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VAN HALEN  OU812

VAN HALEN OU812 ALBUM REVIEW - SECOND ALBUM WITH SAMMY HAGAR, OU812, CAME OUT IN 1988 

Edward Van Halen Sees Sophomore Success With Sammy Hagar on OU812

 

mine all mine

when it's love
a.f.u. (naturally wired)
cabo wabo
source of infection
feels so good
finish what ya started
black and blue
sucker in a 3 piece
a apolitical blues

 

summer!  this album screamed "summer", just as much as 5150.  it was a perfect follow up.  this van halen album REVIEW GIVES OU812 AN 8 OUT OF 10.  back in '88 this became my favorite and i would have given it a 10 then.

The loss of father Jan Van Halen left Edward with a lot of deep feelings that come through in the quality of this work. 

It really seems like the most polished Van Halen album.  It was still "spontaneous" yet it somehow felt like it was mulled over and mulled over.  Edward got sober, for the production and tour for OU812.  He made statements about never having played sober.  He also claimed to be feeling and playing better than ever. 

Van Halen put out OU812 in 1988, after a year of Sammy Hagar and Edward Van Halen collaborating on Sammy Hagar's contractually obliged self titled album of 1987, self-titled "Sammy Hagar" but officially changed to "I Never Said Goodbye" via an MTV fan contest.

The Van Halen Tokyo 1989 video, from the ou812 tour, never released in the USA, is a better live video than the U.S.-made and released "Live Without A Net" which chronicled a show on the "5150" tour.  In the ou812 live performance, clearly Eddie is on top of his game.  The recording of the song "5150" is even better than l.W.O.A.N. by far, as unbelievable as that seems. 

"Mine all mine" is an incredible song that sammy hagar claims to have written after knowing the title only.  he claims to have labored intensely over the lyrics to it.  "Mine all mine" questioned the authority of those who were essentially appointed to spread the word of god.  in particular, jimmy swaggart's scandal was part of the content addressed "we see a man speaking the word of god.  proven to be a fraud.  his own church applauds."  A great solo goes along with the keyboard riff to the song.  it's a keyboard that sounds like a guitar.  the ob-8 was the keyboard of choice on ou812.  there's hardly a need to mention keyboards except it's a fact because this rocks hard as is, or live, when ed plays those keyboard parts on guitar.

"When it's love" is hated by old van halen hardcore fans.  i think it's still a spine tingler and just a sensational ballad with the rock spike to perfection.  the solo is bluesy and ballsy.  great, great song.  this was the second release of ou812 and the first van hagar video, set in a bar, and very memorable.  it brings back a lot of memories.

"a.f.u. (naturally wired)" is one hell of a rocker.  no keyboards here.  i actually feel this should have started the album. 

"Cabo wabo" is famous for many reasons.  it was written in 10 minutes.  it is a really cool groove and its name was the inspiration for a tequila, a cafe, and a groove.

"source of infection" has a "hot for teacher" like guitar groove going on.  sammy hagar's lyrics were spontaneous and they stuck!  this is an excellent van hagar song if you don't take it too serious. 

"feels so good" was hated by the old van halen fans, again, for the keyboard usage and the pop groove associated with it.  it was a great song to create memories by the pool while listening to "feels so food". 

"finish what ya started" again is hated by old van halen fans for being un-van halen, yet i remember "could this be magic", "secrets", "big bad bill" by "old van halen" and they are no more rock and roll than "finish what ya started".  it's different, but still good.

"black and blue" was the first song released, and it was a pre-release that i heard in my buddy kevin downing's (r.i.p.) car in lima during the spring of 1988.  we loved this song.  it stood for everything teenage boys think about.  the groove is awesome and this song played on mtv for a promotion but there was no video.

"Sucker in a 3 piece" is a song sammy wrote about a guy he saw while on vacation who was a fat, bald, ugly as hell dude, who was with a stellar fox, and sammy laughed and thought up the lyrics pretty quickly.  this is the most rocking song on ou812 and really reminds you of the groove felt on "good enough".

"a apolitical blues" is a little feet song remake.  most people don't know that.  a total blues fest, this is one unique van halen song.  sammy hagar plays guitar on it as well as edward, making it the only van halen song he ever played guitar on.

ou812 deserves an 8 out of 10 for album review.

 

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