Best Of Van Halen, Vol. 1 review by Van Halen

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  • Released: Oct 22, 1996
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (15 votes)
Van Halen: Best Of Van Halen, Vol. 1

Sound — 10
Even though this is a greatest hits CD, it's one of the best compilations of Van Halen's best songs ever. The sound is at it's best, were it sounds remastered, and the songs come in a perfect order. All the songs are played from the oldest to the recent. Starting off the CD with "Eruption," is the way to go. The first half songs are David Lee Roth songs, and the last half are Sammy Hagar songs. The last two songs are David Lee Roth songs, but ones that were never made into a CD.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are all good, as usual. Sammy Hagar has the chops to sing all of the Van Halen songs, where David Lee Roth can only sing his songs and not cover any of Hagar's songs. The last two songs on this CD, which are Roth's, are not some of his best though.

Overall Impression — 10
01. Eruption - this is the song that had introduced Eddie's talents with the guitar. Mostly every guitarist has tried to cover this song. The only problem with this song is that David Lee Roth receives partial credit for this song. The only members of the band I hear in this are Eddie, Alex, and Michael. This song is one of my top songs from Van Halen. 02. Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love - this song has a cool intro, and it's made to sound like a break down chord, mostly like a palm muted arpeggio. The lyrics are cool, and the solo is just a real easy riff to play, which makes the song excellent. The clean tone breakdown, with harmonics in between is really cool. This is one of the best Van Halen songs. 03. Runnin' With The Devil - the noises in the intro of this song is supposedly traffic noises. This song has one of the most easiest solos put into a cool song. Michael Anthony does have an easy bass riff though, mostly pedal tone. The lyrical melodies are dead on, and Eddie's work is amazing. 04. Dance The Night Away - this song has a similar riff as "Panama," but one extra chord is added. In this song Eddie introduces his signature "tapped harmonics," which can be heard during the chorus. What sounds like "jamaican steel drums," during the chorus, is actually the "tapped harmonics." This is a really cool and interesting method used in the guitar. 05. And The Cradle Will Rock - in this song, I do give credit to David Lee Roth, for improving his lyrical skills. This isn't one of my favorite songs made by Van Halen, but Eddie does use another special skill. He uses his pick to scrape up and down the strings to add a cool sound effect. Eddie also uses tremelo picking with the high unison bends during the chorus and intro. 06. Unchained - I belive this is the first song that Eddie uses Drop D tuning on his guitar. Eddie also introduces his flanger effect for the intro and chorus. He also uses the pickscrape maneuver with the flanger. This is supposed to be Van Halen's signature heavy riff, but I don't see how, but it was the '80s. This song also has one of the shortest solos by Eddie ever, except for the ending solo riff. 07. Jump - this song has Eddie introducing the synthesizer in the album "1984," and he introduces his most used riff for this song. The solo in this song is just all over the fretboard, and the synth solo is just incredible. 08. Panama - this song has the most awesome riff ever. Eddie shows off his wammy bar dips in his solo, and shows off his chords mixed in with the interlude breakdown. The part after the interlude where the guitar starts to bring up the speed is one of the great parts of this song. 09. Why Can't This Be Love - this song became the first hit with Sammy Hagar, and I totally agree. The synth riff and the guitar chords and fret noises fit the mood of this song. The solo is not one of my favorites, but it's still catchy with the synth duel, and the wammy bar usage. 10. Dreams - I really think this song is what made Van Halen much bigger in fame, and it's one of the best songs by them. Sammy Hagar just tears up this song with his chops, and Eddie has two great solos in this one. The second solo has to be the best of the two, and the tapping just fits perfectly with this song. 11. When It's Love - this song sets the mood, and Eddie shows off a smooth Drop D riff. The choir like synth matches this song perfectly. The solo is not the best, but it's still good. Eddie's and Micahael's backround vocals is perfect work. 12. Poundcake - this song is an awesome song by Van Halen, with a two meaning song name. The solo is just mind blowing, with all the pinch harmonics, tappings, and crazy bends. The clean tone twelve string like sound of the guitar is a great sound from Eddie. 13. Right Now - Eddie returned to the synth and piano, but came up with an amazing piano riff. Sammy Hagar uses his chops well, and Eddie comes up with an amazing solo. Michael Anthony shows some new bass skills. Anthony uses a little bit of slap bass, and finger sliding. The fading out ending makes you think the song is going to continue, but it doesn't, but it still sounds good. 14. Can't Stop Loving You - this Van Halen's acoustic love ballad basically, but it shows off Eddie's chord skills. The solo isn't much of a solo, more as an interlude or guitar break. The "ooh"ing during the end of the song can really get annoying after a while. This song gets boring to me after listening through half of the song. 15. Humans Being - this is my all time favorite song by Van Halen. I just love the work done in this song. The intro riff is awesome, and the lyric work is very cool. This lyrics are doubled, the main one is Sammy, and the backround special effect voice is Eddie. The chorus is amazing, and I love the guitar breaks that Eddie comes up with. Eddie shows everything he's got by in this song, and the solo has to be one of the easiest solos, and coolest build ups ever. The ending solos are just incredible, and this song just never ends. The only thing that sucks about this, is that this is Sammy's last song with the band. But it is Sammy's best and Van Halen's best song ever. 16. Can't Get This Stuff No More - this song didn't really impress me, the intro is okay, but the solo is the only part I like about this song, since most of this song is the solo. David's voice changing is really odd, but Eddie's use of the talkbox for the solo is cool. 17. Me Wise Magic - I really think that this song is the worst of Van Halen. The intro and the solo is the only interesting part of this song. The chorus is just ridiculous, and it makes you wonder what Eddie and the band where thinking. I don't know how this song made it on this CD. Overall, if this CD was stolen from me, I would buy it again, it's just well too worth it. This CD deserves a 10/10, despite some bad songs.

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