The riff is so funky and danceable, even dare I say it “disco”.
While Eddie’s guitar theatrics got the dudes interested to see him play, it was the way he wrote these swinging funky riffs that got the women to dance to David Lee Roth’s swinging hips and karate kicks.
The debut is seen as a classic today (with over 10 million in sales), but back in 78 Warner Bros. weren’t so sure. The album came out in February 78 and it was certified Gold in May, 78 and then Platinum in October 78. The label wanted to capitalise on this momentum and by December the same year, the band was in the studio again for VHII which came out in March 79. Quite a whirlwind 12 months.
And when it comes to the live setting, “Aint Talkin’ Bout Love”, “You Really Got Me”, “Runnin’ With The Devil” and “Feel Your Love Tonight” get played, along with “Eruption” in the solo moment. “Jamie’s Crying” got EVH a song writing credit on Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing”.
But “Little Dreamer” is not talked about.
VHII had so many serious riffage in “Dance The Night Away”, “Somebody Get Me A Doctor”, “Bottoms Up”, “Women In Love”, “Light Up The Sky” and “Beautiful Girls” and its these songs that get added to the set lists. Plus the groovy cover of “You’re No Good” is so unique it sounds like an original.
But “D.O.A” and “Outta Love Again” are also favourites.
“D.O.A” has a cool sped up outro, but it’s that intro riff which reminds me of “Ain’t Talkin about Love” that gets the foot tapping and the head nodding.
“Outta Love Again”
That solo. Just a bass guitar, drums and EVH wailing away. Live and no overdubs.
In other words, live without a net. And again, there is this funky bluesy riff, which is infectious.
Then came “Woman And Children First” and the riffage kept coming with one of my favourite riffs in “And The Cradle Will Rock”, “Everybody Wants Some”, “Romeo’s Delight” and “Take Your Whiskey Home”.
That main riff after all of the monkey wails and doodling, sounds like it inspired Queens Of The Stone Age and their song “No One Knows”.
Not sure what was meant for this but what about the Sabbathy like feel on this one?
It only goes for a minute before the open string E note starts from “Loss Of Control” which sounds like a young James Hetfield was listening.
Then came “Fair Warning” and it’s hard to move past classics like “Unchained” and “Mean Street”.
And no one is talking about “Push Comes To Shove”.
Listen to it.
It’s funky and sleazy with that Michael Anthony bass line, reggae like with the guitar and those arpeggios brings it back to a rock song.
And that solo section. it’s progressive rock.
“Diver Down” was more a covers album than an original album but the original “Hang Em High” is as good as anything from the earlier albums. But according to setlist.fm it’s the least played song from the album when it comes to the live arena.
Also listen to the sexy and funky groove riff of “Little Guitars”. EVH definitely knows how to swing.
Man that album makes up most of the DLR era set lists.
But “Drop Dead Legs” has only made an appearance on 41 setlists compared to “Panama” which has made 859 setlists.
And it’s got all the good things that make EVH great. A groove oriented riff, major key arpeggios and that solo/outro section inspired by fusion legend Alan Holdsworth.
In a Forbes interview, EVH said that one of his favorite songs is “Drop Dead Legs” regardless if it was a hit or not.
It’s one of my favorites as well.