CD Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1 (CD 619191),
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Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1
2. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
3. Runnin' With the Devil
4. Dance the Night Away
5. And the Cradle Will Rock...
9. Why Can't This Be Love
11. When It's Love
13. Right Now
14. Can't Stop Lovin' You
15. Humans Being
16. Can't Get This Stuff No More
17. Me Wise Magic
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 46332
Van Halen: David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen, Michael Anthony, Alex Van Halen.
Producers: Ted Templeman, Van Halen, Mick Jones, Donn Landee, Andy Johns, Bruce Fairbairn, Glenn Ballard.
Engineers: Donn Landee, Erwin Musper.
Digitally remastered by Chris Bellman (Bernie Grundman Studios, Los Angeles, California).
Personnel: David Lee Roth (vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Chris Bellman.
Photographer: Michael Llewellyn.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Eddie Van Halen; Michael Anthony ; Alex Van Halen; Sammy Hagar.
Almost evenly split between tracks that feature glammy showman David Lee Roth and those that feature earthy screecher Sammy Hagar, BEST OF VOLUME I seems designed to let this pioneering hard-rock band's fans compare and contrast between its two frontmen. As if to drive the exercise home, BEST OF features three tunes cut in '96--two of them with Roth, who had been estranged from the band since 1985, and one with Hagar ("Humans Being," originally released on the soundtrack to TWISTER).
Otherwise, BEST OF presents the hits in chronological order, beginning with the unadorned, aggressive sound of the early Roth material. Powered by guitarist Eddie Van Halen's hammer-on notes and orchestral pyrotechnics, and lightened up by Roth's used-car-salesman-on-a-bender persona, "Ain't Talkin 'Bout Love" and "Runnin' With The Devil" are as close to pure, perfect hard rock as anyone is ever likely to come. The early '80s found the band incorporating synthesizers (played by Eddie) and a pop sensibility, resulting in megahits like "Jump."
Things changed again when Hagar replaced Roth and took the band further from its roots, toward an expansive new sound with broader new arrangements, heard here in such pop hits as "Dreams" and "Right Now." Refusing to tip the balance toward either David Lee diehards or Sammy-come-latelys, BEST OF contains enough Van Halen milestones to keep anyone satisfied.
Spin (1/97, p.89) - "They all but invented pop metal with `Runnin' With The Devil' and Eddie's merger of Bach and rock, transcended it with `Jump' and `Panama,' Sammy Hagar came and went like the dream year on Dallas..."
Q (12/96, p.161) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...this collection revives some truly vibrant hard rock songs, none, ironically, better than the synth-riffed `Jump.'"
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Warner Bros. 46332
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