Balance...Brilliant to Legendary

February 09, 2016 by Stonebaldhead

Sammy Hagar is my favorite rock n' roll singer of all time. Van Hagar is my favorite version of Van Halen by a country mile. Balance is possibly my favorite Van Hagar album with OU812 a near tie.

From Sammy's book and his recent comments commemorating the 21st anniversary of Balance, we fans now understand the storm clouds that were hovering during the recording of this album and during the ensuing tour. I saw Van Halen three times on the Balance tour, and to my eye, the guys were bringing it and I saw no real signs of animosity.

For all the darkness that surrounds Balance, I believe the album represented the future direction of Van Halen from a musical and lyrical standpoint. Balance featured some of Sammy's and Eddie's best work, from lyrics and vocal performance to musical tone. The band sounded better and tighter than ever.

As I heap praise on the brilliance of Balance, I sure wish the boys in Van Halen had known me when the final track cut was selected. Without hubris and in all sincerity, I could have ensured that Balance would be discussed as one of Van Halen's most classic albums. Here's what my Balance would have looked like...

The Seventh Seal
Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)
Big Fat Money

Can't Stop Lovin' You
Backdoor Shuffle
Not Enough
Take Me Back (Deja vu)
Crossing Over

I chuck Strung Out, Doin' Time, and that rip-off Ed called Baluchitherium without hesitation. I reluctantly drop Feelin' but it just seems inferior to Crossing Over, which could be one of the best Van Halen songs ever recorded. And, Backdoor Shuffle was in the can and ready to go. I can't believe that Doucher Dave got that song. It still pisses me off to no end.

I want to hear fellow fan comments, but I want Sammy to read this and hear from me, as one of his biggest fans, that Balance was brilliant but could have been legendary.



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 3  Redhead Comments

OldNumber7's picture

I agree brother. They were on top of the world and getting better and better. What could've been...

Stonebaldhead's picture

Balance was such a killer record. The tour was just flat-out awesome. I, too, wish I didn't know about the bad stuff that went down during the recording of that record. They were such a well-oiled rock n' roll machine and they created great music together.

Not that Van Halen is anything like U2, but I really thought they would be the rock equivalent to exploring and breaking new ground. I just think they would have gotten better and better.

I hate (and I don't use that word loosely) that the two songs on the Best of got wasted on Dave. Those were Sammy's to sing on. Dang!

OldNumber7's picture

Very well written brother! I just had this same conversation with a buddy when I read the the comments Sammy made recently. I live on the east coast and saw the Balance Tour both times they were in the area and I thought it was the best I had ever seen them! The music had progressed, and was intense. Feelin has one of my favorite solo's from Eddie. I thought there was nothing stopping them! The album is just great.

All these years I thought I jinxed the band when I walked out of the 2nd show ( which I thought was better than the 1st ) and said they were unstoppable and will jam forever!! :)
I kind of wish I never knew things were that bad, as that tour always held great memories to me, but glad it was so long before i heard it was that bad. Eddie definitely has/had some demons

0U812 was also had a lot of killer material on there. I finally got to attend my 1st BDay Bash in Cabo last October. They played couple songs from that disc as usual, but added in Mine All Mine. Sounded great!
It was like a religious trek for me to finally get there and the only thing that couldve made it better was if Eddie came out of the background and jammed with Sammy that night. They need to bury the hatchet and move on. Life is too short.

What couldve been if they wouldve stayed together.....Lot of good music left on the table.