July 23, 2024

Two Van Halen fans have shared their remake of the band’s 1998 album Van Halen III in a bid to prove just how great the troubled original record could have been.

The duo’s version reduces the 12-track, 65-minute release to a 10-track, 41-minute experience, with each song adjusted to focus on what they believe are its strongest parts, and an alternate track listing.

But musician Kevin Brown and podcaster Scott Monroe were at pains to emphasize that they meant no disrespect to Eddie Van Halen’s original work, which was compromised by a series of non-musical influences including the guitarist’s addiction struggle at the time.

Van Halen III was an album I dismissed for years,” Brown said (via Van Halen News Desk). “When Scott asked me if I’d be interested in trying to edit the songs to tighten them up, I was intrigued.” He added that the process had left him with “a much, much deeper appreciation for an album that is daring, eclectic and unlike anything Eddie had tried before.”Eddie Van Halen dead: Guitar god for a generation was 65 - Los Angeles Times

Newspaper editor Monroe said he’d applied his journalistic approach to Van Halen III, which he’d always felt was underrated. “How could we edit the album to something more tightly focused on its strengths?” he remembered thinking. “I identified versions of each song that I felt were… unnecessary [or] counter-productive (pre-choruses or, in the case of ‘How Many Say I,’ all of the vocals.”

The playlist below will form the backbone of a series titled Regarding Van Halen III, which Monroe said will include guest speakers as they discuss one track per episode.

“This in no way is intended to criticize Eddie or suggest we know better,” Monroe stated. “I came at this from a place of love… This exercise is about re-imagining how the music could have been further molded… and perhaps made more accessible to the Van Halen fanbase.”

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