VAN HALEN | VAN HALEN II | Women and Children First | FAIR WARNING | DIVER DOWN | 1984




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Bruce Fairbarn n produced "Balance" and sadly passed away after it's completion. 

"The Seventh Seal" involved the use of monks singing tones that introduced the song to a loud crash and the song blasts from the intro throughout.  The monks were the Monks of Gyoto Tantric University, of Gyoto Wheel of Darma.  The first and only time they appeared live, all were disoriented when the song began, some fell down, all ran off stage.

The Seventh Seal

Can't Stop Loving You
Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)
Big Fat Money
Strung Out
Not Enough
Take Me Back (Deja Vu)

"Can't Stop Loving You" was one of the last songs that were recorded.  Edward wrote it entirely in the studio and recorded it at Bruce's suggestion that the album needed a pop song.  If the Van Halen fan gives Sammy Hagar a chance this song can give you chills from start to finish.  The video is extremely moving.   Any union of love is the most powerful force in all existence.

"Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)" is a song that brings "balance".  As a balance is yeng to yang, good to evil, it was appropriate to follow up a song like "Can't Stop Loving You" with a song like "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)".  The video was of a kid who later appeared on day time TV.  In my house we called him "The Van Halen Kid" and he actually appeared in two videos; this and "Can't Stop Loving You". 

"Amsterdam" is a song that Edward and Alex, years later decried.  Sammy Hagar's lyrics are referring to marijuana.  They couldn't veto this in production?  MTV refused to air this video, even after re-recording the lyrics.  Video Hits I did not include this song.  Set in Amsterdam, the town Edward and Alex were born in, the video shows the band (not just Sammy Hagar) partaking in the herb while hitting the refer district. 

"Big Fat Money" has a solo that was recorded and acceptable (as in many Van Halen recordings) in one take.  Bruce was recording Edward's first interpretation of what Bruce said he thought it should be, without Ed's knowledge the recording was taking place and Bruce liked it so much he kept it.  This is a very cool song, that uses piano, and played live was said to be a band favorite of the time. 

"Strung Out" was an old instrumental Edward accumulated over the course of a couple hours wrecking a friends' piano whose house he rented to Ed.  Ed had the piano repaired of course.  Ed threw household items into the piano and raked items across strings to get the sounds. 

"Not Enough" is an excellent song that has an intriguing video as a complimentary follow up to "I Can't Stop Loving You" although the Van Halen Kid was now absent.  A fretless bass was used in the production of this and the only time one was used by Michael Anthony with Van Halen. 

"Aftershock" is a song that was written by Sammy Hagar in reverence to his divorce. 

"Baluchitherium" is an instrumental of jungle sounds.  The harmony Sammy Hagar hummed became the guitar voicing Ed played on the song in lieu of Hagar's lack of lyrics for the song. 

"Take Me Back (Deja Vu)" has an intro that came from "No More Waiting", an unreleased, original song by Van Halen from the 70s.  Hagar didn't want this song on Balance, but instead, "Crossing Over" which is an INCREDIBLE song that made the Japanese version of this album and the CD single for "Can't Stop Loving You".

"Feelin' " was a song that, live, Sammy Hagar said was the most important song on the Balance album and the reason it was subsequently the last song on Balance.  Strangely he said things I heard my teenage son say weeks before I heard the old recording and him saying those words.  My son, James Gossett, who's 17, said "this song is about being a teen and how life is so hard for kids" and Lo and Behold, if he wasn't entirely correct.  I just thought it was about getting through hardship.  It makes complete sense.  It also makes sense to listen to teen problems, issues, emotions and feelings.  To each of them, they are very real problems and the biggest ones (most of them) have faced are insults, bullying, peer pressure, fashionable judgements; all these are real problems they face.  Beyond those, kids face greater risks than ever, in diseases, the need to practice safe sex, moral decisions about drugs, and more.  Kids have it harder today than my generation.  We had it harder than the ones before us.  It gets progressively tougher.  Pay attention to teens.


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