Van Halen’s comeback album, ‘A Different Kind Of Truth,’ released on this day in 2012, featured the return of David Lee Roth. The highly-anticipated album was a dream come true for fans. It also received high praise from music critics.
As the decade recently came to a close, a pair of the music industry’s biggest magazines cited two of the album’s tracks as two of the best songs of the decade.
The ‘ADKOT’ tracks “She’s The Woman” and “Stay Frosty” recently ranked on two “Best Of” lists. The David Lee Roth-led “Stay Frosty” landed on Rolling Stone’s “50 Best Songs of the 2010s” ranking. And the riff from “She’s The Woman” made Guitar World’s “Top 20 Guitar Riffs of the Decade.” Additionally, Edward Van Halen was called the “greatest hard-rock player of all time” by Guitar World.
“Stay Frosty” Honored in Rolling Stone
Just in case Billy Eilish still hasn’t discovered who Van Halen is and how great they are, a recent Rolling Stone article can serve as another reminder of why she should give them a listen.
Rolling Stone placed the ‘ADKOT’ track “Stay Frosty” on the “50 Best Songs of the 2010s” list. Guess who is right underneath Van Halen? Yup, Billie Eilish’s 2019 song “Bad Guy”.
Here’s what they had to say about “Stay Frosty”:
“David Lee Roth, Mr. Non-Stop Talker What a Rocker himself, reunites with the brothers Van Halen to light up the sky, using up every gimmick in their ice cream truck. It’s an oddly touching reunion: everybody in the band explodes like they waited years for the chance to do this. Then, needless to say, they remembered they hate each other. Sing us home, Diamond Dave: “Look beyond the kung fu fighting / God is love, but get it in writing.”
“Stay Frosty” has been described as a sequel to the 1978 Van Halen cover of John Brim’s “Ice Cream Man” as both songs begin with a Roth acoustic intro before the rest of the band (this time featuring Wolfgang Van Halen on bass) blasts into an amped-up boogie. It’s one of the newer tracks written and recorded for ‘A Different Kind Of Truth.’
A clip of “Stay Frosty” made its debut on an episode of the CBS crime drama series ‘CSI’ on January 25th, 2012 before fans finally had the chance to hear the full version when ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ was released on February 7th, 2012.
Below is the full studio version of “Stay Frosty” followed by a video released by Roth in 2012 talking about the song:
“She’s The Woman” Honored in Guitar World
What’s more important to a song – a great guitar solo or a great guitar riff? Whichever side of the fence you’re on, Edward Van Halen is sitting comfortably on it, EVH guitar in hands, willing and able to deliver both.
It’s Edward’s riff on the 2012 Van Halen song “She’s The Woman” from the ‘A Different Kind of Truth’ album that recently proved he’s still “the man” when it comes to delivering an infectious riff, as he landed on Guitar World’s recently posted list of the 20 best guitar riffs of the decade.
Guitar World’s Jonathan Horsley set up the list (as voted by Guitar World readers) with his thoughts on the importance of a guitar riff:
“With solos, we see where players are taking technique forward and the compositional nous needed to complement the song, but riffs, the building blocks of guitar-driven music, they are the moments that stick with us by design.
This end-of-decade list tells us a few things. It tells us the masters still have plenty sap in the tree, that they have lost little of their power to land a guitar-driven hook. It also shows us that the riff can be bent into new shapes and still work as a musical motif, burying its way into our consciousness.”
Edward’s “She’s The Woman” riff landed at #11 on the list. Here are Horsley’s comments on the riff:
“We all too often get carried away by EVH’s pyrotechnic lead playing that we forget his rhythm chops reside in a similar state of off-the-charts ridiculousness.
‘She’s the Woman’ is a timely reminder that – as the greatest hard-rock player of all time – the man behind ‘Panama’, ‘Atomic Punk’, ‘Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love’ and so on is equally blessed in riff-writing.
His style is super-kinetic, employing pedal points, harmonic squawks and little conversational asides, and ‘She’s the Woman’ is just so… Eddie Van Halen.”
“She’s The Woman” was the second song and single from the band’s 2012 album ‘A Different Kind of Truth’. The song dates back 1976 when the band first wrote and recorded it. It eventually ended up on a demo produced by Gene Simmons which you can hear below:
In 2009 bassist Wolfgang Van Halen dusted off his father’s tapes and approached his bandmates about re-recording it, which is exactly what they did. Edward stayed true to the original riff but made some changes to the solo. While the original solo ended up becoming the breakdown in 1981’s “Mean Street”, Wolfgang came up with a new breakdown “that had these crazy chord changes”, leading Edward to come up with a new solo. Roth re-wrote the verse lyrics but kept the title and chorus the same. Here’s the 2012 version from ‘ADKOT’:
Released as a single on February 28, 2012 “She’s The Woman” peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart.
For more on this great album, visit VHND’s “A Different Kind Of Truth” Album Page.