Tuesday, June 4, 2019

"Yankee Rose" by David Lee Roth

Song#:  2789
Date:  07/05/1986
Debut:  72
Peak:  16
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  After departing Van Halen, Roth kicked off his solo career with the EP Crazy from the Heat, which consisted of four cover tunes including the #3 hit "California Girls." With this establishing his viability as a solo artist, Roth then had to get back into the studio to record a full-length debut album. He assembled a backing band that included guitarist Steve Vai. With longtime Van Halen producer Ted Templeman, Roth came up with Eat 'Em and Smile. It was an eclectic set that included a pop standard ("That's Life"), a 60s blues cover ("Tobacco Road"), an obscure big band song from 1981 (Billy Field's "I'm Easy"), and six tunes co-written by Roth and Vai including this first single. The video for the song was in high rotation at MTV and that helped the single get to #10 at Rock and into the Pop Top 20. The hit would push the album to #4 and it would eventually become a platinum seller. While it may not have been as big of a hit as his former band's new LP (VH's 6x platinum #1 5150), it did show that Roth had the ability to survive outside on his own.

ReduxReview:  After his sleaze-lounge EP, Roth gets back to business and rocks out. Steve Vai is a welcome addition and makes a case for being Roth's guitar wizard foil in place of Eddie Van Halen. The song is loud and brash, yet has enough hooks to make it accessible to pop radio. Although it would comfortably sit next to most any VH track, it still had the feel of a Roth solo and not just a VH retread. It was a raucous good song and one that was pretty much perfect for getting Roth back into the rock game.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  The timing of this song was apt and most likely not coincidental. The tune was written as a tribute to the Statue of Liberty and it happened to be released just prior to 1986's Liberty Weekend celebration (the July 4th weekend), which included a rededication ceremony for the statute headed up by then President Ronald Reagan. It was the culmination of nearly two years of restoration work on Lady Liberty. In 1982, a team of engineers surveyed the statue in anticipation of its 100th anniversary (1886-1986). They discovered that it was in desperate need of work and a plan was hatched to get it done for the anniversary. The statue was closed in 1984 and would remain closed to the public during the renovation. In order to do a lot of the work, a scaffold was built around the statue. At the time is was the world's largest free-standing scaffold ever built. Money was raised for the cost of renovation and over $350 million was secured for the effort. Everything was completed in time for its reopening during Liberty Weekend in 1986.



  1. 8/10 for me as well, I thought this was one of the better songs DLR did with or without Van Halen, oddly this was one song I initially started off not caring for but it has grown onto me a lot and now enjoy listening to it, I also love how the video begins with an intro at the supermarket before the song begins.

    1. The video opening was funny and played to Roth's strengths. I think it helped this single along.

  2. I also feel the video is what made the single a success just like many MTV videos were at the time, While "Goin' Crazy" wasn't quite as good as this song I loved the beginning of the video which shows David Lee Roth (dressed as a overweight man) doing "DOH!" a year before Homer Simpson does his signature disappointment