Last time I took on Slayer for my Songs with the Same Title series, now we’re moving onto Van Halen and I am pumped! Not that I’m a huge Van Halen fan, but a few of these songs listed are from my childhood and it’s always fun taking a trip down memory lane. I’ll be comparing two songs from each round (one from the respective artist and one from a different artist), then I’ll pick my favorite song from each round, and after the final round, I’ll pick the winner of the overall battle. With that said, let’s get on with the music!
“Fire in the Hole” (1972) by Steely Dan
“Fire in the Hole” (1998) by Van Halen
Gary Cherone can sing, but I wouldn’t consider “Fire in the Hole” a Van Halen song because when I think of Van Halen, I think of David Lee Roth. However, I do like the song better than Steely Dan’s “Fire in the Hole” because Steely Dan is more jazz-oriented, which is not really my thing. I also enjoyed the guitar distortion on the Van Halen track and overall, it’s a fun hard rock song. My only complaint is what up with the Van Halen III (1998) album cover? It’s a random middle aged man getting shot with a canon; what the heck? Other than that, Van Halen takes the win for round one.
“Not Enough” (1995) by Van Halen
“Not Enough” (2011) by Avril Lavigne
I hate when rock bands do cheesy love songs because when I listen to hard rock/heavy metal, I want to be entertained, not put to sleep. Def Leppard is an exception because their ballads don’t suck. Avril Lavigne has a bit of an advantage in this round because it’s a depressing song and she was an emo fashion icon in the early to mid 2000s. Not that I’m an expert on the 2000s trends, but I know she played a huge influence in pop culture with songs like “Girlfriend,” “Complicated,” “When You’re Gone,” and “Sk8er Boi.” “Not Enough” is not my favorite song by Lavigne, but I love the emo vibes of the track, therefore, Lavigne takes the win for round two.
“Top of the World” (1991) by Van Halen
“Top of the World” (2010) by Mitchel Musso and Doc Shaw
Yeah, this one was a no brainer because Pair of Kings was one of my favorite shows on Disney XD (of course, the first two seasons with Mitchel Musso were better, but the third season was decent). Next to the Hannah Montana theme song, Pair of Kings had my second favorite theme song from a Disney show. The lyrics are weird (“We dish this swagga you know / Together we are gonna flow”), but the energy of this song is infectious. The Van Halen song was good too; no wonder why it was a single. However, Mitchel Musso and Doc Shaw take the win for round three.
“Beautiful Girls” (1979) by Van Halen
“Beautiful Girls” (2007) by Sean Kingston
I actually don’t like both songs because I can’t take David Lee Roth seriously (vocals and personality) and I’m not a fan of Sean Kingston. It’s weird because whenever I hear a Van Halen song without Roth, I’m like, “it’s not Van Halen without David Lee Roth” because that’s what most people associate Van Halen with. But when I hear a song with Roth, I can’t take him seriously for the same reason why I can’t take Bon Scott from AC/DC seriously. They don’t seem tough enough to be in a hard rock band. I heard Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls” when I was younger, but I hated it. The only Sean Kingston song I like besides the one with Justin Bieber is “Fire Burning.” I’ll give Roth props this time because Van Halen’s “Beautiful Girls” isn’t horrible and Eddie’s playing makes it bearable, so Van Halen takes the win for round four.
“I’m the One” (1978) by Van Halen
“I’m the One” (2017) by DJ Khalid, featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and Lil Wayne
I do have a soft spot for Bieber, however, I don’t care for his stuff post-puberty because his innocent pop tunes were catchy and I just hated to see him grow up. Though I don’t pay much attention to Bieber nowadays, I’m glad he’s doing well with his career and married life. I wouldn’t say the first Van Halen album was mind-blowing, but I’ll say that Eddie Van Halen’s playing on that album is incredible. He was a force to be reckoned with and his playing style had a huge influence on the rock world. So I gotta give the win to Van Halen for round five, and also the doo-wop section in “I’m the One” was a nice touch.
“Best of Both Worlds” (1986) by Van Halen
“The Best of Both Worlds” (2006) by Hannah Montana
Remember how I brought up the Hannah Montana theme song earlier in this post, well I’m bringing it back! Technically, the Hannah Montana song is called “The Best of Both Worlds,” not “Best of Both Worlds,” but this comparison was too good to pass up. The Van Halen track was a good single for the 5150 album and honestly, I prefer Sammy Hagar’s vocals over Roth’s vocals. But “The Best of Both Worlds” is a classic Disney Channel song and it’s such a bop. Hannah Montana was one of my favorite shows on Disney Channel and it was like my childhood went down the drain when the show ended. Sorry Van Halen, but Hannah Montana takes the win for round six.
Out of the six rounds, Van Halen won three of them. Although I couldn’t declare a winner of the battle, I found where my interest lies with Van Halen. Since I’m not a fan of Roth’s vocals, I tend to aim more towards the Van Hagar era of the band. I’m in no rush to check out more stuff from the band, but that’s ok because at least I gave Van Halen a shot. Since I couldn’t pick a winner, let me know your picks from each round in the comments below!
Take care and see ya real soon!