Van Halen - Van Halen II
Warner Bros. Records
Hard Rock
10 songs (31.57)
Release year: 1979
Van Halen, Warner Bros. Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Archive review
You have bands, you have BANDS, and then you have the Ultimate Band which changes from person to person. When it comes to good old, fun loving hard rock, there was no band like Van Halen, there is no band like Van Halen, and it will take a miracle for something to come and prove, that there ever will be a band like Van Halen. If you don’t agree with me, there´s the end of the line bub, just step down and wait for your turn so we can slap you in the face and at least try to make you see one of the few opinions that are almost facts in this musical world. That is simply: Van Halen rules! After the all time Classic Van Halen 1, the boys didn’t wait long to record the follow up, Van Halen 2. And while it isn’t as good as the spectacular debut (topping it would about be the equivalent of healing the blind and ending world hunger), it is still damn good rock music.

The band at this point is about the perfect combination one can find. You got David Lee Roth, the Diamond One, the greatest frontman in history to lead the show. No, he isn’t the greatest vocalist around, but just like Ozzy, he makes up for the limited vocal department in style, flash, flair, wit and pure showmanship. No one ever wrote more clever lyrics about partying, breaking up with the lady, scoring another one and passing out on the curb/in the bed so convincingly, yet so absurdly. You don’t wanna make me start praising Eddie Van Halen. Overall, the greatest guitarist ever. Period. Short an Sweet. And a super composer, showman and background vocalist to top it all off. Michael Anthony, one of the finest harmony vocalists in rock and he plays the bass at the same time! And Eddies brother Alex Van Halen behind it all keeping the beat steady and groovy on the drums. These four men formed the ultimate rock unit. Not the first, not the last, only the best.

A groovy cover of the Linda Ronstadt-classic You´re No Good starts the sleazy road to the land of women, whiskey and wackos with style. The excellent and super catchy tunes Dance The Night Away and closer Beautiful Girls show off VHs pop sensibilities well, while Somebody Get Me A Doctor, Bottoms Up!, D.O.A. and Outta Love rock with the testosterone-fueled energy that Van Halen is the master of. Women In Love struts as a classic mid-tempo rocker and Spanish Fly is Eddies flashy acoustic solo spot, that matches the intensity of the legendary Eruption to frighteningly close measures. This is one of Eddies greatest talents. He can play a LOT of notes, and still sound super-melodic and catchy. Not a lot of guitarists can pull that off. Anyone can play fast. But very few can play fast with style. Light Up The Sky is the only mediocre tune on the record, that just doesn’t quite take off.

The production on the album is good and very clear on all levels, but it lacks the sonic hyperblast that the debut dished out on anyone within a five mile radius. Mostly this is due to the more laid back guitar sound. Eddies brown sound is still distinctive, but its not as scorching as on the debut. Luckily the hot-rodded Marshalls still pack a wallop, even on a bit lower gain levels.

All in all, after a debut-to-beat-them-all, VH 2 is a very solid sophomore offering, even if it is more popish and laid back. It is still unmistakeably VH. If you aint got Van Halen, you aint got squat! Now somebody GET ME A DOOCTOOOOORRR!!!

Killing Songs :
Youre No Good, Dance The Night Away, Somebody Get Me A Doctor, Bottoms Up!, Spanish Fly, Women In Love and Beautiful Girls
Aleksie quoted 89 / 100
Jeff quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Van Halen that we have reviewed:
Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 95 / 100
Van Halen - Best Of Volume I reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Van Halen - Van Halen III reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 40 / 100
Van Halen - Balance reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 72 / 100
Van Halen - Live: Right Here, Right Now reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
To see all 15 reviews click here
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