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Van Halen - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

A Sneak Peek...

And this time on "Van Halen's" album "FUCK".

Yes, yes, you did not imagine, there is such an album, it was released on June 18, 1991, and its full name is "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge".

This is the band's ninth album and its third in the second lineup with singer Sammy Hagar.


This album was released when the whole issue of censorship of lyrics in music and "Parental Advisory Explıcıt Content", was in the headlines. Sammy Hagar wanted the album to have a shocking title. He chose the name "FUCK" but then he got off of it and agreed to go for the title whose only acronym is the word "FUCK".

Even the tour that accompanied the album was called "F.U.C.K. 'n' Live".

This album marked a kind of return to the roots of Heavy Metal, with most of the songs being led by Eddie Van Halen's guitars. Even the synthesizers that dominated the previous albums were converted here to pianos. Listen to the song "Judgement Day" for example and you'll immediately know what we are talking about.


One of the classic examples of using the piano at the expense of a synthesizer is in one of the great songs on the album - "Right Now" which opens with the keystrokes. Sammy Hagar who recounted the moment this song was written, remember he was in the studio with Eddie Van Halen and they were both in separate rooms. He heard Eddie working on the keyboard section and was immediately turned on, he realized they were actually in the same head and they were writing the same song only separately. He entered the room where Eddie was playing and simply started singing the words that were flowing in his head at that moment. To this day Sammy thinks these are the best lyrics he has written for a Van Helen song. Eddie noted that the roots of the keyboard section go back to the days of the album "1984" and the period in which he wrote the song "Jump", which reinforces the conscious decision to use the piano instead of a synthesizer, otherwise the keyboard sound in this song would have sounded like "Jump".


The song "Poundcake" that opened the album, was also the first to be released as a single and jumped straight to number one on Billboard. The sound of the guitar whistling with which the song opens up, was achieved by an electric screwdriver that Eddie Van Helen operated very close to the guitar pickups.


Interestingly, in the song "Top of the World" which was released as the second single from the album, the riff which can be heard at the end of the song was used on the song "Jump". For this reason, the band used to play the two songs together in performances, when at the end of the hit "Jump" the song "Top of the World" began. The song features guitarist Steve Lukather who is known among others from the band "Toto" but is far far beyond. An interesting fact is that the last time Eddie and Steve played together was in the song "Beat It" by Michael Jackson, with Steve on rhythm guitar and Eddie in solo.

The instrumental section "316" refers to the birthday of Wolfgang Van Halen - Eddie's son who was born on March 16th, 1991. Wolfgang is known to later become the band's bassist and 30 years later, in 2021, he released his excellent solo album "Mammoth WVH"..

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