Van Halen 1978-05-23 Victoria Hall Hanley, England “Official Audience” Master

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November 29, 2022 at 3:05 pm Quote #65991


Van Halen * 1978-05-23 * Victoria Hall * Hanley, England * “Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps * Eddie, Steady, Go! (Vol. III) * (w/ samples)

Van Halen
May 23, 1978
Victoria Hall
Hanley, England
“Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps
Eddie, Steady, Go! (Vol. III)

2022 Transfer: Master/source 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. Bottoms Up!
14. D.O.A.

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

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 — the underlying source of all known copies of these recordings — 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!

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 the same way, 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 roadie 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.

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.

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 remarkable 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.

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.

Hanley, May 23, 1978

Volume III of “Eddie, Steady, Go!” presents another U.K. ’78 tape that VH collectors are likely familiar with. Appealing, the Hanley setlist adds “Bottoms Up!”, making it one song longer than our first two volumes. Though the run time is longer, it’s still an efficient performance, as the band focused on the goal to win over a new audience. Chalk up another win here: listen as the Hanley crowd chants for more near the end.

Beyond the addition of “Bottoms Up!”, the set list at Victoria Hall reprises the previous two nights, with nine tracks from the band’s debut LP and, at the end, twin previews of “Van Halen II”: “Bottoms Up!” and “D.O.A.” While the sound isn’t as rich as our series releases of Newcastle and Manchester — Hanley is decidedly more distant and sounds unmistakably like an audience recording — it’s eminently listenable and should serve as an upgrade to circulating copies.

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.

Watch for Volume IV in the coming weeks. And please keep the feedback coming: we read the remarks and are thrilled with the response to “Eddie, Steady, Go!”.

Share it freely, and for free!

- slipkid68

November 29, 2022 at 3:06 pm Quote #65992

December 16, 2022 at 4:20 pm Quote #66061




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