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Van Halen - Diver Down (1982)

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Van Halen - Diver Down (1982)

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1. Where Have All The Good Times Gone
2. Hang 'Em High
3. Cathedral
4. Secrets play
5. Intruder
6. (Oh) Pretty Woman
7. Dancing In The Street
8. Little Guitars (Intro)
9. Little Guitars play
10. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
11. The Full Bug
12. Happy Trails

Personnel:
David Lee Roth (vocals);
Eddie Van Halen (guitar);
Michael Anthony (bass);
Alex Van Halen (drums).

Guest: Jan Van Halen (clarinet).

 

Fair Warning was such a dark, intense record that Van Halen almost had no choice but to lighten up on their next album, and 1982's Diver Down is indeed much lighter than its predecessor. In many ways, it's a return to the early albums, heavy on covers and party anthems, but where those records were rough and exuberant -- they felt like the work of the world's best bar band just made good, which is, of course, kind of what they were -- this is undoubtedly the work of a finely honed band who has only grown tighter and heavier since their debut. As a band, they might be tight, but Diver Down is anything but tight. It's a downright mess, barely clocking in at 31 minutes, cobbled together out of five covers, two minute-long instrumentals, and five new songs. By most measures, this should be the kind of slop that's difficult to muddle through, but it's not: it's one of Van Halen's best records, one that's just pure joy to hear. Like the debut, it's a great showcase for all the group's strengths, from Eddie Van Halen's always thrilling guitar to the bedrock foundation of Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony's throbbing pulse to, of course, David Lee Roth's strut. Each member gets places to shine and, in a way, covers showcase their skills in a way none of the originals does, since they get to twist "Oh, Pretty Woman," "Dancing in the Street," and "Where Have All the Good Times Gone" inside out, all the better to make them their own. But this isn't complacent; Van Halen is stretching out in different ways, funneling the menace of Fair Warning into the ominous instrumental "Intruder," playing with the whiplash fury of a punk band on "Hang 'Em High," and honing their pop skills on the bright, new wavey rock of "Little Guitars" and the sweet "Secrets," which displays the lightest touch they've ever had on record. Combine that with the full-throttle attack on the covers, along with Dave's vaudevillian song and dance on "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" -- a shtick that's electrified on the equally fun "The Full Bug" -- and the result is a record that's nothing but fun, the polar opposite of its predecessor. ---Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic Review

 

Trochę dziwna płyta, znajduje się na niej pięć coverów, trzy instrumentalne miniaturki i cztery pełne kompozycje zespołu. Jeśli chodzi o te ostatnie, to po raz kolejny zespół zrobił ruch w stronę nieco luźniejszych muzycznych klimatów (Secrets). Najwięcej hard rockowej iskry ma Hang 'Em High, a Little Guitars i The Full Bug są gdzieś pośrodku.

Jeśli chodzi o instrumentalne miniaturki, to warto zwrócić uwagę na Cathedral, które wbrew pozorom zagrane jest przez Eddie Van Halena na gitarze - w ciekawy sposób wykorzystany został potencjometr głośności, dzięki czemu gitarzysta uzyskał interesujący efekt, który robi złudzenie jakby utwór zagrany został na syntezatorze. Jest też dziki Intruder i akustyczne Little Guitars (intro), będące wstępem do kompozycji o tym tytule.

Wśród coverów na płycie bardzo rockowe wykonanie (oh) Pretty Woman Roya Orbisona i pulsujące, wzbogacone chórkami Dancing in the Streets. Jest też kolejny cover The Kinks Where Have All the Good Times Gone!, który jednak nie robi już takiego wrażenia jak You Really Got Me. W luźny sposób trzeba potraktować Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now) nawiązujący muzycznie do lat... 20-tych (na klarnecie gra Jan Van Halen, ojciec Eddiego i Alexa), a także śpiewany a'capella Happy Trails.

Diver Down sprawia wrażenie luźniej płyty nagranej dla zabawy, chociaż nie można jej zarzucić "bylejakości" - chodzi raczej o swobodniejsze podejście do muzyki i własnego stylu. ---Marcin Budyn, rockers.com.pl

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Last Updated (Friday, 22 March 2019 22:28)

 

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