Eddie Van Halen The VH Album He Hated Making
12 studio albums, two “live,” albums, and two greatest hits albums, it’s hard to believe that Eddie Van Halen would hate any of his efforts. Finding out years later in interviews and first accounts over the years is pretty crazy. It was the process of making one of the Van Halen albums that made Eddie Van Halen not so happy.
Eddie had a problem with Van Halen’s “Diver Down” album. The album had success with covers by the Kinks and Martha Reeves. The only highlight was on a cover song, “Big Bad Bill (is Sweet William Now).” That features Eddie and his brother’s father on clarinet. Eddie had the feeling he was losing control of the band’s sound. Coming off the band’s “Fair Warning” album, which was much a Halen’s streak of albums 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.
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, making Eddie not very happy. Maybe the album cover was a metaphor for something going wrong with the band. Maybe it was the David Lee Roth show and the guys in the suits at the record company. In my opinion, this is a case of checkers selling more than chess because “Diver Down” isn’t half as good as “Fair Warning.”
David Lee Roth described it to an interviewer as,” It’s not heavy metal, and it’s not the Temptations, but it’s something in-between.”
Eddie On Diver Down
After the Van Halen Fair Warning tour, the band was supposed to take a break to recharge their batteries. David Lee Roth seems to not want to stop the VH train. David had the idea of putting out a single to start the new year off on a good foot. Eddie suggested Pretty Woman the Roy Orbison song first before Dancing in the Streets which DLR suggested. They went to a Studio in L.A. They recorded it and after the New Year, the song started climbing the charts. Then the record label allegedly pleaded with the band to get back and record a full album. That meant for Eddie break time was over.
The Diver Down Tour 1982
In August of 1982 the Van Halen Diver Down Tour Kicked off in Georgia. Named by the band as “The Hide Your Sheep Tour.” sold out all 80 of its US concerts during an industry-wide slump in concert ticket sales. It was the largest production ever taken on the road at that time, with 1.4 million watts of light, 10,000 watts of sound, and 170 tons of equipment. Van Halen had 3 sold-out Halen’s shows at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Check out the full tour list here.