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Diver Down (Remastered 180 Gram Vinyl) Original recording remastered
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Van Halen s 4x Platinum second album. Mastering engineer Chris Bellman, who remastered the original albums at Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios, was enlisted for this new version. In order to produce the original sound the band intended, Bellman cut straight from the quarter-inch tapes for CD; for 180-gram vinyl; and for the digital versions.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Diver Down" is Van Halen's fifth LP since the band's self-titled debut in 1978. It's much more experimental than 1980's "Women And Children First", plus this is the first and only time that Eddie's father, Jan Van Halen, steals the show with his flute-tooting solo ("Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now"). Not to mention, DLR's debut as a harmonica virtuoso ("The Full Bug"). "Diver Down" is my second favorite LP of the band's entire 35 year catalog (yes, you heard me correctly).
The album opens with a great favorite of mine, "Where Have All The Good Times Gone." Eddie has 3 awesome instrumentals on this album too -- the euphoric, layered guitars of "Cathedral", the gritty, fuzzy, electric "Intruder", and the flamenco-Spanish number, "Little Guitars." Another mega hit from this album was "Dancing In The Street", with its sassy, disco thumping, drum pounding beat topped off with another great Eddie Van Halen solo. The band also does an incredible job with its Roy Orbison cover of "Oh Pretty Woman." However, this is one of the rare instances in which Eddie DOESN'T do a guitar solo. Finally, my personal highlight is the fourth track, "Secrets." I love the entire tempo and layered guitar melody, not to mention the way that DLR sings on the track, followed by -- what else -- Eddie's blazing guitar solo yet again!! :)
I definitely recommend this album to all Van Halen fanatics -- whether it's the first time you've heard "Diver Down" or you simply want to rediscover why Van Halen was so awesome in the first place. :)
Van Halen made a far more radio-friendly, commercial album with 1982s "Diver Down." Of the twelve tracks, three are instrumentals, and five are cover songs. That leaves only four Van Halen originals. The reason? As producer Ted Templeman stated, once you record a song that's a hit, you're already halfway there. A lot of fans have complained with the format of this CD. And while it would have been nice to have a full-length album of VH originals as a follow-up to "Fair Warning," "Diver Down" is still a classic Van Halen recording. The original recordings, "Hang `em High," "Secrets," "Little Guitars" and "The Full Bug," are four of Van Halen's all-time best songs. All of the covers on this disc are better than the originals, and the instrumentals are cool and help with the flow of the album. Eddie's playing, which goes with out saying, is spectacular. Dave shines of course, and Alex Van Halen (drums) and Michael Anthony (bass) provide a stellar rhythm section.
"Diver Down opens with the Kinks "Where Have All the Good Times Gone," a mid-tempo, upbeat rocker. "Hang `Em High," an ode to Clint Eastwood, is fast and furious. It features one of Eddie's all-time best solos. "Cathedral" is a haunting, offbeat guitar instrumental, which adds a bit of spice to the album. The highly underrated "Secrets" is, without doubt, one of Van Halen's greatest songs. It simply shows the Van Halen/Roth chemistry at its absolute best. This low-key, tuneful song is wonderfully written. David Lee Roth's finest lyrics can be found right here:
"She ain't waiting 'til she gets older
Her feet are makin' tracks in the winter snows
She got a rainbow that touches her shoulder
She be headed where the thunder rolls"
The pace picks up for the fast-paced instrumental jam "Intruder," which leads perfectly into the Roy Orbison classic "Pretty Woman," one of Van Halen's most popular songs. Van Halen made a dance-pop smash with the mowtown classic "Dancing in the Streets." The melodic instrumental "Little Guitars (intro)" leads perfectly into the gorgeous "Little Guitars," one of Van Halen's greatest love songs. Much like "Secrets," with "Little Guitars," Van Halen manages to create a love song that is both sincere and has power. Unlike the schlock that Van Halen would be releasing a few years later with Sammy Hagar. "Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now)" is pure Dave kitsch and adds a great sense of humor to the CD. "The Full Bug" is a great, underrated, fast-paced, classic VH rocker. "Happy Trails" is a light-hearted vocal instrumental and is a great way to close the CD. While some fans might complain at its inclusion, along with "Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now), and call it filler, I actually am quite fond of them both. "Diver Down" wouldn't be the same without them.
Some fans might consider "Diver Down" to be one of the bands weaker albums, especially when compared to their first four albums. I would have to disagree with this assessment. Van Halen didn't set out to make a kick-ass hard rock album with "Diver Down." They set out to make a more commercial, light-hearted album, and they succeeded brilliantly. It may not rock as hard as "Van Halen" or "Fair Warning," but "Diver Down" is a gem in it's own right. If you are a fan of classic rock, the first six Van Halen albums are essential to own for any great collection. "Diver Down" is no exception.
1. Where Have All The Good Times Gone!
2. Hang 'em High
6. (Oh) Pretty Woman
7. Dancing In The Street
8. Little Guitars (Intro)
9. Little Guitars
10. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)
11. The Full Bug
12. Happy Trails
The weakness of this record is too many covers. Some are high quality but 5 ( I believe ) is too many.
All VH albums with Roth ( including ADKOT ) are 5 star except this one. Sammy had a couple of excellent ones too.