Van Halen 3 (1998)

1. Neworld
2. Without You
3. One I Want
4. From Afar
5. Dirty Water Dog
6. Once
7. Fire in the Hole
8. Josephina
9. Year to the Day
11.Ballot or the Bullet
12.How Many Say I


One of the saddest and truly one of the most dreadful moments in rock and roll history. First, though, the background: A couple of years prior to this release, rumors swirl that Roth is back in the band replacing the disgruntled Hagar. The original foursome even show up during the MTV Music Awards. Hopes are up and expectations are high. Apparently, though, Roth is still being a jerk and Edward has second thoughts. Roth is baffled and confused and tells the public, who is equally baffled and confused, that he is, in effect, baffled and confused.

Enter poor Gary Cherone (ex Extreme) as the new lead singer. Why was he chosen? Well, he kind of sort of sounds like Sammy, but more importantly, he's a mild and meek Pro Life Christian, so I'm guessing that Edward thinks there won't be any ego problems. Well, there wasn't. Unfortunately there wasn't any good music either. None. This is a prime example of how Edward Van Halen's ego got the best of him. He hated Roth and Hagar so much by this point, that he seemed to forget that it was their off-the-wall personalities that gave Van Halen the unique brand of being, you know, fun. Which is what rock and roll is supposed to be.

This is a serious album. Don't be fooled by such titles as Fire in the Hole and/or Dirty Water Dog. Edward is trying so hard to be...oh I don't know......respectable? The songs here are long, bland, and flat out unenjoyable. What this record really should have been was an Edward Van Halen solo album. Perhaps the critics and public would have been a bit more kind. Sadly, in his mind, he probably thought that he was Van Halen, so why bother? Anyway, it was a bad mistake, and Cherone was soon let go. They would eventually reunite at different times with both Hagar and Roth, probably because it became clear that if they wanted decent music, the guys were simply going to have to put up with one and other.

Without You and Once are actually bearable. Not really enjoyable, only bearable. A kewpie doll to anyone who can listen to this entire album in one listen. Yes, it really is that bad.

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