Relive 7 Guitar Solos From Eddie Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen with Van Halen, live in 1986 - Hazardteam / Youtube
Van Halen’s very own Eddie the ax meister is celebrated as one of the best in the business, just look him up and his performances and you’ll know why. The virtuoso practically reinvented the art of guitar playing in the contemporary rock scene, his tapping technique allowing him to reach ungodly speeds with his arpeggios and passages without breaking a sweat. While EVH is a prime lead guitarist, he also excels in rhythm playing, as well as being one of the creative minds in Van Halen’s arsenal. Here are some of the iconic guitarist’s most memorable solos in a list of seven.
“Beat It” – Thriller (1983)
Starting off the list is a song not even from Van Halen’s catalog. The King of Pop’s iconic gangster-themed rocker was taken to greater heights with the participation of EVH, his scathing solo becoming one of the most recognizable in the history of music.
“Runnin’ With The Devil” – Van Halen (1978)
The tasteful opening track of the band’s debut album was a heavy riff-based composition, but EVH chose to stay on the simpler side of things. It resulted in a delightful contrast of execution, one that marked its place in the hearts of hard rock fans.
“Outta Love Again” – Van Halen II (1979)
Not really a standout in the flurry of tracks in this 1979 catalog, but since we’re talking about solos here, “Outta Love Again” has EVH showcasing his traditional blues roots, effectively employing a minor pentatonic progression throughout the cut.
“Ice Cream Man” – Van Halen (1978)
“Ice Cream Man” surprises listeners with the sudden uproar from the seemingly tranquil acoustic blues of the intro. EVH comes in with the meanest riffs before proceeding into his own brand of showmanship, complete with taps, bends, dive bombs, straight-up guitar abuse, really.
“Eruption” – Van Halen (1978)
Perhaps no other song displayed EVH’s excellence more than “Eruption”. Early on in the band’s career, the guitarist already knew what he wanted to sound like, employing his technical skills without forgoing feel. The result was a groundbreaking record that shaped a whole new landscape of rock beyond its release.
“Hot For Teacher” – 1984 (1984)
The controversial track has EVH ditching the whole technical play of tapping and instead goes for a good old array of notes being played, interrupted by bursts of melodic phrases in between. The guitarist admits he improvised on the track, noting the sudden change in his timing on the record.
“Cathedral” – Diver Down (1982)
Here, EVH focuses on effects and theatrics rather than downright shredding. His tricks included using echo effects and the manual toggling of his volume switch for that ethereal shimmering quality on the solo. Talk about prolific.