Van Halen II (1979)

1. You're No Good
2. Dance the Night Away
3. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
4. Bottoms Up!
5. Outta Love Again
6. Light Up the Sky
7. Spanish Fly
8. D.O.A.
9. Women in Love...
10.Beautiful Girls


If there was ever a perfect title for an album......

This one immediately kicks in right where its predecessor leaves off. Such could be the case many years ago. Record companies were more patient with new artists - letting them grow, mature and gain a solid following without putting immense pressure to return an immediate yield on investment. To be truthful, the first Van Halen album didn't sell that well. So no one was really that familiar with their sound yet. So it was perfectly acceptable to put out a carbon copy to give the band a bit more exposure. Which is exactly what this record did.

They still weren't a household name, but the classic (and best thing here) Dance the Night Away did get substantial airplay. So more people were getting the news of this wild and wacky bunch of hedonistic rockers. To be completely fair, the album isn't quite as good as their freshman effort, but not much else is (by anyone). Other killer tracks include Beautiful Girls, Bottoms Up! and D.O.A.. Eddie treats us to more guitar virtuoso, with his instrumental Spanish Fly, which is more in the acoustic vein then his similar solo excursion on the first album. David Lee Roth is full of yelpings, 'oh yeahs!', and 'yowz!' throughout the record, so nothing's changed that much there. Michael Anthony proves that his vocal harmonies are, indeed, a very large part of this band's sound - adding just the right elements by giving the band a bit of something actually sounding a bit professional as opposed to Roth's all-out party squealching.

There are a couple of points that are less than spectacular - but only slightly. The opening track You're No Good (the same song Linda Ronstandt recently did. Yep.) sounds a bit forced. It's almost as if they're trying a bit too hard to do a Runnin' With the Devil part 2. The album barely clocks in at over one-half hour, so that in itself makes it a great companion to the first album. Listening to the two of these records back to back isn't too much longer than a recent release by many bands these days. These two albums are tons better than most anything else out there anyways.

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