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Fair Warning [CD]

Van HalenAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)

Price: $8.25 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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With their 1978 eponymous debut, Van Halen simultaneously rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen redefined what the electric guitar could do, developing a blindingly fast technique with a variety of self-taught two-handed tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and effects that mimicked the sounds of machines and animals. It was wildly inventive and over ... Read more in Amazon's Van Halen Store

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Fair Warning + Women & Children First + Van Halen II
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B00004Y6O7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,955 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mean Street
2. 'Dirty Movies'
3. Sinner's Swing!
4. Hear About It Later
5. Unchained
6. Push Comes To Shove
7. So This Is Love?
8. Sunday Afternoon In The Park
9. One Foot Out The Door

Editorial Reviews

The best-selling albums from the greaatest artists on Warner Bros. have never sounded better than on their new Warner Remasters editions. State-of-the-art digitally remastered, each album sounds dramatically superior to its original CD release. In addition, the packaging returns each album to its original artwork and graphics. Certified at 2 million units by the RIAA. (2/01)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
132 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Van Halen's masterpiece May 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
In 1981 all was not well in the world of the mighty VH. Tensions between guitarist Eddie Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth had been mounting, and it got to the point where Eddie had wanted to quit the group. He recorded music, possibly for a solo album, Roth heard it, and promptly wrote some lyrics--the result...FAIR WARNING. A rather, dark, cynical album, and one of the finest, if not finest, recording Van Halen ever made. The tensions within the band helped to fuel the fire, the intensity, and the passion of the recording process.

With the exception of Van Halen 3, (with vocalist Gary Cherone) "Fair Warning" was the least commercially successful Van Halen album. Although it is generally regarded among fans (especially VH purists) to be one of the bands' best albums.

Although still a "party" album, complete with sing-along choruses, "Fair Warning" is by far the band's darkest album. The overall vibe of the album, as well as Eddie Van Halen's riffs and solos, while undeniably catchy with great hooks, also have a cloudy somberness to them. David Lee Roth's lyrics, for the most part, are also somewhat more cynical than most of his work, before or since.

"Fair Warning" shows Van Halen at their zenith. Truth be told--the first six Van Halen albums are all masterpieces and essential to any great rock collection, but "Fair Warning" is the crown jewel of VH's output. Even more so than the classic debut album. "Fair Warning" simply shows each member of the band, and the band overall as a unit, at their finest. "Fair Warning" demonstrates Eddie Van Halen's best riffs, solos, and overall playing. It's flashy, yet not self-indulgent, intense, yet also has a lot of soul, something that a lot of technical wizards lack.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark November 20, 2004
By S. R.
Format:Audio CD
Van Halen's party-hardy with her [...] around her ankles theme took a sharp turn toward the dark side with the release of Fair Warning in '81. Partly because the band was beginning to age a bit, but mostly due to the fact that David Lee Roth's lyrics were being shaped by recent holiday trips to Haiti (of all Places). The realization came to Roth after finnally seeing that Haiti was not really a place of merriment for rich rock stars looking to party all over the world. Thus we see the change to darker, more frank lyrics (Mean Streets, Unchained). There is a bit of the ol' Diamond Dave represented here (Sinner's Swing, One foot out the Door) but the dark edges never quiet leave the entire collections of tunes. Ed Van Halen's then latest collection of authentic riffs give the album the toughness needed for the darker side, his sense of humor in his style being put aside for a more gritty, and dense playing. Fair Warning should have been a cross-roads for the band to progress into a more mature adult-oriented rock and roll band, but time shows it as the beginning of the end of the "Classic" Van Halen lineup, which preceeded the melancholy Sammy Hagar era. Fair Warning stands on its own merits as a classic Van Halen offering, it stands toe to toe with any other effort from the band. It seems that the direction the band took for Fair Warning could have moved them into the direction of such "serious" bands such as The Who or Led Zeppelin as their careers progressed, and would have allowed them to leave the "party band" image that Ed Van Halen is so intent of shedding nowadays. But it's all ancient history today.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very heavy album July 16, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In my opinion, FAIR WARNING was the heaviest album VAN HALEN had made up to that point. While the first albums have some killer songs with great melodies, on this album I think the band decided to throw all that to the wind and just get down and play some hard,heavy music. While other reviewers are right in stating that songs from this album are hardly played on classic rock stations, if you base you opinion on that fact, then you will be missing out on some great music. The album starts off with the heavy rocking MEAN STREET, which is a very good way to kick off any album. DIRTY MOVIES is next and it continues on the path that MEAN STREET started us on. SINNERS SWING while not as dark has a good guitar groove to it and some good rhythem to it. HEAR ABOUT IT LATER goes back to the heaviness of the first couple of songs and it just rocks you socks off. Of course the next song is the classic UNCHAINED, which is about the only song you will hear on rock radio these days. It starts off with a killer guitar intro along with a great drum backbeat throughout. I think on this song the band clicked on all cylinders. Hands down the definitive track off this album. I think you get the point by now, this album just rocks and for some unknown reason it gets overlooked. I highly recommend that you go out and get this album. You will not be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Van Halen is the type of band that can satisfy somebody with high expectations. The interesting thing about them is that while they certainly have a sound of their own, it seems like experimenting is a high priority for them. Between the hair-metal of "1984", the half-moody, half-good time "Van Halen 2" and the unstoppable monster of their debut album, "Van Halen", (all of which had their share of popular tunes), it's easy to see how something less commercial or experimental would tend to go unnoticed.
Unfortunately, that's the case with "Fair Warning". A brilliant album, yes, but the truth of thematter is that it wasn't remembered for high-on-the-chart singles such as "Jump" or "Panama". However, what it lacks for in commercial success it more than makes up for in clever songwriting and an overall dark tone. On a positive note, it's probably one of their overall greatest albums.
"Fair Warning" is the type of album where each song can flow pretty well into the following, even if the styles are a bit different. In addition, "Fair Warning" overall paints an easy-to-see picture. You can almost imagine a movie being made in the scenery that's painted by the rebelliousness of "Unchained" or the third-world neighborhood of "Mean Street". It's a land of murky tales and strange situations that's just so interesting and quite dark that you are brought in without hardly knowing. The imagery on the album covers, front and back, hint at what such a place might be like; twisted days where people go wild, uncertain events pop up out of nowhere, and all is portrayed by the soundtrack, a hard-rocking, moody masterpiece that is "Fair Warning".
All right, so more to the point, the music on this album is quite unique and interesting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars My cassete sounds better than this
Very distorted. My cassete sounds better than this!
Published 5 days ago by Dennis J Shade
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Review!! :o)
Just got it today-9/25/14!! I love it!! Amazon is #1!! Awesome!! Amazon is like a Xmas Wonderland!! A++++!! I will be doing all of my shopping here!! Outstanding!! Read more
Published 22 days ago by Thomas E Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
No problems. Thanks.
Published 1 month ago by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly their best album.
This album seriously rocks hard. The songs are great and the playing is possibly Eddie's meanest. I seriously recommend this one.
Published 1 month ago by Henry Peraza
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Four guys kick ass musically. Original line up always for true VH fans.
Published 2 months ago by ACD
4.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't sure by the reviews (bad response from the critics) if I'd like...
Been going through the Van Halen catalog as I was more of a hip-hop head in the 80's/90's. No interest in the post Dave stuff, won't lie. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great album!
Published 2 months ago by North Star
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Truly Great Rock Albums of ALL TIME!!!
Listen to this album and then the Pop called van hagar. Too bad David Lee left, but I think he wanted VH to keep putting out this kind of outstanding music, instead Eddie went soft... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfectly pleased. thank you
Published 3 months ago by Aynsley C. Lockridge
5.0 out of 5 stars VAN HALEN !!!!!!
This is hands down the best Van Halen album EVER !!!! Everything came together for the band on Fair Warning, it will always be in my top 5 albums of all-time !!!!
Published 4 months ago by RonJar63
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