Wolfgang Van Halen has come up with 11 albums that have changed his life and two of them come from Van Halen.
In a recent interview with Louder‘s Dave Everley, Wolfgang picked a list of albums (in no particular order, according to Wolfgang) that have shaped his musical path so far and included 1981’s Fair Warning and 1995’s Balance.
Here’s what he had to say about the two Van Halen albums:
I wanted to pick a Van Halen album, because obviously that can’t be ignored in my upbringing and influence. I’ve lived and breathed it my whole life. But I’ve kind of fudged, because I don’t think you can fully represent what Van Halen is without looking at both the Roth era and the Hagar era.
Fair Warning, the Roth era album, is a very special album to me. It was an album where my dad just said, ‘Fuck it’ and did what he wanted. I think that’s why it’s a cult classic – it was never really a huge album compared to the others but I think it’s a really important because it’s where dad just went hard. Again, it’s another dark album, but then there’s classics like ‘Unchained’. And it’s so quick – it goes by in 36 minutes or something, but it just makes you want to start it again. It’s such a great, dark, fun album that I think it gets overlooked.
For the Hagar era, Balance was the album that meant a lot to me. Technically I was alive for [1991’s] For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, but Balance was the one that I kind of remember being around when it was happening. You could argue that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was a better album, but Balance, for me, means more. It’s more of a nostalgic thing. Sonically, it’s phenomenal-sounding album – it sounds incredible.
It might be the best-sounding Hagar album, maybe the best sounding Van Halen. The Hagar era shows another side of my father’s playing as well. I like how he leaned more into the melodic stuff – some of the most beautiful melodies he’s ever written have been in the Hagar era with things like ‘Dreams’ or the song ‘Not Enough’ from Balance. But then, I love all of the Van Halen albums.
Wolfgang’s Complete List
AC/DC – Highway To Hell (1979)
Tool — Ænima (1996)
Karnivool – Sound Awake (2009)
Porcupine Tree – Deadwing (2005)
Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile (1999)
Jimmy Eat World – Futures (2004)
Blink-182 – Enema Of The State (1999)
Peter Gabriel – So (1986)
The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)
Van Halen – Fair Warning (1981)/Balance (1995)
Read the entire article from Louder’s website HERE.