Talking with my bros about the recent discovery on VHND about the Anniversary of an all time fave- Van Halen’s fourth record, Fair Warning inspired me to put some words in cyberspace to celebrate this epic album. So without further delay, here is my Van Halen Fair Warning review. Seems many bands have reached some kind of milestone on their fourth go round. Aerosmith Rocks, Kiss Destroyer, Rush 2112, Led Zeppelin 4, Sabbath Vol.4… ok, maybe that last one doesn’t quite live up to the examples, though, I, along with many more of the hardcore followers have a hot & heavy lump for Black Sabbath Volume 4. It just would not be considered a seminal or pivotal mark in that particular bands discography. Fair Warning has all the markings of a classic… no pop, bubblegum hits- but, dark & heavy musical passages and lyrics that intimate most specifically to the core following of the brooding undercurrent which can only in hindsight be deciphered as the angst that later tore perfection asunder. Hell, even the cover art is Dark! This obvious culmination of all the elements which deceive the masses of the saccharine which was coaxed from producers & industry types on other, lesser offerings by the band.
This classic seems made specifically & especially for us who loved them most & it being their fourth record makes me wonder if there is some correlation between the point of breaking away from roots, becoming financially satisfied, fame, & the tearing toward popular success. It’s surreptitiously, the bands last opportunity to offer their best. Best musicianship, best creativity & the peaking of a career before the inevitable decline & sadly in many cases, the ongoing struggle to recapture a magic long lost & to nevermore quite return… very sadly. There can be many satisfying moments & also, comebacks, successes & glory moments but, the youth & swagger, bravado & brashness slip away, leaving all (who come to reality)to ultimately admit which album it was. With Van Halen, it is Fair Warning & for a band of this magnitude & with such a catalogue of strong material this speaks very highly of, & any true fan of the band will tell you- Van Halen Fair Warning is the absolute quintessential, yes, “Somebody said Fair Warning, Lord strike that poor boy DOWN!!!” I REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT! And so do my bros.
Give us your Van Halen Fair Warning review. What’s your favourite Van Halen album? Who was better for VH, Dave or Sammy?