By Steven R. Rochlin
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Vinyl: DCC Compact Classics LPZ-20
Not only has DCC remastered (arguably)
the best Van Halen album ever unleashed on the public, we have it available on 180-gram
virgin vinyl! Ecstasy! Rapture!!! Of course those who know David Lee Roth
will attest that this vinyl is probably the only virgin thing he's been on. Van Halen
later became Van Hager and who knows (or cares) what they are now. In my opinion without
David Lee Roth the band is horrible and may as well pack it up and go home. Anyway, this
was Halen's first album featuring eleven great songs like the high SPL demanding drum and
guitar duet "Eruption" which has so many awesome guitar licks it could melt your
brain, tweeters, and amplifier output devices all at the same time! Of course
"Eruption" is followed by the ever popular song "You Really Got Me"
which is cram-packed with that famous glitzy DLR personality, Eddie Van Halen's patented
guitar licks, and brother Alex's hard-hitting cymbal thrashing drum beats. "Runnin'
With the Devil", "I'm The One" and "Jamie's Cryin'" were never my
favorite songs personally, though Halen more than makes up for it with "Atomic
Punk", "Little Dreamer" and of course "Ice Cream Man".
"Atomic Punk" was, and in some ways still is one of my personal life theme
song. The days of living out of my car, roaming the streets wild, getting stupidly
drunk and stoned
Anyway, what makes this song great is the lightning fast
guitar playing and DLR screaming out the lyrics like he lived the song too. While this is
surely no "audiophile" chick singer and piano sound, those who are into great
heavy rock n' roll will find themselves totally elated! "Atomic Punk" is
just one of those song that can simply drive a man to drink, smoke, and who know what
else! Remember: Nobody rules these streets at nights like me. The atomic punk!!!
Of course "Little Dreamer" is no slouch of a song either. Taking down
the energy level a few notches from "Atomic Punk" you instead get this steady
groovy-rockin' beat. This time the guitar solo is a bit mellower and DLR is
<gasp> singin' more than screamin'. Ok, so DLR is screaming a small amount here
too. Maybe the song should have been titled Little Screamer?
Of course this brings us to the "state-of-the-art" rock n' roll summertime
tune here. That's right, I'm talking about "Ice Cream Man". Any great Halen
fan probably knows this song by heart. For those that don't, it starts out all mellow with
Dave singing about being an ice cream man telling the ladies how all his flavors are
guaranteed to satisfy (read in-between the lines anyone). Of course here is another chance
to hear Eddie Van Halen's patented signature double hammering guitar style that initially
gave him his claim to fame in the guitar world.
Taken from the original 1978 master tape, none other than the great golden-eared music
lover himself Steve Hoffman adds his ever-loving care to remaster this; the greatest
sounding and jamming Van Halen album in my collection. Steve uses the Legacy Whisper
speaker system and the VAC Renaissance one-forty monoblock amplifiers used as tube cutting
amps to assist in making this great 180 gram vinyl release (also available on gold CD
too). This new DCC vinyl release is so great it is more like having 180 grams of the best
rock music injected into my veins! DCC has been releasing many great rock albums and
this new release is just one of many "must have" titles. Go out and get yourself
some before they're all gone.
Sound Quality: 70