Van Halen Van Halen II on 180g LP
2015 Remastered Edition Cut Straight from the Quarter-Inch Tapes by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering
Van Halen set quite a precedent with its self-titled 1978 debut, one of the most landscape-shifting albums ever released. How does a band follow something like that? By making a record that's even better. And hard rock tour de force Van Halen II surely fits the bill.
Granted, by the time this sophomore set appeared in late 1979, the world had already been introduced to Eddie Van Halen's pyrotechnic guitar skills and trick bag of jaw-dropping solos. And everyone knew about David Lee Roth's flamboyant singing, oversexed machismo, and vaudeville antics. But the quartet ups the quotient level throughout Van Halen II, which swaggers to a flawless batch of songs and phenomenal playing.
There's not a weak moment or note here. Moreover, as Eddie consistently delivers searing fills, acrobatic leads, and gravity-defying phrasings, Roth steps it up a notch, inserting himself in the role of the come-hither vocalist whose self-aware humor balances his glammed-up, spandex-clad, riser-leaping persona.
Once again proving themselves deft with their choice of covers (the lead-off "You're No Good"), Van Halen turns up the heat throughout, celebrating cheap and carefree sleaze, booze-soaked good times, and yes, the band's perennial favorite subject, women. Highlights include "Beautiful Girls," "Spanish Fly" and the Top 20 single "Dance the Night Away."
Van Halen Van Halen II Track Listing:
1. You're No Good
2. Dance the Night Away
3. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
4. Bottoms Up!
5. Outta Love Again
6. Light Up the Sky
7. Spanish Fly
9. Women in Love
10. Beautiful Girls