Login
Username

Password



Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Latest Comments
Black Sabbath - 1989 Devi...
Black Sabbath - 1989 Head...
Neal Schon - 1989 Softly ...
Getting back into this al...
Neal Schon - 1989 The The...
Valentine - 1990 Where Ar...
Burns Sisters - 1989 Answ...
Distance - 1989 Speech Of...
Distance - 1989 Softly Sp...
Well her real name is Fra...
It is weird that her firs...
Franne Golde - 1980 The N...
Masquerade - 1992 Sudden ...
I look to the sky with a ...
Lame arsed Home Counties...
Filth. Utter, Utter, Utter.
Another fine example of a...
For me Salisbury is their...
Can't believe I never com...
I saw Priest live in 2005...
Shoutbox
You must login to post a message.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 09:44
Burn (UK) will have their new album 'Ice Age' released in Japan via Marquee/Avalon on Nov 22. The album is then released worldwide on Jan 19th 2018 via Melodicrock Records.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 09:40
I was a bit cranky last week, waiting for various things to happen with the website transition. God it's good to be back. Didn't Gary Glitter sing a song like that? dogrun

gdazegod
19-11-2017 07:06
Note to all Members. Please review your Message inboxes. Some of these are getting rather large. Thanks.

gdazegod
19-11-2017 03:05
OK, all the YouTube videos are working again. Just use the YT link, and then encase in tags [ youtube] at the start, [/ youtube] at the end. Cool. Thumbs Up

gdazegod
12-11-2017 02:39
Starting to crank out some reviews now. Woah!

Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1995 Articles » Van Halen - 1995 Balance
 
Van Halen - 1995 Balance



ARTIST: Van Halen
ALBUM: Balance
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 9 45760-2
YEAR: 1995

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Sammy Hagar - vocals * Eddie Van Halen - guitar * Michael Anthony - bass * Alex Van Halen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Seventh Seal * 02 Can't Stop Lovin' You * 03 Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do) * 04 Amsterdam * 05 Big Fat Money * 06 Strung Out * 07 Not Enough * 08 Aftershock * 09 Doin' Time * 10 Baluchitherium * 11 Take Me Back (Deja Vu) * 12 Feelin'

WEBLINKS: www.van-halen.com


Background
By 1995 the rock scene had become a wasteland populated by an endless parade of generic grunge bands and in my opinion things have never been the same since. Bands like Van Halen had been dismissed as irrelevant and outdated, lacking the supposed social clout of the dour 'Seattle' movement (which itself was on the wane). Van Halen though were big enough to overcome this miserable era thanks to their illustrious standing in hard rock circles and following the tour for 1991's 'F.U.C.K'. it's safe to say they were bigger than ever. That didn't stop Eddie from growing a goatee and posing with then darling Billy Corgan on the cover of Guitar World mind you. As the legend has it Van Halen themselves were facing internal strain, with the brothers not too happy with Hagar releasing and promoting his 1994 hits set 'Unboxed'. Somehow they managed to force this effort out, an uneven one in quality, but certainly much better than many of their one time contemporaries were doing in 1995. It definitely surpasses 'Van Halen III' by any stretch of the imagination.


The Songs
The tone of 'Balance' is much more serious than the three previous Hagar albums, an obligatory nod to the musical landscape of 1995 no doubt. The opening monk chants of 'The Seventh Seal' reflect that, as does Eddie's more down tuned riffing. At the core though it could have been from 1991 and I keep expecting it to go to the chorus of 'Poundcake' at certain points. It's heavy however, the most important factor, something 'Can't Stop Lovin' You' isn't. This type of sentimental love song was wearing a little thin, despite the melodic and hit appeal. This is the kind of track you knew David Lee Roth would never record with the band. The band gets serious and brooding again on 'Don't Tell Me What Love Can Do' with an equally dramatic video that caused some flak, showing a teen offender doing hard time behind bars. Gritty and sobering perhaps? Maybe, but a long way off the party rock days of old. The band does their best to fix this with 'Amsterdam', an ode to the notorious city and its charms. This is as close to '5150' or '0U812' as the albums gets, traditional Van Halen hard rock, tight melody and riffing, with the infamous 'wam bam Amsterdam!' chorus that the brothers disliked. I guess they were too good for that in 1995. 'Big Fat Money' is equally as good, a fast piece of boogie that sounds like Hagar solo material from the late 70's. This is where the album really starts to lose its way. 'Strung Out' is a brief instrumental from 1983 of Eddie tinkering around on a piano and ultimately is pointless, almost slasher film music. 'Not Enough' is a major wimp ballad, even by Van Hagar's standards and I really can't stand this song. 'Aftershock' peddles Metallica's 'Enter Sandman' riff slightly, a heavy and rather unadventurous rocker, but far more preferable to the ballads which surround it. Two more instrumentals follow, the first of which 'Doin' Time' is rather nonsensical, with indescribable drum noises that lead into the far more palatable 'Baluchitheirum'. The latter is a great workout, with Eddie sounding more like his 80's self and the band as a whole. It benefits from Hagar not singing, as he supposedly did on the original recording. From there it's two more dull slower tracks to end the album, 'Take Me Back (Dj vu)' gathering energy as it goes, but it's not very interesting and the Beatles type harmony effects are ill advised. 'Feelin' is even worse, six minutes plus of Sammy warbling, redeemed by a guitar solo which indicates Eddie was far from finished as an innovator, but shows how worn out this lineup had become with their direction. True it had only been four albums, but I think it ended at the right time. 'Van Halen III' would show just how deluded the brothers were.


In Summary
The album was another number one for the band and went triple platinum, astounding figures for a veteran hard rock band in 1995. With so many established bands flopping and breaking up, it proved the enduring appeal of Van Halen. When you think back to the amount of 80's bands who turned to grunge to stay 'relevant' it also showed how Van Halen were leagues above them, with bums like Dokken and Warrant not big enough to do the same. This is a slightly morose album by VH standards, but still identifiable enough, even with some fluff pieces. Of course Hagar was gone a year later and the band didn't really recover, the aborted Roth reunion and Cherone experiment both deathly incidents that impeded the band until this year's classic album. I'm not counting the brief Hagar 2004 reunion, with a handful of laughable new tracks on a greatest hits collection that year. Opinions will differ on 'Balance' both on the quality of music and album art work, but usually any Van Halen is better than none and in 1995 this was a well needed respite from the throes of the ongoing hard rock capitulation.


All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.


 
This article has been tagged
Tags: Van Halen 
 
Comments
#1 | sabace on August 19 2012 08:35:55
this is the only VAN HAGAR lp I did not purchase
I had lost interest . The 5150 lp is the only essential one from this line up .
#2 | roadrunner158 on August 21 2012 13:00:30
Certainly contains some highlights. I always preferred the more melodic side of VH, which is why I like "Can't stop loving you", "Take me back" and "Not enough".
#3 | jeffrey343 on August 22 2012 03:36:51
I got this shortly after it came out, and it really didn't do anything at all for me. I wasn't really in a new rock place in '95 (more country at the time), and I was hoping for something a lot better. The CD did not survive a sell-off a few years later. I listened to it on Rhapsody again today, and my opinion has not changed. "Can't Stop Loving You" is on a greatest hits CD I have, and it's OK. I'd forgotten that "The Seventh Seal" is a pretty good track. Aside from that, I can't say that anything else really does that much for me.
 
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
 
Ratings
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

No Ratings have been Posted.
 
Articles Cloud
Dokken - 1981 Breakin' The Chains, Headstone Epitaph - 1999 Power Games, Davis, Jimmy (and Junction) - 1987 Kick The Wall, Thunder (UK) - 2015 Wonder Days, Best Of 2008 - 2008 Eric, Thorpe, Billy - 1980 21st Century Man, David + David - 1986 Boomtown, White Diamond - 2001 Interview with Don Lemmon, Southern Sons - 1996 Zone, Exciter (Canada) - 2010 Death Machine, Blueminded - 2016 Seize The Day, Robertson, Baxter - 1984 Vanishing Point Two, Mozart - 1995 Eve, Golde, Franne - 1980 Restless, Cain's Offering - 2015 Stormcrow
Tags©
Alfalpha Player Silver Hunter EP Saint Deamon Brooklyn Dreams Wrathchild Jimmy Barnes Live Albums RPM Paul Schneider Gryphon Pole Position Metropolis Neuron Eddie Jobson Ace Pat Benatar Vow Wow Bow Wow Constellation Michael Thompson Band John Verity Hybrid Ice Robby Valentine Aniday House Of Lords Spin Gallery Michael Obrien Earth Wind And Fire VII Gates The Tubes Van Stephenson Prism
All Tags
Search DDG