Would you ever think an artist would have something they actually hated working on? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there was a Van Halen album Eddie Van Halen hated making the most!
With a total of 12 studio albums, two “live” albums, and two greatest hits albums, it’s hard to believe that Eddie would hate any of his efforts. It was actually the process of making, 1982’s, “Diver Down” that made Eddie Van Halen not so happy…
So why did Eddie have a problem with Van Halen‘s “Diver Down” album? The album had huge success with cover classics by the Kinks and Martha Reeves. The only highlight was on a cover song, “Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now)” which features Eddie and his father Jan Van Halen on the clarinet. Well, Eddie had the feeling he was losing control of the band! I saw a big change in the band coming off the heels of the band’s “Fair Warning” album, with David Lee Roth and as close to perfect as you can get for the very beginnings of what would become hair metal heavier in the song track listings.
If you don’t like this song, you’re not a Van Halen fan. It’s a quiet classic or deep cut if you will. Plus, an added bonus is that it’s Eddie’s father on the clarinet! How cool is that?
Released in 1982, “Diver Down” peaked at #3 on the album charts. It sold 4 million copies. Out of the 12 songs, five of them were cover songs, which was another thing that didn’t make Eddie very happy. Maybe the album cover was a metaphor for something going on with the band. Sadly, it was becoming the David Lee Roth show and the guys in the suits at the record company.
The reviews of Diver Down were mixed. Rolling Stone magazine said in their review, “Jun 10, 1982 — Van Halen, it appears, is running out of ideas: there’s more excelsior here than in a shipment of glassware.”
Read the full review here.