Van Halen: David Lee Roth (vocals); Eddie Van Halen (guitar); Michael Anthony (bass); Alex Van Halen (drums).
Recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California in 1979.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Photographers: Neil Zlozower; Elliot Gilbert.
While it's tough to follow up a classic, VAN HALEN II comes close to matching the brilliance of the band's debut. Once again, the record begins with a fat bass line from Michael Anthony, and his piercing background vocals are featured on "You're No Good," an explosive cover of the Linda Ronstadt tune.
While the group's early material was slightly too heavy for Top 40 airplay, here they take a commercial stab with the brilliant "Dance the Night Away" and "Beautiful Girls." "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" features the trademark wails of David Lee Roth, and Eddie Van Halen's magical soloing. Alex Van Halen's playing takes a slightly complex turn on "Outta Love Again" with some funky drum fills. Eddie shows his versatility with the gorgeous, flamenco-styled solo "Spanish Fly." The band kicks it full throttle once again on "D.O.A.," which accelerates to a mighty finish. "Women in Love" features lessons from Mr. Roth on dealing with female fickleness. VAN HALEN II would go on to be a huge success, reaching the U.S. Top 10. This remastered album leaves the band sounding better than ever.
Q (1/01, p.131) - 3 out of 5 stars - "...[It] was no Van Halen I, but it has its moments. That and Alex Van Halen on the back cover with his drumsticks on fire..."