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VAN HALEN's Second Greatest Hits Revives Van Hagar  

Edward Van Halen Welcomes Sammy Hagar Back - Well, Sort Of

 

"The Best of Both Worlds" was originally intended to be a full album with Sammy Hagar.  According to Sammy it became a Greatest Hits when no more than 3 songs could be completed in the state the band was in.  Van Halen apparently in return of Sammy's claim they were too slow, said that Sammy's lyrics left something to be desired.  It was reported that Edward played all guitars, including basses and that not a recorded note of the three "new" songs was actually Michael Anthony. 

 

 
It's About Time
Up For Breakfast
Learning To See
 
 

In fact Sammy Hagar claims the band was trying to get rid of Michael Anthony as a bass player for Van Halen as early as 2004, for "Best Of Both Worlds."  To remain in the band Michael Anthony had to yield all rights he previously enjoyed.  Had he not, Van Halen would have toured with a different bass player.  Wolfgang Van Halen was still only 13 at the time, so it would not have been him. 

The sound of Van Halen was immediately, noticeably different.  Playing his own gear is either loved or hated by certain fans.  Some have no opinion while others staunchly defend it.

"It's About Time" was the pre-released single.  Van Halen welcomed the return of Hagar and the lyrics reflected it.  "Clawin' back, Paint it red on black, Bring It All Right Back... 

"Up For Breakfast" was a typical sexual innuendo song.  Radio stations refused to play this song.  It's actually the hardest keyboard song Van Halen has done, ever; not just of the Van Hagar era but even the Roth years. 

"Learning To See" was unquestionably the best of the three new songs.  The lyrics are very heartfelt and delivered in sentimental fashion, the guitar is mystical and dreamy at times and raunchy as can be at others.  The lyrics are timeless and perfect for the music.  The guitar work and writing overall is best on this song.  Apparently this was the song that Edward labored over the longest of all. 

Unbeknownst to nobody, Sammy Hagar left Van Halen after this album and tour.  To read his book "Red" you will be shocked at his take on this particular time and many previous times with Van Halen.

 

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