Van Halen 1978-05-21 Newcastle, UK "Official Audience" Master Tape

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October 25, 2022 at 3:30 am Quote #65870


Van Halen
May 21, 1978
City Hall
Newcastle, UK
“Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps
Eddie, Steady, Go! (Vol. I)

2022 Transfer: Master cassette > Nakamichi DR-1 azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices 744T 24/96 capture > iZotope RX and Ozone 8 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44 > FLAC > finishing via Audacity 3.2.1 and TLH

01. intro
02. On Fire
03. I’m the One
04. Bass solo
05. Running With the Devil
06. Atomic Punk
07. Drum solo
08. Little Dreamer
09. Feel Your Love Tonight
10. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
11. Guitar solo/Eruption
12. You Really Got Me
13. D.O.A.

Known faults: On Fire (joined in progress)

Welcome to the first installment of “Eddie, Steady, Go!”, a series of master tapes capturing Van Halen on its first U.K. tour, opening for Black Sabbath in 1978.

Van Halen had released its first LP three months prior to this, a hard-rock classic to this day and an unbeatable calling card then. Eddie presented his guitar sound as if it were a new language, as he and the band began the task of fighting it out night by night, city by city, and record by record. Hang on to your brown M&M’s: here comes Van Halen.

The Newcastle show is the first of seven U.K. ’78 tapes that should be familiar to VH collectors. As so-called soundboard recordings, they first surfaced and circulated in the early 2000s, having been transferred from the original cassettes to MiniDisc (a lossy format) then to CD-R. Now for the first time, the master tapes have been given proper azimuth-adjusted, pitch-corrected transfers and captured in full resolution.

When these shows were originally posted, many were quick to point out that they were not true soundboards — as in direct line recordings — but high-quality audience tapes, albeit with almost no crowd interference whatsoever.

Given our familiarity with uncannily similar-sounding recordings of Bruce Springsteen made the prior year by his crew, we’re fairly confident the Van Halen U.K. ’78 tapes were done by a member of the band’s crew, perhaps at the direction of someone in management (“fifth member” Pete Angelus’s name appears on one of the original Maxell UD 120 cassettes).

That crew member set up professional microphones on a stand at the soundboard (or another location front-of-house), which explains the confusing attribution of this material as “soundboard recordings.” Thankfully for us, what that person was really doing was documenting music history.

Perhaps due to their fuzzy lineage and the limitations of the original transfers, these recordings have not gotten their due. But it’s time to reevaluate: the new transfers and mastering have resulted in detailed, full-fidelity recordings of excellent quality, especially for a band whose early audience captures aren’t generally known for their sonic qualities. Here, the instrument separation is outstanding, and the mix well balanced, too. Samples provided.

As for the performance…

In less than 40 minutes, Van Halen goes from a hungry, unknown warm-up act to near royalty, at least for the fans in Newcastle. Over the course of nine songs, solos for each musician, and the between-song cheerleading of Diamond Dave, the crowd’s enthusiasm builds, culminating in a roar of approval toward the end of the set.

It’s easy to scoff at David Lee Roth’s over-the-top exhortations, but he knew what he was doing, and so did Edward, Alex, and Michael, each of whom plays brilliantly.

And what a setlist! It includes a can’t-miss helping from the eponymous LP and, in “D.O.A.” at the end, a preview of “Van Halen II.”

How did we luck into this treasure trove? As David Lee Roth himself would say, take a look at this! Almost 20 years ago, our benefactor, jamhead64, got these tapes from a friend of his girlfriend. That fellow got them from a resident of a building he worked at as a doorman when he was younger. The resident had a relative who worked for the band at the time, and they’d had a falling out. The resident gave the tapes to the doorman. One break, coming up!

For some time, jamhead64 intended to do new transfers. With the help of our pal cpscps, all seven of what one could call the Van Halen U.K. ’78 “official audience recordings” were redone earlier this year, using the Nakamichi > Sound Devices method detailed above.

I wish I had a sharper recall of the times I saw Van Halen, twice in quick succession on tours behind “Women and Children First” and “Fair Warning.” And while I wish I would have taped (I was too young), I’m grateful for quality captures made before that. (Like other fans, I viewed with great admiration the short clips someone shot in ’79 at Selland Arena in Fresno before they disappeared from YouTube.)

We’re excited to share this one and look forward to rolling out six additional volumes of “Eddie, Steady, Go!”

Huge thanks to jamhead64 for allowing these historic recordings to be worked on again and to cpscps for making the excellent transfers and bringing us into the project. We hope jamhead64 and VH Nation are as pleased with the results as we are. Shout-out to Professor Goody for help with pitch corrections. Lastly, a tip of the hat to the good folks who keep the lights on at the Van Halen News Desk, which serves as a terrific resource.

Share it freely, and for free!

- slipkid68

October 25, 2022 at 12:47 pm Quote #65873


Saw this on Guitars101. Didn’t post it because it was uploaded to Filefactory instead of Mega. :(

When you turn on your stereo, does it return the favor?

October 25, 2022 at 2:09 pm Quote #65875


According to my old trading list, I have this on a CD somewhere, but I can’t find it. This recording sounds amazing!! Looking forward to this new series of shows!!

October 25, 2022 at 2:19 pm Quote #65876


mrmojohalen: Saw this on Guitars101. Didn’t post it because it was uploaded to Filefactory instead of Mega. :(

FF makes you jump thru a lot of SPAM hoops. Not sure if it’ll last, but here is the direct download link I got out of FF.

Slow Download Link

October 26, 2022 at 2:15 am Quote #65884


If anyone needs a mega download link just drop me a PM. :wink:

November 3, 2022 at 9:55 am Quote #65902


Zodiac 550

November 3, 2022 at 10:05 am Quote #65903


They don’t waste any time getting these CDs out, do they?


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