interesting all the same. It’s trippy beyond words, however.

Probably the most depressing song Noel Gallagher ever contributed to, Let Forever Be is really depressing, but great. He comes across singing as a street preacher, before asking the quintessential question: “How does it feel like…to spend a little lifetime sitting in the gutter?” Sad yet this is a great song all the same. A great collaboration is here. It sounds like Joy Division in the 21st century, but with Noel Gallagher singing. A great piece. At the end it crashes into the abyss.

The following tune The Sunshine Underground is an ethereal piece that sounds psychedelic and great here as well. The slowed down drumbeat and chanted vocals here do well. It’s a Neo hippy delight. African drums are here to spice things up too. It then warps into a beatastic piece with wind chimes which sounds fantastic. This is a mega trip. A great effort here by The Chemical Brothers. At the end, we have some sunrays of colourful music come through here.

Asleep From Day is the next piece, with some beautiful vocals and intertwining textures that just kick ass. This is a good chillout sort of piece that works well. It has some interesting instrumentation in it and just sounds good. A nice tune. A computerised xylophone finishes this off.

Got Glint? is a psychedelic instrumental piece that seems a little lacklustre. But even so, it shines brightly this album overall, so that even a piece like this is quite good listening. It mixes some robotic statements with trippy sounds, a nice mix here of unusual sounds. The end is very quiet indeed.

The big hit from the album Hey Boy Hey Girl is a house based pounding beatastic number. It is interesting and radio ready, simply a good tune. Some surreal sounds are here, a must listen. The outro is tripped out.

Here we have the title track Surrender. This piece starts slow, then builds up into a colourful concoction of sounds. It seems a little repetitive, but sounds not out of place in a city like Tokyo. It’s really that well advanced here, and a good but not great listen.

Dream On is the last piece on the album. It doesn’t sound at all in its place here, and could have been rethought here. Sounds more like a rock band than The Chemical Brothers really. It’s not all that bad though. A twist at the end occurs which is surprising though.

This album is a good listen to after a heavy night out in the club. It’s perhaps not the best EDM album you’ll ever hear, but is a worthy addition to your collection. A 20th anniversary re-release is available for those who would like to seek out some extra tunes from the era.

Good album overall.

7/10

Van Halen – For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)

The unusual name of this album makes sense to one if it is abbreviated. It’s a historical reference, where the word F-U-C-K came from. The original name of the album was going to be far more explicit.

This is the third Van Halen album with Sammy Hagar. Despite there being some ongoing tension within the band, it’s a great album and excellent listen. Let’s dive in.

We begin with Poundcake which has near silence, before going into a power drill based intro and a great rock song. Sammy Hagar’s vocals are top here. He and the rest of Van Halen kick ass. It equates food to sex, hence the title of the song. It’s a great opening song to the album.

The next song Judgement Day is an underrated and pulsating rock song. It utilises the Floyd Rose tremolo system on electric guitar to great effect, and sounds mega. Sammy Hagar really sings this well, not bad for a guy who at this point had been doing music professionally for nearly two decades.

Spanked is the next song, and sounds dark and dirty. It’s supposed to be. It’s a somewhat humourous piece about a phone sex experience. There is baritone guitar here too. It’s a good song, but sadly not a great song.

Runaround was a hit single off the album, and a live favourite. It’s likely about chasing girls, and has a surprise tempo change in the middle of the song. A decent song, and it comes across that way.

The next song, Pleasure Dome, is probably too long and boring for most. It seemingly is, although Eddie Van Halen plays very well on this number. and his (then) new Ernie Ball Music Man EVH Signature Model sounds too good to miss. Which is a redeeming feature of listening to this song.

A really good song In ‘n’ Out comes next. It sounds a heck of a lot like Led Zeppelin, but intentionally so. There are some great riffs, a wah-wah solo and Sammy Hagar screaming in a sexual way towards the end. It’s a very intense and good listen.

Man On A Mission begins with some awesome tapping and harmonics before launching into another sexual based song. This one could have been shortened though, it doesn’t sound as consistent as the other songs on the album.

The Dream Is Over is a call to arms for Van Halen fans, talking about overcoming issues in society in general. It’s got a great riff, even if it was not released as a single.

Probably the most personal Van Hagar track is Right Now. It has a history about it from Sammy Hagar’s perspective. It begins with a great piano piece, before launching into a memorable and much loved song about taking the opportunity to do something in life.

The instrumental guitar piece by Eddie Van Halen is his response to the previous track. 316 was devoted to Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen. It’s a great fingerpicked piece, and sounds awesome, even today.

Top Of The World is the last tune here and it sounds perfect as a sort of encore number. It was intended to be that way. It lifts the outro riff from the band’s earlier hit Jump but sounds completely different. It’s a good way to finish off the album.

This is one of the better Van Hagar albums. Sadly, things fell apart within the band (not for the first or last time) and a lot of damage was done to the different Van Halen members of the band. Forget that, this is a very good and underrated rock album. Some of their best Van Hagar work is here.

Sit back and enjoy.

8/10