Van Halen II – 1979
Thoroughly established as a premiere act, Van Halen returned with Valen Halen II just 13 months after the release of their debut. I always viewed this album as a fun, good times party album, and with tracks like “Beautiful Girls” and “Dance the Night Away” how could anyone be blamed? Absolutely, this is a perfect vacation album and meant to be played loud on the beach. However, the playing was never compromised and there were more “serious” tracks to be heard. Eddie also proved his prowess on guitar once again with the flamenco-inspired acoustic solo, “Spanish Fly.”
”Somebody Get Me a Doctor”
This is a song that should signal that a party is in full swing. “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” contains one of Eddie’s best guitar solos, and not to mention that jazz-inspired drumming during the solo from Alex. Just wow! You’ll need a stiff shot when this one is finished.
“Outta Love Again”
This song has so much swagger that you’re likely to tear your jeans as you sit there listening to it. Definitely a track that showcases Alex’ jazz abilities, but there’s also the role-reversal-type lyrics where the man leaves the woman and Roth’s staggered delivery is stupendous. Also, the two stops during the song, especially the second in which Alex hits the cymbal — incredibly addictive listening. Just pure songwriting craftsmanship.
This song is another with lots of dirty swagger, and the lyrics aren’t cheesy or about girls. The main guitar riff, well, could that be a predecessor to thrash metal riffing? Once again, Michael and Alex fill out the song to perfection. It’s just a mean, tough, gritty song.
Notable omissions from Women and Children First…