Watch Musician/Producer Explain What Makes Van Halen — and specifically, ’Runnin’ With The Devil’ — Great
What is it that makes a great Van Halen song so great? Is it the guitars? Is it the vocals? The drums? The bass? Actually, the answer is a collective “yes” to all of the above and you’re about to find out why.
Rick Beato is a musician/producer who has released a series of videos where he breaks down some of the greatest rock songs of all time and explains why they have become an essential part of music history. His 22nd and most recent episode is all about Van Halen’s “Runnin’ With The Devil”.
With the ability to extract and isolate each instrument from the track, Beato examines the song verse by verse, chord by chord, and instrument by instrument to demonstrate how the whole of classic Van Halen becomes even greater than the sum of its amazing parts.
Beato leads off the video by explaining the difficulty he had in choosing which classic Van Halen song he wanted to feature.
“I pretty much could have picked any song off the first four records,” said Beato. “They all have the same elements that make Van Halen – especially the David Lee Roth Van Halen – songs great. They have the Eddie Van Halen incredible rhythm and lead playing….You’ve got the David Lee Roth screams and just outrageous vocals. You have the Alex Van Halen super heavy drumming…You have Michael Anthony’s simple but right-in-the-pocket bass parts and then the two-part harmonies that Michael and Eddie do. Those are the elements that make Van Halen one of the most iconic rock bands of all time.”
Watch the fantastic video above. Rick breaks down the song, and it’s like It’s like you’re listening to the song with new ears. It really shows off how live and raw the recording is.
Here is a bio of Rick Beato, taken from his website, rickbeato.com:
Rick Beato is a musician, teacher, and father of three. Rick has worked as a writer/producer with various bands in the rock and country genres. Two albums that he produced for NeedtoBreathe – “The Outsiders” (2009) and “The Reckoning” (2012) – won Dove Awards in the Best Rock/Contemporary category. He co-wrote “Carolina” with Parmalee in 2013, which climbed to number 1 on the Billboard’s Country Music Chart.
He is certified to teach grades K-12 and holds a bachelor’s in music from Ithaca College and a master’s in jazz studies from the New England Conservatory of Music. He is presently a member of the Board of Directors at The GLOBE Academy dual-language immersion charter school in Atlanta, GA.
To watch more of Beato’s “What Makes This Song Great?” episodes, check out his YouTube.