This was Van Halen's third album (rel. 1980), following the release of Van Halen I (1978) and II (1979). These are all truly great records, with original songs, techniques (at the time of release anyway!) and a fantastic sense of live performance. The latter comes from Producer Ted Templeman's impressive ability to just let the band play the songs without over-producing. Also Engineering from Donn Landee enables you to hear the infamous 'Brown Sound' of Alex Van Halen's Snare and Eddie's Amp/ Guitar Set Up.
But less of the history! As a stand-alone record this, like so many other Van Halen records, has brilliantly pure Hard Rock Songs and in so many different styles: From the meanest 'Fools' to the premier track 'And The Cradle Will Rock...' to the acoustic work on 'Take Your Whiskey Home' and the (let's face it) bizarre masterpiece of 'Could this be Magic?'. These are impressive to the listener because the band do them all so well.
Reasons to buy this record?? If your interest is in Van Halen, Monumental Guitar work, quality understated Bass and drum work (Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen are legends in their own right), Hard Rock, great songs, scary harmonic-squealing from David Lee Roth, a wonderful ear for chords from Eddie, balanced records... This is certainly one of the best of the Group's realeases, because it showcases them doing what they do best.