Personnel: David Lee Roth (vocals); Steve Vai (guitar); The Sidney Sharp Strings (strings); Jesse Harms (electric piano, keyboards); Jeff Bova (synthesizer); Billy Sheehan (bass, background vocals); Greg Bissonette (drums, background vocals); Sammy Figueroa (percussion); Waters Family (background vocals).
Engineers: Jeff Hendrickson, Lee Herschberg.
Recorded at The Power Station, New York, New York, Can-Am Recorders, Tarzana, California and Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California.
Personnel: David Lee Roth (vocals, background vocals); Steve Vai (guitar); Lee Herschberg (strings, horns); Jesse Harms (electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Jeff Bova (synthesizer); Gregg Bissonette (drums, background vocals); Sammy Figueroa (percussion); Waters Family, Billy Sheehan (background vocals).
Recording information: Can-AM Recorders, Tarzana, CA; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA; The Power Station, NY, NY.
Photographers: Paul Vega; Raul Vega.
Arranger: David Lee Roth.
After David Lee Roth's shocking split from Van Halen at the height of the group's popularity, all parties involved resorted to a media-fueled circus of mudslinging. Roth's first post-V.H. project was to be a motion picture (CRAZY FROM THE HEAT) which never got off the ground. But Roth had already assembled a killer solo band, including ex-Frank Zappa guitarist Steve Vai, ex-Talas bassist Billy Sheehan, and ex-Maynard Ferguson drummer Gregg Bissonette, to record songs for the movie's soundtrack. Instead of scrapping the tracks, he incorporated them into his first solo album, 1986's EAT 'EM AND SMILE.
SMILE remains Roth's best solo work. His hard-rocking band sounds as if it's out for blood throughout. Highlights abound, such as the popular singles/videos "Yankee Rose" and "Goin' Crazy," and shredders like "Shy Boy," "Elephant Gun," "Bump and Grind," "Big Trouble," and a cover of "Tobacco Road." To make things even more interesting, Van Halen issued its first post-Roth album, 5150 (with Sammy Hagar taking Roth's vocal spot), just as Roth was releasing EAT 'EM AND SMILE. The two camps' press squabbles spilled over into the charts. Roth and Van Halen slugged it out, and both albums proved to be big sellers.