Twenty years ago this week, David Lee Roth released what we think is one of his very best solo albums… (if not THE best!) … DLR Band. Released on June 9, 1998, DLR Band was his fifth full-length album, and has to be his most Van Halen-sounding solo album since 1986’s Eat ‘Em And Smile.
DLR Band was recorded and mixed in ten days, a similar technique to 1979’s Van Halen II. John Lowery (aka John 5) and Mike Hartman played guitar on the record. Lowery also played bass guitar under the “B’ourbon Bob” pseudonym.
The album debuted at #172 on the charts with 8,000 copies sold in the first week. Within a year the album had sold 65,000 copies. It marked a return to the hard rock guitar-virtuoso sound that made Eat ‘Em and Smile such a classic rock album. The album was engineered, mixed, and mastered by Erwin Musper, who had just come off a short stint mixing some of Van Halen III.
DLR Band track listing:
01. Slam Dunk! (David Lee Roth, John Lowery, Bob Marlette)
02. Blacklight (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
03. Counter-Blast (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
04. Lose the Dress (Keep The Shoes) (Roth, Terry Kilgore)
05. Little Texas (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
06. King of the Hill (Roth, Mike Hartman)
07. Going Places (Roth, Kilgore)
08. Wa Wa Zat!! (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
09. Relentless (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
10. Indeedido (Roth, Hartman)
11. Right Tool for the Job (Roth, Kilgore)
12. Tight (Roth, Kilgore)
13. Weekend With the Babysitter (Roth, Lowery, Marlette)
14. Black Sand (Roth, Kilgore)
The first single, “Slam Dunk,” reached #1 on the FMQB and Album Network airplay charts for three weeks. The second single “Relentless” also debuted in the top ten on these charts.
Some of the lyrics to “Lose the Dress (Keep the Shoes)” were first printed in Dave’s autobiography Crazy from the Heat. “Tight” was originally “Private Parts,” an unused song written for Howard Stern Private Parts: The Movie.
Bettie Page, the popular pin-up girl of the 1950s, graces the cover of the album.
Nothing goes better with that Van Halen-esque guitar playing than Diamond Dave’s unique vocals and lyrics. It’s a brilliant album that we highly recommend.
Listen to the full album here: