Sound — 10
1980 was a year that saw the release of many iconic rock and roll albums, and Van Halen's third installment, "Women and Children First" is no exception. The album opens with a phase-shifter effected guitar sound that is actually an electric piano plugged into a Marshall Plexi amplifier ("...And the cradle will rock" is the song). This album builds perfectly on top of the previous two VH releases and provides classic power-driven riffs, fast head banging drum parts, and perfect searing solos from EVH in his prime. This record also contains a good amount of awesome sounding acoustic guitar work in such songs as "Could this be magic?" and "Take your whiskey home". With it's effects and speed, it progresses past the musical structures of the previous two, but still contains all of the elements that made the people love the first two. The very last track ("In a simply rhyme") contains a hidden instrumental song called "Growth".
Lyrics — 9
This album is definitely the point when David Lee Roth and Van Halen themselves established themselves as a defining rock and roll band. David Lee Roth has his signature on the lyrics and vocals to every song. This was actually the first VH album released that consisted of entirely original material. The lyrics were obviously written very well to coincide with the music. Some lyrics also make some very strong statements of the time. Such as "...And the cradle will rock", which embraces the attitude of the younger generation. This is also evident in the song "Everybody wants some", a song simply about sex. Everybody does want some indeed. This album will give you a great idea of David Lee Roth's character. No matter what, you will find yourself singing along.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is without a doubt one of Van Halen's best releases. I would say that it is my favorite but it still falls behind VH's first album, for me anyways. Everything that is loved about Van Halen is found on this record. The songs are great, the performance is tight, and the message is heard. If you fancy yourself a Van Halen fan, make sure you have this album in your collection. If you don't, you're missing out some crushing David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen style rock and roll. I've had this in my collection for over ten years, and I never get tired of it.