April 4, 2023 – 6:20 am

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Eddie, Steady, Go! Vol VII
London 1978 [“Official Audience” Master Tape via JEMS Archive and cpscps, 1CD]

Live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, UK; June 10, 1978. Very good audience recording.

Thanks to JEMS, jamhead64, cpscps, and slipkid68 for sharing the show at Dime.

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Welcome to “Eddie, Steady, Go!”, a series of master tapes capturing Van Halen on its first UK tour, opening for Black Sabbath in 1978.

How did we luck into this treasure trove? As David Lee Roth himself would say, take a look at this! Almost 20 years ago, our benefactor, jamhead64, got these tapes - the underlying source of all known copies of these recordings - from a friend of his girlfriend. That fellow got them from a resident of a building he worked at as a doorman when he was younger. The resident had a relative who worked for the band at the time, and they’d had a falling out. The resident gave the tapes to the doorman. One break, coming up!

When these shows were originally posted, many were quick to point out that they were not true soundboards - as in direct line recordings - but high-quality audience tapes, albeit with almost no crowd interference whatsoever.

Given our familiarity with uncannily similar-sounding recordings of Bruce Springsteen made the prior year by his crew, we’re fairly confident the Van Halen UK ’78 tapes were done the same way, perhaps at the direction of someone in management (“fifth member” Pete Angelus’s name appears on one of the original Maxell UD 120 cassettes).

That roadie set up professional microphones on a stand at the soundboard (or another location front-of-house), which explains the confusing attribution of this material as “soundboard recordings.” Thankfully for us, what that person was really doing was documenting music history.

As so-called soundboard recordings, they first surfaced and circulated in the early 2000s, having been transferred from the original cassettes to MiniDisc (a lossy format) then to CD-R. Now for the first time, the master tapes have been given proper azimuth-adjusted, pitch-corrected transfers and captured in full resolution.

Perhaps due to their fuzzy lineage and the limitations of the original transfers, these recordings have not gotten their due. But it’s time to reevaluate: the new transfers and mastering have resulted in detailed, full-fidelity recordings of excellent quality, especially remarkable for a band whose early audience captures aren’t generally known for their sonic qualities. Here, the instrument separation is outstanding, and the mix well balanced, too.

For some time, jamhead64 intended to do new transfers. With the help of our pal cpscps, all seven of what one could call the Van Halen UK ’78 “official audience recordings” were redone earlier this year, using the Nakamichi > Sound Devices method detailed below.

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London, June 10, 1978

Sad to say, this is the final installment of “Eddie, Steady, Go!” but we’re going out on top: with Van Halen’s second date at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, where the band had appeared in support of Black Sabbath back on June 1 (which torrents as Vol VI in our series).

Once again, let us invoke Bruce Springsteen, who reprised his 1975 London debut at the same venue just six nights later. As Springsteen fans, David Lee Roth got our attention by asking his London audience a few times, “are you ready?” Springsteen had famously ripped down posters from the Hammersmith walls proclaiming that “Finally, London is ready for Bruce Springsteen!”

Happily, our series goes out on a high sonic note: with a clear, even sound throughout, this is one great recording. You’ll hear applause between songs and at the outset, too: by the second week of June, London clearly knows Van Halen. Whether repeat customers from June 1 (or even May 27, at Lewisham Odeon) or curious folks reeled in by word-of-mouth, the greeting here begins before the music does. In short, London was ready!

This recording was delivered to us dated May 27, a date on which Van Halen played a different Odeon in London (the Lewisham Odeon), but it seems likely this is, in fact, June 10. David Lee Roth greets London with familiarity (“I told you we’d be coming back!”) and alludes to it being the next-to-last night on the tour. (Turns out June 10 was the end after all: it appears that an equipment failure forced cancellation of the June 11 date at Hammersmith Odeon.)

If this recording ever circulated erroneously as some other date - perhaps due to the cassette being marked only as “London” - it seems clear now that comparison to known timelines, remarks, and other recordings puts this at June 10.

Over the course of nine songs (plus solos for each player), the band sounds relaxed (a couple mistakes creep in, but hey, live music). Was it all just a warm-up for Edward to melt faces with a masterful guitar solo near the end of the set? Hardly, but maybe it was for an encore of “D.O.A.” that emptied the tank. No mere preview from the LP Van Halen would release the next year, this night it sounds as good or better than any other of the set’s numbers.

Sound wise, if Van Halen and London were ready, so was our intrepid taping crew. June 10 features a straight shot from the PA to the mic stand, resulting in another unobstructed capture and truly outstanding sound quality — it’s a great way to conclude.

Huge thanks to jamhead64 for allowing these historic recordings to be worked on again and to cpscps for making the excellent transfers and bringing us into the project. We hope jamhead64 and VH Nation are as pleased with the results as we are. Shout-out to Professor Goody for help with pitch corrections. Lastly, a tip of the hat to the good folks who keep the lights on at the Van Halen News Desk, which serves as a terrific resource.

If you missed the first six installments, check below for links to each and join the torrents now. We’re grateful for the response this series generated and for the opportunity to circulate master recordings from a real moment in Van Halen history.

Share it freely, and for free!


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2023 Transfer:
Master/source cassette > Nakamichi DR-1 azimuth-adjusted transfer > Sound Devices 744T 24/96 capture > iZotope RX and Ozone 8 > MBIT+ resample to 16/44 > FLAC > finishing via Audacity 3.2.5 and TLH

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

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Track 01. intro 0:57
Track 02. On Fire 3:11
Track 03. I’m the One 4:40
Track 04. Bass solo 1:42
Track 05. Running With the Devil 4:19
Track 06. Atomic Punk 2:49
Track 07. Drum solo 1:06
Track 08. Little Dreamer 3:28
Track 09. Feel Your Love Tonight 3:50
Track 10. Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love 4:43
Track 11. Guitar solo/Eruption 3:47
Track 12. You Really Got Me 4:38
Track 13. D.O.A. 5:08
45 mins

David Lee Roth - vocals
Eddie Van Halen - guitar, backing vocals [1955 - 2020]
Michael Anthony - bass, backing vocals
Alex Van Halen - drums

   Click here to order Van Halen releases.

  1. 10 Responses to “VAN HALEN - LONDON 1978”

  2. Who starts these rumors?

    By Jocko P on Apr 4, 2023

  3. Early Van Halen is a treat . Many thanks

    By Thomas on Apr 4, 2023

  4. Rumor has it this was a band of Big Uns

    By U L E on Apr 4, 2023

  5. With Eddie being the Biggest Un

    By U L E on Apr 4, 2023

  6. Eddie had a longer prick , but David Lee Roth was thicker, way more girth . Girth beats length In my opinion. Us gals like to be stretched to the max . I screwed these guys many times over the years.

    By Groupie Chick Traci on Apr 4, 2023

  7. Tracy , you sound like a sperm receptacle.

    By T J on Apr 4, 2023

  8. I hear it is a special day in the U.S.A. today…
    It is already being heralded as “Welcome To America’s Day Of Shame” !!!!!!!!
    Wonder what that can be all about?

    By swappers on Apr 4, 2023

  9. The wig looks even more ridiculous than ever.

    By swappers on Apr 5, 2023

  10. I’m posting my fantasies as Groupie Chick Traci again.

    By U L E on Apr 5, 2023

  11. Last one twernt me nuther fake

    By U L E on Apr 5, 2023

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