Van Halen – A Different Kind of Truth

A Different Kind of Truth, Van Halen’s long awaited studio album – their first since 1998’s Van Halen III – was released this week. This was the band’s first full album with David Lee Roth as the singer since the legendary 1984. Needless to say, this has been a highly anticipated album.

And was this album worth the wait!!!

I know Van Halen fans can be divided between David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. Just to tell you where I’m coming from, I happen to love both incarnations of the band.

Van Halen’s self titled debut album, and 5150 are two of my all-time favorite albums.

If you like your Van Halen with keyboards and ballads, this album is not for you. But, if you are a fan of old school Van Halen – specifically pre-1984 – then you will love this album. If you told me that this album was released in the late ’70s/early ’80s I may believe you. And by that, I mean that Van Halen’s work is timeless, not dated. A Different Kind of Truth is all rock songs, without a ballad to be found. David Lee Roth may seem crazy sometimes, but he really has taken care of his voice. He sounds as great now as he did 30-35 years ago! And Eddie is still bringing it on guitar. He is just brilliant. And Alex is incredible on drums. And this is the first album that Eddie’s bassist son, Wolfgang Van Halen, appeared. I thought that I would miss Michael Anthony and his harmonies. But, that wasn’t the case. He definitely has his father’s genes!

So, to summarize, Van Halen is back with a re-energized vengeance! At least until they implode again. If you are on the fence about whether to get this album or not, and you are a fan of Van Halen’s early stuff, let me give you a push, – GET IT, and enjoy the ride! You won’t be sorry.

“Tatoo” may have been the first song released from the album, but it is not my favorite on the album. Here is a list of some of my favorite songs from A Different Kind of Truth:

1. Blood and Fire

2. Stay Frosty

If you like “Ice Cream Man” from Van Halen’s debut album, then you’ll love this. It is in the same format, but turned up a notch.

3. As Is

I love this song too. I couldn’t find a full version yet though. So here is a preview:

4. Tatoo

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Oran “Juice” Jones

“The Rain” by Oran “Juice” Jones

Oran “Juice” Jones hit it big with his crossover single, “The Rain”, off of his debut album Juice. The song reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart for two weeks, making it the first #1 R&B hit issued by the then newly created Def Jam record label. It peaked at #9 on the mainstream charts on November 15, 1986.

Unfortunately, Oran could not follow-up on the song’s success, and retired after his third album flopped. He took care of his terminally ill mother, and raised a family. Jones contributes to a number of hip hop blogs, including Houston’s and Global Grind.

“The Rain” is ranked #63 on VH1’s 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the ’80s. During the show, Jones was asked about his one-hit wonder status. His reply was: “He came, he saw, he conquered, he moved on. You dig?” Let’s Return to the ’80s when Oran “Juice” Jones came, saw and conquered, with his hit “The Rain”:

Daily Trivia: 2/10/12

Question: What show starring Allen Fawcett featured celebrity judges and contestants lip-synching in their favorite songs?

Last Question: On One Day at a Time, what city did Ann Romano and her daughters live in?

Answer: Indianapolis

One Day At a Time aired from December 16, 1975 to May 28, 1984. Bonnie Franklin played Ann Romano, a divorced mother who moved with her daughters, Julie and Barbara Cooper (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli) from Logansport, Indiana to Indianapolis, Indiana. They lived in an apartment. Schneider (Pat Harrington), was the building’s superintendent, and became a sort of unofficial member of their family.

The show was developed by Norman Lear, who had also developed All In the Family, and The Jeffersons. And much like those shows, One Day At a Time was a comedy, and also tackled some serious issues.
They show had a great run, airing for 9 seasons, with 209 episodes.

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson

“Friends and Lovers” by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson

“Friends and Lovers” was recorded by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson in 1985, but wasn’t released on a record label until 1986. Gloria Loring was married to Alan Thicke (Growing Pains) from 1970 until 1983. Beginning in 1980, she played Liz Chandler on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. Her character was a lounge singer, so she performed several songs on the show. One of the songs was “Friends and Lovers”, which became the theme music for one of the popular supercouples on the show in the mid ’80s, Shane Donovan (The Nanny‘s Charles Shaughnessy) and Kimberly Brady (Patsy Pease). Carl Anderson, best known for playing Judas Iscariot in both the stage and movie versions of Jesus Christ Superstar, appeared on Days of our Lives and performed the duet with Loring.

When the song was finally released, it was a smash hit, peaking at #2 on September 27, 1986. It was kept out of the top spot by “Stuck with You” by Huey Lewis and the News, and it remained in the Top 40 for 14 weeks. “Friends and Lovers” would be the only Top 40 hit for either performer. Loring would leave Days of our Lives the same year the single appeared on the music charts. Anderson died on February 23, 2004 after a long battle with leukemia.

“Friends and Lovers” may have been Gloria Loring’s only Top 40 hit, but many of us are very familiar with another song she performed – the theme from The Facts of Life, which she co-wrote with her then-husband, Alan Thicke. They are also the parents of Robin Thicke, who is a popular musician these days. But forget about him. Let’s Return to the ’80s, and slow dance to “Friends and Lovers”:

One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1986 – Double

“The Captain of Her Heart” by Double

Double was a duo from Switzerland, consisting of Felix Haug (drums and keyboards) and Kurt Maloo (guitar and vocals). Their hit song, “The Captain of Her Heart”, came from their first full length album, 1985’s Blue. The song was an international hit, reaching all the way to #8 on the U.K. The song peaked at #16 on the U.S. charts on September 13, 1986. They followed up with the 1987 album Dou3le. It was not as successful as their previous album, and they broke up shortly after.

Kurt Maloo pursued a solo career, in the course of which he has released four albums Single (1990), Soul and Echo (1995), Loopy Avenue (2006) and Summer Of Better Times (2009). Felix Haug died following a heart attack on May 1, 2004.

Now, let’s Return to the ’80s, and take another listen to Double’s “The Captain of Her Heart”:

Daily Trivia: 2/9/12

Question: On One Day at a Time, what city did Ann Romano and her daughters live in?

Last Question: What was the first ever music video on BET?

Answer: “Let’s Groove” by Earth Wind and Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Let’s Groove” was the first video ever to be played on Video Soul on BET. The song was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Remember That Song – 2/9/12

Can you name the artist, song, and complete the lyrics:

Romeo and Juliet, they never felt this way I bet
So don’t underestimate __ _____ __ ____

Last Song: “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue:

Just when things went right
Doesn’t mean they were always wrong
Just take this song and you’ll never feel
Left all alone