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A Lil’ Ain’t Enough: Friday Music to Release David Lee Roth CD/DVD Compilation

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David Lee Roth Greatest HitsMusicTAP reports the release of the first-ever CD/DVD compilation by Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth, due in November from Friday Music.

Of course, anyone with even a middling interest in rock and roll probably knows Roth as the irascible frontman for Van Halen, who, with the Van Halen brothers (guitarist Eddie and drummer Alex) and bassist Michael Anthony, propelled themselves into the genre’s stratosphere with six albums for Warner Bros. between 1978 and 1984. They were writing shred-worthy classics, covering rock classics and eventually set their crosshairs on the massive audiences on MTV.

But Roth was more theatrical than even VH might have let him be. In 1985, at the height of the band’s popularity, the singer released an EP of peppy covers, Crazy from the Heat; backed by some very funny videos, half of the set became U.S. chart hits, with “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody” peaking at No. 12 and a faithful take on The Beach Boys’ “California Girls” matching the original’s chart placement of No. 3.

Within months, tensions within Van Halen led Roth to strike out on his own for good. Recruiting an impressive power trio of guitarist Steve Vai (in what would be his career breakthrough), future Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan and jazz/rock drummer Greg Bissonette, Roth cut two popular albums, Eat ‘Em and Smile (1986) and Skyscraper (1988), featuring hits like “Yankee Rose,” “Tobacco Road,” “Just Like Paradise” and more.

Roth’s solo career cooled in the 1990s, after which the frontman pursued other intriguing muses from a short-lived reunion in the studio with Van Halen in 1996 to such wild pursuits as radio personality, author (his 1997 autobiography, named for his debut EP, was a critical smash) and – for a brief time in New York City – an Emergency Medical Technician. Against all odds, Roth rejoined Van Halen in 2006 (with Eddie Van Halen’s 16-year-old son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass) for a massively successful tour; 2012 saw the release of a new album, A Different Kind of Truth, constructed largely from vaulted song ideas from the Roth era.

Friday Music’s Roth compilation (which follows remasters of much of his Warner/Reprise catalogue from the label), sequenced by the singer himself and remastered by label head Joe Reagoso, features 16 tracks from 1985 to 1994 (including the entire Crazy from the Heat EP) as well as a DVD featuring the digital debut of the Dave TV video program (consisting of promo videos for “Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody,” “California Girls,” “Yankee Rose” and “Goin’ Crazy”) and five more videos released for the first time anywhere.

It’s out November 19 and is yours to order after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

October 1, 2013 at 12:10

Might As Well Jump? Rhino Offers Roth-Era Van Halen Albums in One Box

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VH Studio AlbumsIf you’re looking for a gift for a new (or maybe even an old) Van Halen fan, Rhino has you covered in March with the release of the band’s first six albums in one package.

The Studio Albums 1978-1984 is a no-frills package of VH’s first great era, all the albums released with original vocalist David Lee Roth at the helm. Featuring the now-immortal six-string styles of Eddie Van Halen, the devastating rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen and the clean production of Ted Templeman, this box is a crash course in killer pop-rock, from the strains of “Eruption” to MTV-ready hits “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher,” plus classic covers of The Kinks (“You Really Got Me”), Roy Orbison (“Pretty Woman”) and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas (“Dancing in the Street”).

Roth, of course, famously went solo shortly after 1984; Sammy Hagar famously took the vocal reins until 1996, when Roth returned for a greatest-hits package. Gary Cherone of Extreme sang on one album, Van Halen III (1998), and Hagar took them through another round of touring (and another hits set) from 2003 to 2005, after which he and Anthony both left the band. In 2006, Roth returned with new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie’s son) to tour the world; in 2012, this lineup released a new album, A Different Kind of Truth. (WHEW!)

All discs in the package are presumably sourced from Chris Bellman’s digital remasters from 2000, so if you’ve got those, you’ve probably no reason to upgrade. But if somehow you’ve gone this long without owning these? Then a) What the heck, I thought we were pals, and b) get them now! The box is available March 26 in the U.S. and February 25 in the U.K. – pre-order it here (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.).

The Studio Albums 1978-1984 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013)

Disc 1: Van Halen (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3075, 1978)

Disc 2: Van Halen II (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3312, 1979)

Disc 3: Women and Children First (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3415, 1980)

Disc 4: Fair Warning (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3540, 1981)

Disc 5: Diver Down (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3677, 1982)

Disc 6: 1984 (originally released as Warner Bros. LP 23985, 1984)

Written by Mike Duquette

February 1, 2013 at 14:39

Chickenfoot’s Debut Gets New Legs on Double-Disc Set

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It only saw release a few years back, but hard-rock supergroup Chickenfoot is reissuing their out-of-print debut album with a nice amount of extra tracks.

The incredible pedigree of the band – featuring former Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony on vocals and bass, respectively, along with guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith – earned a heavy amount of media attention upon first release, particularly as Hagar and Anthony’s former bandmates in Van Halen re-recruited David Lee Roth to join them on tour. Don’t expect VH clones on Chickenfoot’s self-titled debut, though. Smith’s kinetic drumming and Satriani’s always-virtuosic six-string licks kept hard rock traditions alive while marking new territory for the quartet.

Amazingly, despite its A-list status (and, for a modern rock album, impressive gold record from the RIAA for over 500,000 copies shipped), the album fell out of print in recent years. To remedy this, the group acquired the masters are partnering with the eOne label (who released the band’s sophomore disc, Chickenfoot III, in 2011) to expand and reissue the disc.

The double-disc set will feature newly-heard live tracks recorded during the group’s Different Devil Tour, in support of Chickenfoot III – all of which seem to be songs from that album – as well as “Bitten by the Wolf,” a studio bonus track on import pressings and digital editions of the original album. (No word as to whether or not the new pressing will retain the neat original cover, printed with heat-sensitive ink.)

Hit the jump to pre-order your copy and view the track list. (A hat tip to Ultimate Classic Rock for getting the scoop on this set!)

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Written by Mike Duquette

August 29, 2012 at 17:29

Reissue Theory: Van Halen, “The Best of 1978-1984”

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Welcome to another installment of Reissue Theory, where we focus on notable albums and the reissues they may someday see. As Van Halen prepares to take Second Disc HQ by storm, we reflect on a compilation that almost was, and how it could’ve been done, TSD-style…

Van Halen are mere hours away from their second show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, part of their latest tour in support of their first album in 13 years (and first with lead vocalist David Lee Roth since 1984), A Different Kind of Truth. It’s the second tour since 2007 to feature Roth alongside Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Alex Van Halen at the drum set and Eddie’s son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass – and boy, is it irrationally exciting to be prepping to see these guys in 2012. VH still puts on a hell of a live show, and all reports indicate Eddie hasn’t been as on point in concert in many years.

Naturally, Second Disc HQ has been ringing with Diamond Dave-era cuts in preparation for tonight’s show, and it certainly brought to mind what there might still be to do with the band’s lengthy catalogue on Warner Bros. Records from 1978 to 2000. The Roth albums were remastered in 2000, and two compilations (1996’s The Best of Volume 1, featuring two new songs with Roth, and the double-disc The Best of Both Worlds (2004), featuring three new tracks with second vocalist Sammy Hagar) have been released to date.

A third compilation was planned several years ago, though, and while its worthiness would be incredibly easy to call into question, if done well it would have been a great collectible in the wake of A Different Kind of Truth. Get ready to dance the night away after the jump!

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Written by Mike Duquette

March 1, 2012 at 15:29

Posted in Features, Compilations, Van Halen

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Friday Feature: “Twister”

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When you feel down – regardless of your gender – you probably have some sort of ritual that gets you through your funk. This has become almost a cliche among the fairer sex; almost too easily conjured is the image of girls watching The Notebook while wearing comfortable sweatpants and eating some Haagen-Dazs ice-cream for comfort. I can at least empathize with the film aspect of that cliche, although my “comfort film” involves Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt and a nightmarish load of property damage.

That’s right – for some reason, Twister (1996) is a film that oddly captivates and keeps me upbeat no matter when or where it happens to be playing. In a strange way, the movie seemed to do the same for lots of others. The film was the second highest-grossing of that year and helped kick off a second wave of disaster movies – a genre thought to have peaked in the 1970s. Other disaster films like Armageddon, Deep Impact, Dante’s Peak, Volcano and even Hard Rain would be released to various levels of success in the two years after Twister, but there’s something about the tornado film – its folky charm, its bizarre ensemble cast (including small turns by Alan Ruck (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off), Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) and Jami Gertz (Less Than Zero)), its screenplay by Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton and then-wife Anne-Marie Martin – that manages to captivate more than any of the other late ’90s disaster flicks. (It’s also the only one among that crop to receive its own theme park attraction.)

There’s also a surprisingly good amount of things to say about the music. The pop soundtrack, anchored by tracks from Mark Knopfler, Alison Krauss, The Goo Goo Dolls and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, was highlighted by two of the last notable songs by Van Halen. There was the main single “Humans Being,” but there was also a much better instrumental between Eddie and Alex Van Halen entitled “Respect the Wind,” which played over the end credits. (Reportedly, “Respect the Wind” was written because Eddie hated “Humans Being,” which Sammy Hagar chiefly wrote. This led to the arguments that led to Hagar leaving the band, being temporarily replaced by David Lee Roth and then Extreme frontman Gary Cherone.)

And let’s not forget the surprisingly solid orchestral score by Mark Mancina. The composer was relatively new to film composition but had already worked on several high-profile projects, including Speed (1994) (also directed by Twister director Jan De Bont) and Bad Boys (1995), as well as arrangements for Hans Zimmer’s Oscar-winning score to The Lion King (1994). The score, with an almost darkly romantic theme and more than a few nods to American composer Aaron Copland, remains a favorite of both fans and the composer himself. (La La Land Records, which recently released Mancina’s score to Speed 2: Cruise Control, has allegedly been at work overcoming legal hurdles to expand the long out-of-print score album, which commands high prices on the secondary market.)

Get sucked into the musical releases of Twister after the jump.

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Written by Mike Duquette

September 17, 2010 at 12:31