Thursday, October 12, 2017

"California Girls" by David Lee Roth

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2189
Date:  01/19/1985
Debut:  43
Peak:  3
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  As Van Halen's smash hit LP 1984 and its associated tour was winding down, lead singer Roth was itching to do something on his own. He decided to record a few cover tunes and issue them in EP form. These would represent his first solo works apart from Van Halen. Along with the EP, Roth would create a couple of videos for play on MTV. The EP, titled Crazy from the Heat, was assembled in short-order and this first single would be released. Thanks to its popular video, the song made a splash on the Pop chart and ran up to the #3 spot becoming Roth's first solo Top 10. It would also reach #3 at Rock while helping the EP get to #15 and selling a million copies. Unfortunately, while this single was riding high on the chart, tensions between Roth and Eddie Van Halen reached a breaking point and Roth officially left the band. So this dabble into a side solo career quickly turned into the full-fledged real deal for Roth as he was now on his own.

ReduxReview:  Anyone looking for the Van Halen sound in Roth's first solo outing was gonna be very disappointed. While Roth's vivid video for the song was silly and fun, the song on record was fairly tame. Besides being dressing up in day-glo sounds of the 80s, the tune is a fairly straight-forward cover with Roth adding a little of his VH yelps and personality. There's nothing bad about it, but also nothing really interesting or progressive. It's just Roth having a little fun.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally done by The Beach Boys. Their classic 1965 version would reach #3 on the Pop chart. In a nod to the original band, Roth had Beach Boy Carl Wilson join in on background vocals. Christopher Cross also provides some vocals as well. Oddly, Roth's version also reached #3.  2) In the associated video for this song, Roth amps up his hammy personality to play a tour guide. One of the tourists in the video was played by Jane Leeves. Leeves would later become known for her role as Daphne on the classic TV show Frasier. She then became a part of the ensemble cast for the hit series Hot in Cleveland.


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