Van Halen - Fair Warning (Remastered)
Warner Bros. Records
Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
9 songs (30:58)
Release year: 1981
Van Halen, Warner Bros. Records
Reviewed by Jeff
Archive review
Van Halen released their fourth album Fair Warning in the spring of 1981. It was their fourth consecutive million seller. The album featured nine original songs, which highlighted a less structured, more open approach well suited to the band’s explosive stage show. Fair Warning contains about 30 minutes of Van Halen’s most energetic songs ever.

The album opens up with "Mean Streets"; a quick aggressive, up-tempo song that begins with some fast guitar scales and harmonics as well as some pull-offs and whammy action by Eddie Van Halen. Alex Van Halen keeps a steady drum beat with plenty of hi-hat action and Michael Anthony provides a heavy bottom sound on bass. Eddie also adds a touch of wah-wah as well as volume control techniques.

"Dirty Movies" is about pornography and starts off with a consistent drum beat by Alex, with guitar licks by Eddie. It then kicks into a heavier rhythm guitar and bass along with more guitar fills. David Lee Roth gives a dialogue rap during a break in the song where you can hear him say, “Take it off!”, followed by cheering and clapping in the background. Roth also provides some of his animalistic screams.

Track three is "Sinner’s Swing", a fast upbeat tempo tune with a strong guitar riff, steady bass chug, quick drumming and harmony back-up vocals. During the guitar solo, there is no rhythm guitar. There is only bass and drums, which makes the reproduction of the song live very close to that of the album.

The fourth song is "Hear About It Later". Eddie starts things off with a mellow guitar intro with flanging effect. This is followed by the slow, pounding of drums and bass, which builds into a vicious guitar attack to provide a fuller sound.

"Unchained”"; a personal favorite of mine, is a great track! Once again, the guitar starts off with some flanging sounds followed by a fast snare and thumping bass. Roth provides some screams, gruff-like vocals and dialogue during a break in the song.

"Push Comes To Shove" is one of the slower tracks on the album. The guitar has a very light sound. It starts off with bass and drums, followed by some Roth dialogue, as well as some melodic singing by the jungle like vocalist.

"So This Is Love" a concert favorite, is track seven. Like most of the other songs, it begins with bass and drums followed by light guitar picking and then kicking into some heavier playing. There are claps and a guitar lead over the bass and drums only.

"Sunday Afternoon In The Park" is the only instrumental. This song has a very eerie feel to it and sounds like a distorted keyboard is used with some weird flanging sounds. It’s a slow but heavy tune. This song leads right into "One Foot Out The Door"; a mean David Lee Roth “fool around with the husband’s wife tune”.

Anyone who is a Van Halen fan should have Fair Warning in their collection. It is the perfect album to listen to when you are mad, want to annoy your next door neighbor or just to get psyched up!

Killing Songs :
Mean Streets, Dirty Movies, Sinner’s Swing, Hear About It Later,Unchained
Jeff quoted 80 / 100
Aleksie quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Van Halen that we have reviewed:
Van Halen - A Different Kind Of Truth reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 95 / 100
Van Halen - Best Of Volume I reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Van Halen - Van Halen III reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 40 / 100
Van Halen - Balance reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 72 / 100
Van Halen - Live: Right Here, Right Now reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
To see all 15 reviews click here
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