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Friday, July 31, 2015

Van Halen "Panama" Isolated Guitar

Eddie Van Halen image
Eddie Van Halen's been in the news a lot lately so it's a good time to inspect one of his most famous songs. Here's the isolated guitar from "Panama," the third single off the hugely successful 1984 album. The record was recorded in Eddie's 5150 home studio and produced by Ted Templeman, who had also produced the band's previous albums.

Here's what to listen for.

1. On the final mix, the guitar is panned to the left and the effect to the right (in typical early Van Halen fashion) but here it's up the middle. That means that we can't analyze the actual sound as much as the playing.

2. The interesting thing is that there's no sweeting. Everything is done by a single guitar just as it would happen in concert, even the solo. There might have been punches, but they're not evident so it sounds like one continuous performance. I'd love to hear that happen again on records!

3. Listen to Eddie's dynamics. He backs off in intensity during the verses and bridge to leave space for the vocals, and brings it up when the excitement is needed in the choruses - again, just like in a live performance.

4. Also note Eddie's formidable rhythm chops. He's rock solid as he drifts between lead, fills and rhythm, something absolutely required in a power trio.


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1 comment:

Rand said...

A great blast from the past. One of the Godz has spoken again. Thanks Bobby♫


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