was the day Diver Down came out (well, maybe it's in the top ten !)
I had the great fortune of growing up in the late 70's and early 80's, the golden age of both classical and alternative rock. In 1977, when I was in 8th grade, we had bands like the Police, Talking Heads, Boston and the Cars just coming out. And countless other bands (AC/DC, Bad Company, Cheap Trick, the Doobies, ELO, Foreigner... I can almost come up with one for every letter of the alphabet !!), whose talents far surpass anything from today, were also producing great music.
And then there was Van Halen. Like the Police and Talking Heads, they put out a great album EVERY YEAR (how many bands do that nowadays ?) from 1977 through 1984. Every year KZAP would announce when the new album was going to be released, and I would go to Tower Records and pick up my copy that very same day.
By the time Diver Down came out in 1982, my buddies and I were totally in love with Van Halen. I remember buying Diver Down on the first day it came out, taking it home, playing it about 10 times, and being totally ecstatic. Diver Down is much more melodic than its predecessor, Fair Warning. Nevertheless, songs like Hang 'Em High, Cathedral and the Full Bug are every bit as Wailin' as any previous record. And the melodic tracks - Secrets, Pretty Woman, Little Guitars, and Big Bad Bill (a swing throwback with pappy on the clarinet) capture the good time party essence of Van Halen at its finest.
This album has a very special place in my heart, and quality wise it is every bit as incredible as the other five records from the DLR era (which to me is the only Van Halen worth listening to.) In fact, I like it better than 1984. The beauty of VH records is that they only last 30 minutes. Which is great, because when you get to the end, you will want to play it again immediately !!