Eddie Van Halen’s virtuosity, his scenic charisma, and the gift behind the axe have made him one of the illustrious guitarists of hard rock and the big leagues in the last 4 decades.
We remember the musician who died at the age of 65, a victim of throat cancer with his 10 Memorable Guitar Solos.
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
The fourth single from Van Halen’s debut and a fan favorite to this day, it was originally written as a discarded parody of the nascent punk movement. Van Halen ditched the guitar pyrotechnics in the song’s solo, hitting a powerful buzz that could fit perfectly at home on a Sex Pistols. or a Buzzcocks album. Maybe that’s why “Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love” would eventually end up impacting the same genre it parodied: Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong has often said that his solo was one of the first she learned.
In one minute 42 seconds, Eddie Van Halen launches an aggressive solo in which he shows off his speed technique, his tapping skills, and an echoing sound. In reality, the track was nothing more than a warm-up exercise that was casually recorded for the group’s debut album.
Hot For Teacher
Eddie Van Halen was not only a virtuoso guitarist but had a developed sense of songwriting. That’s why the solo on “Hot for teacher” from the classic “1984” is consistent with the chaotic feel of the track, with a gale of high-speed notes, melodic phrase inlays, and fast two-tone bendings, very much in its style.
The classic single from “1984”, the last album with vocalist David Lee Roth in the band, is commanded by the sound of the Oberheim OB-X analog synthesizer. Still, Eddie Van Halen manages to have his star moment on the song, with solo alternating classical stretches of blues, and bursts of arpeggios at full speed.
Bored by the absence of the members of Van Halen, Eddie was encouraged to touch on the subject that Michael Jackson worked with Quincy Jones. The guitarist arrived at the studio with his instrument and two six-packs of beers and in just a couple of takes, he recorded the solo. At the end of the second run, Jackson arrived at the scene and was pleased with Eddie’s work, who thought that no one would notice his involvement in the issue. But the intricate licks, the overuse of the vibrato lever, and the tappings bring out his touch. He didn’t charge a penny for work done on one of the singles of the 80s.
Given the level of sexual innuendo his lyrics contained, the casual listener would be forgiven for thinking that “Panama,” the third single from Van Halen’s “1984,” was inspired by a night out backstage in Central America. But it’s actually a car, not “California Girl,” David Lee Roth’s highly customized 1951 Mercury that he drives in the brilliantly disjointed video for “Panama,” but “Panama Express,” a race car that a once caught the singer’s attention in a Las Vegas. track. Eddie Van Halen’s solo is properly sped up, with Chuck Berry-inspired double stops sped up in a series of high-test tapping licks.
Emboldened by the success of 1984’s “Jump,” Eddie Van Halen dubbed the keyboards for “5150,” the group’s first album after David Lee Roth’s departure. “Dreams” is one of these synth-driven tracks, a rock hymn on which new vocalist Sammy Hagar cleverly demonstrates that, when it comes to conventional vocal skills and range, he left his more stylized predecessor in the mix. dust. Van Halen’s solo is also more mainstream than his fans might have been used to, but he demonstrates a restraint and total mastery of melody and structure that were not always evident in his previous work.
Sammy Hagar once said that “Right Now” came about because “Eddie and I wanted to get serious and talk about world issues.” Which, without a doubt, is the last thing we wanted to hear from Van Halen. And it came with an adult combo: Hagar’s too sincere lyrics; Eddie’s keyboard clink, which sounds equally serious; a video full of messages. All of that only served to overshadow the fact that the song (which, it should be noted, contains a rather impressive solo, one that combines flash motions with melodic licks and phrases in a tight, pop-single-appropriate eight-bar format. It’s the kind of lead guitar you could sing, although you’d probably sound like a crying maniac if you tried.
One of the last gasps of “Van Hagar”, “Humans Being” was written and recorded at a time when the band and its singer were at odds. And it’s clear, the band’s contribution to the “Twister” soundtrack is far from being a top-notch Van Halen song. On the other hand, his guitar solo is quite stellar, beginning with a hooked eight-bar segment filled with signature “Eddiesmos”, from played passages to whammy-bar squeals, before moving on to a longer, looser instrumental section along the way. “Panama”. dotted with sliding octaves and police siren dissonance. What’s more, later in the song, Eddie repeats the first part of the solo word for word, just for the fun of it. “Humans Being” reached number one on Billboard’s mainstream rock songs chart in May 1996; About three weeks later, Hagar was out of the band.
Although Van Halen was generally recognized as one of the most important stylists in modern hard rock, “Spanish Fly” was a notable example of his other musical interests. Played on a single, uninterrupted version of a nylon-string acoustic guitar, the instrumental track on Van Halen’s second album translated the guitarist’s signature fingering style into an acoustic one, a feat made much more difficult by the fact that a guitar acoustic lacks the inherent sustain of an electric. That alone makes it one of Eddie Van Halen’s top 10 memorable guitar solos.