Van Halen In The Studio For 'Fair Warning' 35th Anniversary (A Top Story)
The upside/downside comparison of Van Halen's April 1981 album Fair Warning can probably explain why it is easily the band's most overlooked effort in the original David Lee Roth era. Pro: Fair Warning is the most Eddie Van Halen - dominated album until the mega-hit 1984. Con: as AllMusic.com's Stephen Thomas Erlewine nails it, "Fair Warning was the first Van Halen album that doesn't feel like a party." Pro: Two of the best rockers the band ever did are on Fair Warning, "Unchained" and the woulda-coulda-shoulda been big "So This is Love?". Con: those are the only two songs most people can recall from the album. Pro: Fair Warning sold over two million copies, a feat any band today would kill for. Con: at only a little more than two million sold, Fair Warning by comparison was Van Halen's slowest selling from the original foursome.
By 1982 Van Halen had become a series of contradictions: huge album sales, hundreds of thousands of concert tickets sold, yet their record label and producer were concerned over a lack of mainstream hits and a shallow well of songs. Creative frustration along with personal conflicts within the band would eventually lead to a post-David Lee Roth Van Halen.
InTheStudio host Redbeard revisits his conversations with Eddie & Alex Van Halen, plus original former member bassist Michael Anthony, about this critical period in Van Halen history.
Alex Van Halen says, " When you bare your soul and put your heart and soul into something, and (then) you give it to somebody else to kind of judge it, part of YOU is being judged... It can be very emotional... I watched while Eddie suffered relentlessly through making that album." Stream the episode - here.
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