5150 ($5 SPECIAL)

SKU: 925394-2
Label:
Warner Bros
Category:
Hard Rock
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"he power struggle within Van Halen was often painted as David Lee Roth's ego running out of control -- a theory that was easy enough to believe given his outsized charisma -- but in retrospect, it seems evident that Eddie Van Halen wanted respect to go along with his gargantuan fame, and Roth wasn't willing to play. Bizarrely enough, Sammy Hagar -- the former Montrose lead singer who had carved out a successful solo career -- was ready to play, possibly because the Red Rocker was never afraid of being earnest, nor was he afraid of synthesizers, for that matter. There was always the lingering suspicion that, yes, Sammy truly couldn't drive 55, and that's why he wrote the song, and that kind of forthright rocking is evident on the strident anthems of 5150. From the moment the album opens with the crashing "Good Enough," it's clearly the work of the same band -- it's hard to mistake Eddie's guitars, just as it's hard to mistake Alex and Michael Anthony's pulse, or Michael's harmonies -- but the music feels decidedly different. Where Diamond Dave would have strutted through the song with his tongue firmly in cheek, Hagar plays it right down the middle, never winking, never joking. Even when he takes a stab at humor on the closing "Inside" -- joshing around about why the guys chose him as a replacement -- it never feels funny, probably because, unlike Dave, he's not a born comedian. Then again, 5150 wasn't really intended to be funny; it was intended to be a serious album, spiked by a few relentless metallic rockers like "Get Up," but functioning more as a vehicle to showcase Van Halen's -- particularly the guitarist's -- increasing growth and maturity. There are plenty of power ballads, in "Why Can't This Be Love" and "Love Walks In," there's a soaring anthem of inspiration in "Dreams," and even the straight-up rocker "Best of Both Worlds" is tighter and leaner than the gonzo excursions of "Panama" and "Hot for Teacher." And that's where Hagar comes in: Diamond Dave didn't have much patience for plainspoken lyrics or crafting songs, but Sammy does and he brings a previously unheard sense of discipline to the writing on 5150. Not that Hagar is a craftsman like Randy Newman, but he's helped push Van Halen into a dedication on writing full-fledged songs, something that often seemed an afterthought in the original lineup. And so Van Hagar was a bit of an odd mix -- a party band and a party guy, slowly veering into a bourgeois concept of respectability, something that eventually sunk the band -- but on 5150 it worked because they had the songs and the desire to party, so those good intentions and slow tunes don't slow the album down; they give it variety and help make the album a pretty impressive opening act for Van Halen Mach II." - Allmusic Guide

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  • The new wave of Norwegian progressive metal has found a worthy representative in Circus Maximus. The band has a wide variety of musical influences, from pop/rock to 70's Prog-Rock to Heavy and Death metal, all of which is blended together and gives them their unique sound. This melting pot creates a mixture of great melodies, groove, heavy riffs and weird odd time signatures."The First Chapter" was recorded in various studios in Norway, and mixed in October 2004 in Denmark at Jailhouse Studios with well-known producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, Wuthering Heights) at the helm.The sound is impeccable, the musicianship is out-of-this-world, Michael Eriksen's voice is amazing (reminding of Tony Harnell, Joey Tempest and Ronnie Atkins), and the songs are simply outstanding. A superb mixture of classic hard rock anthems and progressive technical bits and pieces. Just listen to tracks as the upbeat opener "Sin", the beautiful ballad "Silence From Angels Above", the grandiose "Glory Of The Empire" or the 19-minute magnum-opus "The 1st Chapter".This album will appeal to all fans of bands such as Symphony X, TNT, Dream Theater, Pretty Maids and Queensryche.Circus Maximus will be making their North American debut at ProgPower USA in Atlanta, GA on September 16, 2005.
    $13.00
  • "Back in 2008, Arkan helped to expand the diversity of metal even further by including Arabic and oriental sounds in brutal death metal with the “Hilal” album. Although not without its flaws, the release showed that metal can’t be pegged down and all fans of the genre should learn to expect the unexpected. In the three year interim, Arkan has matured and progressed this burgeoning sub-genre of “oriental metal” to create an album that isn’t just a mashup of two diverse styles, but a complete package that will be hard to top in future releases.Like with its predecessor “Hilal” (reviewed here), the Arabic sounds and influences rarely detract from the heaviness on the album. Rather than being a primarily symphonic metal experience, “Salam” sticks fairly consistently to a heavy vibe. The first half of the disc tends to be more crushing than the second half, which has more instrumental interludes, but overall the album is constantly on a simmer getting ready to explode with death metal at any given moment.This time around the band also makes frequent use of clean female vocals for an added melodic element alongside the deep death growls, and Kobi Farhi of Orphaned Land even makes a guest appearance on the song “Deus Vult.” Besides simply changing up the vocal styles, the music itself is much more varied and willing to explore new territory than in the last release. Rather than being relentlessly brutal in some parts and then completely ethnic and melodic in others, the songs instead go for a measured and properly paced assault that blends the two. The tracks also have consistently more staying power this time around, with elements of other metal styles working their way into the guitar playing.The 37 second instrumental “Common Ground” is where the disc shifts into a more melodic focused atmosphere. It’s not clear if anything is supposed to be read into the length and title of the song, such as if the band is trying to say there’s not enough common ground or common ground is only a small step away from the various religions of the world. Overall the song titles and lyrics seem to head in a direction similar to Orphaned Land, touching on issues of how religions impact the world.For anyone who liked the idea of Orphaned Land but wanted a much stronger death metal presence, “Salam” is a must-hear album. The band’s second full-length outing is a fantastic blend of modern heavy death metal with traditional Middle Eastern sounds." - Metal Underground
    $7.00
  • First solo album from Nevermore's vocalist finds him dialing it down a bit but still staying within the power metal realm. Frankly I think this gives Dane an opportunity to really show off what his voice is still capable of. The production is quite modern and with backing by members of Soilwork and Himsa you can be sure that it slams when necessary. Is it embarassing if I say that I enjoyed this more than recent Nevermore? Dand still has a real gift and this disc demonstrates it with full force.
    $12.00
  • "You know how it is. You’re the Daughter of Satan, you fall in love, your lover dies, you kill some nuns, and then you destroy the world.All in a day’s work for Demon Lung, whose new album ‘A Dracula’ is the gleeful retelling of a gruesome story inspired by the 1977 horror film Alucarda.‘A Dracula’ is bigger, faster and more spectacular than its predecessor, the band’s excellent debut ‘The Hundredth Name’, and while it may not be a huge creative gamble for the Las Vegas quintet, it’s a step up in every department.Clad in white gown and sorrowful expression, singer Shanda Frederick in undoubtedly the band’s focal point. She particularly enjoyed writing the lyrics for this album, and that relish oozes through in her performance.Frederick’s voice sways and lilts with a delicately-controlled strength. It is at once tragic and snarling, dreamy and yet decisive. For all her gloomy power and vampiric passion, it would be great to hear even more variety from Frederick’s distinctive voice. She persists with a trademark slide at the end of almost every line, which becomes distracting.On the song ‘Raped By The Serpent’, she demonstrates that when her vocals are more positive and invigorated, then the song can really come to life. Other standout tracks include ‘I Am Haunted’, which is a slow and patient triumph, and the gloriously understated epic ‘Gypsy Curse’.Big, metallic riffs pummel and crash as the narrative proceeds to its striking conclusion, the guitars working in perfect partnership with Frederick’s Medusa-like charms.Demon Lung draw upon a sludgy heaviness and apocalyptic drumming to create a thunderous, stirring sound. And yet some songs stubbornly refuse to burst into life, as was the case on the band’s previous album. These Nevada wizards prefer to downplay their own epicness in order to maintain a relentless state of tension.‘A Dracula’ is consistently engaging and mesmerising work of creative misery from these stylish Las Vegas doomsayers." - Doom Metal Heaven
    $14.00
  • The split between Geoff Tate and the rest of Queensryche took an ugly turn awhile back and now we are seeing the first fruits of the fallout.  He finds himself on Cleopatra Records - the perfect marriage of exploitation partners.  I'm not sure why anyone would want to actually own this album but I guess if you are an uber-Tate fan you have to have it.  Tate's version of the band features Kelly Gray, Rudy and Robert Sarzo, Simon Wright, and Randy Gane.  The music sounds a lot like all the crap Queensryche was putting out over the past 10-15 years but maybe even less inspired.  Tate took it upon himself to cover 4 classic Queensryche songs as a bonus (oh joy).  Special guests on the album include KK Downing, Chris Poland, Ty Tabor, Paul Bostaph, Lita Ford, Brad Gillis, Dave Meniketti, and Craig Locicero.  If Jimi Hendrix was on this album it couldn't ressurect this swill.  There is one good thing about the album - the cover.  Its a pretty clever jab at his old bandmates.  I'll give him that and not much else.  Fanatics only please.
    $6.00
  • Originally released in 1978, this was the band's second attempt at cracking the English speaking market. Like Follow My Dream, there is some extraordinary progressive rock going on here but you have to put up with Skrzek's intermittent vocals which are pretty drab. This set comes with extensive bonus tracks and has 24 bit remastering.
    $13.00
  • Fourth album from this excellent Italian progressive rock band. Madame Zelle is a concept album based on the life of double agent Mata Hari. Plenty of solos from keyboards and flute without sounding dated. In fact this doesn't sound like 70s Italian prog at all - they achieve a contemporary sound that bears a striking similarity to White Willow's Storm Season period. I wish vocalist Simona Rigano sang in English. It would bring this band acceptance from a much broader audience. She has a nice voice that serves the music quite well. Overall an album with a nice flow to it. Highly recommended.
    $19.00
  • Far From Forgot is the first part of a proposed trilogy from former Enid guitarist Francis Lickerish.  He left The Enid in 1981 and wasn't heard from again until the Secret Green project from a few years ago.  This is more or less an extension of that album.  The music is very similar to The Enid - epic scope symphonic music with a rock infusion.  Lickerish plays guitar along with Jon Beedle, Hilary Palmer sings and plays flute.  There are a whole range of musicians filling out the soundscape.  What Lickerish has created is something very much akin to Mike Oldfield's Celtic influenced period.  Quite a beautiful album.  Highly recommended.
    $18.00
  • "Esteemed international metal label Season of Mist began pursuing the two-guitar, three-singer Vancouver quartet Anciients after hearing a series of early mixes for what would become the band’s debut album. It’s easy to imagine what initially lured the diverse label to the band: The tracks on Anciients' nine-song entrance, Heart of Oak, are hyperkinetic but heavily anchored. They surround the hooks you might expect from a Baroness anthem with tangential and technical playing that trends toward prog rock but stops short of Opeth or Enslaved’s maze of redirections. Anciients excel at muscular and agile guitar solos, while the guitarists, Kenny Cook and Chris Dyck, also volley the vocal duties, jumping from death metal bellow to pop-metal lift. It’s exciting stuff, really-- often complicated without seeming excessive, skillful but soulful, approachable but not pedestrian. At its best, Heart of Oak is immediate and electrifying, an album that suggests Anciients’ half-prog, half-pop metal is bound for big stages.By this point, though, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the band’s name: Why, after all, add an extraneous vowel to a perfectly good handle? That excess is emblematic of Anciients' chief musical foible-- time and again, they add unnecessary sidecars to songs that would have been more effective left alone. Of these nine tracks, only one doesn’t break the six-minute mark. The exception is a tender but predictable instrumental, a mid-album interlude meant as a tribute to some late friends and family members. But the rest of these things are hyperbolic monsters that speak to a rookie act attempting to get through all of their influences at once, even though three of the members have been playing together in other groups for a decade. They are trying to make a very big point all the time, and the weight collapses in on itself. “The Longest River”, a nine-minute cut with a woefully apropos handle, swivels from acoustic foreboding to contract-and-expand thrash, from distended solos to dense stomp, from sweet-singing verses to growled impasses. None of it’s bad, but none of it is astounding enough to pardon the way it obviates an excellent refrain.That’s a consistent problem for Heart of Oak, a record that adulterates many incredibly exciting moments with consistent excess. “Flood and Fire”, a late-album highlight, seems more like a string of song pieces than a proper song, with a righteous solo swiping momentum from a great chorus that, in turn, stymies several great and grim hardcore shout-alongs. As Cook told Metal Underground, album opener “Raise the Sun” initially keys on Fleet Foxes before leaping into a verse so sticky and warm that ASG or Torche might like to have it back. Elsewhere, the song convincingly invokes metalcore and psychedelic rock, hangman riffs and fleeting blast beats. The parts are exhilarating, but strung together with more enthusiasm than wisdom so they’re mostly exhausting. Taken a track or two at a time, Heart of Oak is manageable; make it from end to end, though, and it’s difficult not to feel frustrated by the fatigue.These complaints aren’t meant as some preclusive warning against Heart of Oak; rather, they’re only an honest assessment of a band that, in years to come, is probably going to be great. If Anciients choose to venture further deeper into labyrinthine prog, they’ve got the riffs and rhythms to make it compelling over the long haul. They seem as steeped in the suffocation of black metal from Scandinavia as they do in the sweetness of Allman licks from Georgia, as capable of thrash sprints as they are stoner lulls. And as the pealing organ and rumbling field recordings of the gorgeous (but, again, incredibly excessive) closer “For Lisa” suggest, they bring a wide-eyed approach to their music. Heart of Oak doesn’t have a compelling, cohesive narrative thrust, but there’s always time to buy a book of folklore, right?Alternately, Anciients could choose the route of bands such as Baroness or even Mastodon, embedding that sharp technicality within songs that make their points with concision that doesn’t forsake intricacy. The kernels of these songs are strong enough to suggest that they’re not very far off-- that is, their biggest problem as a band isn’t a dearth of ideas but, rather, discretion with those ideas. Anciients are exciting new prospects, with or without that cumbersome vowel chaiin." - Pitchfork
    $13.00
  • Love 'em or hate 'em you know you want to hear them. This British cheese metal band has captured the hearts and souls of the Guitar Hero set. For any metal head that thinks time stood still in 1984.
    $4.00
  • With the anticipation of a new Marillion album on the horizon, we are going to hold back for just a short while on our next concept album. That doesn't mean however... that we don't have something very special to hold you over until the next epic is complete...  We present our new "bridge album" to take you from Edison's Children's last epic to out next, entitled:"SOMEWHERE BETWEEN HERE AND THERE..."is a non-conceptual album featuring several songs that have been kicking around the E.C. laboratory for a few years but will doubtfully ever see the light of day otherwise. It's not that we don't love them... they simply don't fit the "concept albums"of the past or the future. They are however, quite exciting pieces of music in their own right.• 15 never before heard tracks/remixes including 7 all new songs + 2 Downloadable Bonus Tracks(including the 3 new songs that were performed at the Marillion Montreal Weekend)- Growing Down in Brooklyn- Someone Took My Heart Away- Winter Solstice (instr.)- Stranger In A Foreign Land- Ever Be Friends- The Darkness (instrumental track intended for The Final Breath Before November but never used)- Sinner's Minus (instrumental track intended for The Final Breath Before November but never used)• 3 songs from the original version of "The Final Breath Before November" - originally mixed by King Crimson's Lead Singer Jakko Jakszyk incl: the original and slightly longer "whispery ending" of Where Were You!- Where Were You (14:10)- Light Years-  The Seventh Sign• The Longing (orchestral) - Mike Hunter originally gave us 2 mixes... a full on Rock Mix of The Longing as well as a far more orchestral version. We wound up using the "Rock Mix" for TFBBN. Hear for the 1st time what the orchestral version sounded like!• Never before released live version of A Million Miles Away from the 2013 Marillion Wolves WeekendThis is a full 80 minute album!
    $12.00
  • Stumbled across a reference to this Italian band on a forum and really enjoyed what I heard.  Bloody things cost a fortune and I was disappointed to discover that they are in fact CD-Rs.  Caveat Emptor.  At  least the music is great.Castle Fusion is a six piece ensemble.  The band has phenomenal chops and are not afraid to show it off.  The music also has a real sense of maturity.  I don't know anything about these guys but they sound like seasoned veterans.  The music definitely falls in the realm of "Rock Progressivo Italiano".  Vocals are predominantly in English although there are a couple of tunes with Italian vocals (and two instrumentals).  Its a really nice blend of symphonic keys, flute, sax, jazz-inflected guitar leads and a killer rhythm section.  These guys can really blow.  Fans of Banco, PFM, and Osanna should check them out.  Highly recommended.
    $16.00
  • "Brazilian power metal superstars Hibria proudly present their very first live concert album on both DVD & CD - a multimedia headbanging experience of the first order!Professionally filmed with multiple cameras at the Shinagawa Prince Stellar Ball in Tokyo, Japan - May 15th, 2011 - and covering all of the fan favorites including Steel Lord On Wheels, Bind Ride, Shoot Me Down and more!This is the final release with Hibria founding member, guitarist and producer Diego Kasper!"CD/DVD1. Blind Ride2. Nonconforming Minds3. Shoot Me Down4. Welcome To The Horror Show5. Living Under Ice6. Defying The Rules7. Millennium Quest*6. Blinded By Faith9. The Shelter s On Fire10. The Anger Inside11. The Skull Collectors12. Sea Of Revenge*13. I Feel No Bliss*14. Sight Of BlindnessENCORE15. Intro (Wings Of Wax)16. Tiger Punch17. Steel Lord On Wheels18. Rotten Souls*DVD only
    $15.00
  • This is the Steven Wilson remix of the 1974 classic.  It comes with two bonus tracks.Track listing:ProclamationSo SincereAspirationsPlaying the GameCogs in CogsNo God’s a ManThe FaceValedictoryBonus Tracks:The Power and the GloryAspirations (Instrumental out-take)"The group's first U.S. release in two years featured ornate playing from Kerry Minnear on keyboards and Gary Green's loudest guitar work up to that time. The Power and the Glory is also a fairly dissonant album, yet it made the charts, albeit pretty low. There seems to be a unifying theme having to do with one's place in the social order, but it's very vague in contrast to Pink Floyd's re-creations of the post-'60s drug experience, Yes' sweeping album-length suites, and ELP's sci-fi epics. "No God's a Man" is an infinitely more challenging piece of music than anything on Jethro Tull's Aqualung, but that wasn't a commercial virtue; nor could the electric violin break on "The Face" or the rippling electric guitar passages throughout cover the effort involved in absorbing these songs. The Power and the Glory vaguely resembled Genesis' early art-rock albums, but without any presence as charismatic as Peter Gabriel. "Playing the Game" and "So Sincere" were the most accessible tracks and ended up as key parts of their concert set." - Allmusic
    $18.00