While the chances of ever seeing the original VH line-up put aside their egos and assorted differences are beyond slim, it is impossible to argue how freakin’ monstrous this band was at the height of their career, before DLR became circus ringleader and wearer of ass-less chaps.

Exactly when VH reached their height is debatable. Was it the Women & Children First period, or just after VH II had come out? I personally feel that, while there is some remarkable material from both periods, nothing beats Van Halen when they were hungry and had something to prove. Thus, I’m unleashing some live cuts from late ’77, when Van Halen was just beginning to take the Sunset Strip and the rest of the planet by storm.

Many have written off VH as the first hair metal band and, sure, they spawned a thousand knock-offs that came from all parts of the US and plugged up Hollywood throughout most of the 80’s. Personally, I have always thought that VH were more punk than a lot of people give them credit for being. David Lee Roth a punk rocker? Eddie Van Halen a punk guitarist?

Now, just hear me out.

Did any other band play more by their own rules than VH? From the very beginning, they were writing the template for what started out very punk, but, in the hands of imitators who could only approximate VH’s style, would become the embarrassingly cookie-cutter hair metal scene.

To this day, I will argue that VH’s first album is just as punk rock as that first Ramones album. Is it a crime that VH were a whole lot more fun to party with?

All tracks are available to DONATE TO CHARITY SLICE readers.

Track listing:

1. On Fire Rehearsal Instrumental
2. Voodoo Queen Rehearsal Instrumental
3. Atomic Punk Rehearsal Instrumental
4. Ain’t Talking Bout Love Full Band Rehearsal
5. On Fire Full Band Rehearsal

6. On Fire
7. Feel Your Love Tonight
8. Runnin’ With The Devil
9. Atomic Punk
10. Little Dreamer
11. Somebody Get Me A Doctor
12. Ice Cream Man
13. Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love
14. Eruption
15. D.O.A.
16. You Really Got Me