The Van Halen Album Eddie Van Halen Hated Making

Photo by Carl Lander, via Wikipedia
Published on:

For the very beginnings of what would become hair metal, Van Halen’s streak of albums with David Lee Roth are as close to perfect as you can get. While they may not have been born from the same influences as Motley Crue or Poison, the kind of boogie that the Roth era infused into their sound made for some of the best hard rock of the early ‘80s, capping things off with 1984 just before Dave’s departure though.

Not everything the Roth era made was perfect though, and Eddie Van Halen  seems to have had some pretty harsh words for Diver Down.

It’s no surprise why Eddie wasn’t in love with the idea of going back to work though, going into detail about how their label essentially strong-armed them into making the record saying:

“I suggested doing a cover of ‘Pretty Woman.’ It was us. The single became a surprise hit, and then Warner Bros. wanted us to record an album. I only had a few songs ready to go.” That tends to explain some of the cover songs that were thrown into the mix here as well, with Eddie especially loathing their version of “Dancing in the Street.”

Then again, he might be right to be upset because of not being given credit for his work, saying later that “I was working on a great song with this riff that I envisioned being more like a Peter Gabriel song, but when {producer} Ted {Templeman} heard it, he decided it would be great for ‘Dancing in the Street.’

“Ted and Dave were happy, but I wasn’t. The riff was my original idea, and I didn’t get any writing credits for it.”

Anyone can get over a few cover songs, but Eddie saw Diver Down more like the band spinning their wheels, saying “In some ways, I think Diver Down happened that way because Ted wanted more control.

Eddie Van Halen Never Wanted to Record Eruption

“There was always an inner struggle between Ted and me. But with Diver Down, it was like I was being asked to turn back. After we made that album, I wanted to make sure that never happened again.”

Even if this album didn’t necessarily light up the charts though, Eddie didn’t have time to dwell on it for too long. He was always about moving forward, and he was already halfway to 1984.