For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)

1. Poundcake
2. Judgement Day
3. Spanked
4. Runaround
5. Pleasure Dome
6. In 'n' Out
7. Man on a Mission
8. The Dream is Over
9. Right Now
11.Top of the World


There was now no doubt in anyone's mind that the Hagar version of Van Halen was no flash in the pan, and they were definitely here to stay. The band simply picks up where it left off and made arguably the best record of the Hagar era. The best thing about this record is that the band seemed to be venturing into slightly 'serious' territory - at least in terms of musical arrangements (definitely not lyrically), and this was really the last thing that most diehard Van Halen fans wanted.

Yes, the album has a 'funny' title (F.U.C.K. - get it?), but so did the last record, so it really wasn't a guarantee of what was in the package. Witness, however, such titles as In and Out, Spanked and Poundcake, and you can kind of get an idea where the whole album is trying to go. Strangely, the majority of this record sounds like one big party, and sometimes it's hard to tell some of the songs apart until 45 seconds or so into the song, but that really isn't a liability in this case. The songs are so well crafted, and they're all immensely enjoyable. No, this incarnation would never be as bold as the 'party-like-it's-the-end-of-all-creation' as they would be when Roth fronted the band, but the overall feel of the record is reminiscent of party rock and roll that's well crafted and thought out at the same time.

Strangely, the best song, the well known Right Now is the only song that strays from the above mentioned atmosphere. The song is a bit dark, with it's haunting keyboard introduction that ends up covering most of the track adding to the overall texture. That's not to say it's serious, or gloomy. Hagar and Eddie Van Halen really did work well together, and they fed off of each other in a way that makes a song like this a classic.

Best song on the album: the closer - Top of the World, which was where these guys actually were, in effect. Purists can moan all they want about the 'old' Van Halen, but this was a great record.

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