Follow TV Tropes

Following

YMMV / Van Halen

Go To

  • Broken Base: Dave vs. Sammy. Doesn't help that the band changed its style in the latter period.
  • Covered Up: Many of their covers are better known than the originals; regarding "You Really Got Me", Ray Davies himself said that it sounds better than his band's own version (the original, mind).
  • Dork Age: The Hagar stuff for some; whoever came after Hagar for most.
    • Enters Canon Discontinuity, as the band released a compilation with songs by both Sammy and David, but not the third guy.
      • Gary Cherone, for his part, was gracious enough to not speak out about any of this (including his non-inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction). Considering the way he was treated by the band during his tenure with them, he had every right to.
  • Epic Riff: "Panama", "Jump", "Hot for Teacher", "Runnin' with the Devil"...
      Advertisement:
    • Their cover of "(Oh) Pretty Woman" manages to introduce a second epic riff in addition to the one Roy Orbison had already written into the song.
    • Even happens without guitars: the aforementioned "Hot for Teacher" is very well known for its opening drum solo, "When It's Love" for its opening synth riff, and "Right Now" opens with quite the piano riff.
    • Alex's hypnotic Jungle Drums opening to "Everybody Wants Some!!!" may count.
    • The jet-engine-like effect on "...And The Cradle Will Rock", achieved by Eddie playing low cluster chords on a Wurlitzer electric piano amplified by a distorted Marshall stack with an MXR flanger stompbox effect plugged into the amp.
    • Eddie's solo that opens up "You Really Got Me". Oh, sweet Jesus...
  • Face of the Band: Eddie and, to a lesser extent, David and maybe Alex.
  • HSQ: Spread across all of their music, it's somewhere in the hundreds, maybe even the thousands. Don't forget what's on the blackboard in the "Hot For Teacher" music video.
  • Mis-blamed: Eddie was already shifting the band's sound when Sammy came in. Part of the misblame is arguably due to Dave's opposition to said shifting.
      Advertisement:
    • Similarly, Gary Cherone is usually blamed for Van Halen III's status as being terrible despite arguably being the best actual singer the band has ever had. They also brought back the DLR-era songs in their setlist, which were largely absent during the Hagar era.
    • An oft-circulated story in the 1980s was that they did $85,000 worth of damage to Colorado State University-Pueblo's basketball arena after discovering brown M&Ms in their candy bowl. While Roth did indeed vandalize the backstage area to the tune of $12,000 after discovering brown M&Ms, the higher figure was the fault of the venue and the venue alone, as they neglected to follow weight requirements when reading the rider. As a result, the immense weight of their setup caused it to go straight through the floor because it was incapable of bearing that great a burden, which was where the >$80,000 worth of damage came from. See Secret Test in the main page for more information on the M&M clause.
Advertisement:

(Guitar Solo)

  • Never Live It Down: The aforementioned "no brown M&M's" rider. However, it has also been hailed as a clever Secret Test idea to make sure their concert arrangements are set properly.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Balance is incredibly dark for a Van Halen album.
    • The opening track, "The Seventh Seal", has a baritone choir chanting... something. This is the first thing you hear in the whole album. What follows is an unusually heavy song with Sammy Hagar harshly delivering lyrics such about "drowning in Mother Earth's soul" and "washing away my suffering". It's a fast indicator that Van Halen's fourth and final album with Sammy Hagar isn't going to be like the band's usual party-rock predecessors.
    • The instrumental "Strung Out" sounds like something out of a horror movie score. Making it more jarring is the fact that it comes right out of nowhere between Big Fat Money (a standard hard rocker) and Not Enough (a soft, poppy power ballad).
    • "Crossing Over", the Japanese bonus track, was originally written by Eddie in 1983 to vent his feelings after the suicide of a close friend. When the band's then-manager Ed Leffler died in 1995, Eddie finished the songーthe lyrics heavily allude to suicide and reaching out to a ghostly plane of existence to see loved ones who have passed. Easily the darkest territory the band has ever gone to, more so than anything Fair Warning could dish out.
    • Even the cover art is creepy, with its conjoined twins trying to play in a see-saw in the middle of a post-apocalyptic setting - one is having his hair pulled by the other, and subsequently screams and writhes in agony. The Japanese cover was edited to remove the screaming boy. Whether this makes it better or not - given the empty looking eyes - is up to you.
  • Replacement Scrappy: There's a reason the Sammy Hagar era band is referred to as Van Hagar, and the Gary Cherone era band is referred to as Van Horrible.
    • Wolfgang Van Halen is regarded as an inferior vocalist and to a lesser extent bassist to Michael Anthony as well, though this may boil down to fans still being bitter on Michael being forced out for no clear reason.
  • Sampled Up: You might not know "Jamie's Cryin'", but it's a lot more probable you've heard Tone Loc's "Wild Thing".
  • Signature Songs:
    • For the David Lee Roth era: "You Really Got Me", "Jamie's Cryin'", "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love", "Runnin' With the Devil", "Dance the Night Away", "Jump", "Panama", and "Hot for Teacher".
    • For the Sammy Hagar era, there's "Dreams", "When It's Love", "Finish What Ya Started", "Right Now", and most famously "Why Can't This Be Love".
    • As for the solo careers of both lead singers, David Lee Roth's signature tunes are "California Girls", "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody", and "Just Like Paradise, while Sammy Hagar's are "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy" and, most famously, "I Can't Drive 55".
  • Song Association:
    • "Jump" with sports in general. Olympique de Marseille and Brøndby IF open their home games with it, A.C. Milan plays it when they score a goal at their home stadium, WGN-TV in Chicago once used it to introduce broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games, and the Winnipeg Jets—both the original and modern teams—have used it as their respective home game intro songnote  and goal song.note 
    • "Right Now" with Crystal Pepsi, thanks to that song being featured in commercials for the product for more or less its entire original lifespan (1992-93). Said commercials were done in the style of the song's music video, with "right now..." statements over corresponding images. Sadly, though PepsiCo revived the product in The New '10s, they didn't revive the song and campaign to go with it.
  • Tear Jerker: Some would consider "In a Simple Rhyme" this, based on its lyrics about nostalgia for one's old, failed love life.
    • "Not Enough" is a soft, sad power ballad that could easily bring one to tears if in the right mood.
    • "Year to the Day" is about a poor farmer on a dying ranch that's leaving him completely broken on the inside. Things apparently became like this because of somebody (perhaps a loved one) leaving him one year prior. The chorus states that he "barely survived", so it had to have been rough; perhaps involving a death or a divorce. Couple that with the most somber backing track in Van Halen's entire discography, plus some truly haunting and echoey vocals from Gary Cherone, and you can't help but feel sorry for the song's narrator by the end.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Dave left the band in 1985 because Eddie wanted to change their style. With Dave out of the way, Eddie did just that, incurring the wrath of fans who slammed the band for "not being fun anymore".
  • Vindicated by History: Three albums were not well-received at the time of release, but now they are looked upon with somewhat kinder eyes. Songs from Roth-era Fair Warning are still played on the radio today. 5150 was Hagar's first, which caused the Broken Base, but now both camps tend to admit the other had some good material. And then, the still-divisive Van Halen III is now getting some positive recognition from people who actually took the time to listen to its songs.
    • Also, when the true reason for the brown M&M's contract rider came out (As a sign that their concert setup safety arrangements contact was read thoroughly), it was hailed as a clever Secret Test idea to make sure things were properly arranged. The catalyst was that at a previous concert, the venue involved had little or no regard for safety procedures, to the point where a single accident caused expensive damage to the band's equipment.
    • Opinion of Michael Anthony has dramatically improved since his firing. There was never any negative opinion to begin with, but, with his down-to-earth friendly personality, and very underrated bass playing, a lot of people have began paying him a lot more attention, especially since Eddie has a nasty habit of trashing the man in interviews.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Despite Diamond Dave's 80's image, he DOES NOT DO COCAINE!
    • He was off illicit drugs. He did clean up once to record "Jamie's Cryin'", but... well, The Other Wiki speaks for itself:
    For recording of the song vocalist David Lee Roth wanted to go for a cleaner, "poppier" sound and quit smoking and drinking for a week before the final version was to be recorded. The band noticed the difference and Ted Templeman ordered him outside to smoke a cigarette. He smoked one, and drank half a bottle of whiskey, returning half an hour later and recording the track.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report