Rob G

Really enjoyed the VH III album episode. It really is a difficult album to listen to and like you Dweezil, I go back every so often and try to talk myself into it! There are a few moments I like but overall I just can't get past the way Gary sounds so forced, like he's singing in the wrong key. I'm a fan of Extreme and I think Gary is a very talented singer, but I think Ed was running the show at that point and perhaps Gary didn't feel comfortable pushing back. A more involved producer may have helped. I do think they sounded good on the VH III tour though and it was nice to hear some of the older material after such a long time. When they played "Josephina" live acoustically it was much better than the album version.

I think Blues made a great point about how in retrospect Dave and Sammy both did an amazing job finding cool melody and lyric ideas around the riffs.

It is such a shame that Ed did the press and was so proud of the record, because when it bombed commercially it clearly affected him for a long time afterwards. 

When you discuss ADKOT maybe you can discuss the 2 DLR tracks that they put out on the Best Of? I think they were both excellent tracks, even though (if what I've read is to be believed) it sounds like it was a bit of a chore getting the vocals recorded for those.

Scott D.

Dweezil,

Loved the VH III Episode. I am by no means a fan of the record, but I am a fan of what Ed tried to do. He did something different. I actually liked Neworld and Without You. Even on the first listen there was continuity. I liked that Neworld started off light, and turned dark and foreboding and I thought Without You kicked ass. I had high hopes, but soon found myself rummaging for nuggets. I actually liked his cleaner tone on the record and there were bits and pieces of songs and his playing that I thought were really good.  On the whole it was a miss and it seems worse because collectively those guys never missed, let alone whiffed on anything. But to have it treated it like a crime or a joke had to hurt. I don't think it's a coincidence that his darkest period came after III. 

For me the real disappointment is that I think by and large the failure and more importantly the response to III is the reason we went so many years without new music. Ed had a vision, took a risk and people threw rocks. Big rocks. If that is the response to taking a risk, why ever experiment or take a risk again? Bring Dave back, re-work some old songs, and jam with Wolf. End of story. If you're Al or Wolf why open up the vaults and let people hear what's in there? Honestly if I were Wolf I wouldn't let anyone near that stuff. 

Anyway thank you for the episode. Loved the way it was done live, the quick turnaround was fantastic. Not sure how many more are left, but make it easy on yourself and do them in one take. 

Be well,

Scott

 

 

Stephen Z.


  • It seems the VH3 episode starts 6 songs in?

Dweezil

I accidentally loaded the wrong file! Sorry about that. The new one is loading right now.

Dweezil

I fixed it!

the ^pex

18

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Rolf d.

Great episode, I certainly share Andy’s love for this record and the right here, right now, live era. It was when I got into Van Halen. I share so many of his thoughts! The ‘glassy tone’ on don’t tell me that reminds him of Slash’s Use Your Illusion tone was a nice observation. Always loved that UYI ‘liquid’ wah-tone and I get what he’s saying. I’m happy he called out the solo to ‘Can’t stop loving you’, which has always been one of my favorites – completely out of character, indeed almost session player like. I was really surprised to hear Andy bringing up Extreme’s Play With Me…that’s always been the song I compare Big Fat Money to as well, together with ‘We didn’t start the fire’ by Billy Joel (I’ve even got those three programmed together on a playlist), much more so than the Led Zep one. I also share his view on the solo-record thing…’aren’t they all’? His take on the Aftershock/Enter Sandman comparison also hits home to me…I see quite a few people saying he ripped off that riff, but to me it never really sounded alike, probably for that ‘meandering, wobbly sitting in the pocket’ reason Andy gives. I also like the observation that the band had matured gracefully. They had pretty much reinvented themselves (again) at this point, and the fiery maturity during these few years was amazing (also just listen to those 2 new Roth tracks in '96...) 

Anyhow, too many nuggets on this album to mention, and I really enjoyed the listen.

One question for Dweezil: you mention that parts of the Big Fat Money solo are patterns he uses elsewhere on the Wild Life soundtrack. I’d be curious to hear what parts you mean, since it doesn’t really sound pattern based to me, and it seems to fit the weird rhythm playing behind it very well. It’s another one of my favorite solo’s of his, again very atypical. If you’re doing a Wild Life episode, please link back to this observation!