Friday, 20 December 2019

Van Halen - The Warner Brothers Demos (1977)

The Van Halen brothers were born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Alex in 1953 and Eddie in 1955, and started playing music together in the 1960's, with Eddie on drums and Alex on guitar. They formed their very first band The Broken Combs in 1964, later changing the name to The Trojan Rubber Co. In 1972 they formed a band called Genesis featuring Eddie as lead vocalist/guitarist, Alex on drums, and Mark Stone on bass, originally renting a sound system from David Lee Roth, but then deciding to save money by letting him join the band as lead vocalist. By 1974, the band decided to replace Stone with Michael Anthony, bassist and lead vocalist from local band Snake. Another name-change followed, this time to Mammoth, after realising that Genesis was already taken, and when they found that this was also an existing band they finally settled on Van Halen. They recorded their first demo tape at the now-defunct Cherokee Studios in Northridge, and soon became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene, playing at well-known clubs like the Whisky a Go Go. In the summer of 1976 Rodney Bingenheimer saw Van Halen at the Gazzarri club, and took Gene Simmons of Kiss to see them. Simmons was impressed and produced a three-song demo tape, with recording beginning at the Village Recorder studios in Los Angeles and finished with overdubs at the Electric Lady Studios in New York. However, after taking it to the Kiss management he was disappointed that they wouldn't take the band on. In mid-1977, Mo Ostin and Ted Templeman of Warner Brothers Records saw Van Halen perform at the Starwood in Hollywood, and although the audience was small, the two were so impressed that within a week they offered the band a recording contract. The group recorded over two dozen demos for Warner Brothers in September/October 1977, selecting the best eleven for their debut album, and keeping a few back for later records, but the rest of the songs have never appeared on an official release, and so here are those unused demos for you to hear what a superbly tight hard rock band they were even in their earliest days. 



Track listing

01 Get The Show On The Road
02 Voodoo Queen
03 Babe, Don't Leave Me Alone
04 I Wanna Be Your Lover
05 Light In The Sky
06 We Die Bold
07 Bad Women
08 Young And Wild
09 Let's Get Rockin'
10 Put Out The Lights
11 Big Trouble
12 She's The Woman
13 Gonna Take A Lot Of Drugs
14 Bring On The Girls
15 Last Night

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