VAN HALEN - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge FORMAT: CD
REALEASE DATE: 17.06.1991

Top 1991: #28
Van Halen more
Sammy Hagar - voce, chitara
Eddie Van Halen - chitara, clape, voce
Michael Anthony - bas, voce
Alex Van Halen - tobe

01. Poundcake02. Judgement Day03. Spanked04. Runaround05. Pleasure Dome06. In 'n' Out07. Man on a Mission08. The Dream Is Over09. Right Now10. 31611. Top of the World

I don’t usually write about old albums, I’ve only done this for the “special issues” on Samael, Paradise Lost and Tiamat. But since new interesting releases are far between these days, I am in the process of reconsidering bands I haven’t given the proper attention at their time, for various reasons (like not being born yet, not having time, having some sort of prejudiced ideas). And, after Kreator, Aerosmith, Flostam and Jetsam and a few more, I got to Van Halen. With this occasion I defined my interest period more precisely: the post-1985 period. Anything older than that runs a significant risk to be indifferent to me. However, whatever came out between 88-95 runs the risk of being of extreme interest to me. This explains the fact that I find For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (in short, F.U.C.K.) the best Van Halen album. Yes, I am quite aware that the first one (1978) is genius, but I like this one best, no matter what anyone else says. I loved it when I first heard it in 93-94 and I still love it.


If we look at the year when F.U.C.K. was released, we can see that it was pretty crowded. The fingers and toes are not enough to count all the awesome albums that came out in 1991. Metallica, Ozzy, Guns, Skid Row, Mr. Big and Sepultura were on heavy rotation on MTV while in the underground, young wolves were starting to show their fangs: Unleashed, Grave, Asphyx, Entombed, Samael, Tiamat and Darkthrone were starting their journeys, more or less discretely. Paradise Lost were inventing gothic metal, Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, grunge. 


F.U.C.K. is the third album with Sammy Hagar on the vocals. Remember that David Lee Roth had left in 1985 much to the fans’ dismay. By 1991, the new team had had the time to become united, so F.U.C.K. brings not only Hagar’s most confident performance, but also the best set of songs on any album, with or without him. They had quite a pick for the singles and they ended up with six of them. No wonder the album was number 1 in Billboard for three weeks, this was not uncommon for a Van Halen album at the time. But under the commercial surface of easy hard rock with melodic choruses and pop-like background vocals (Poundcake, Runaround, Top of the World, The Dream Is Over), less predictable things are hapening. Pleasure Dome is a risky but successful experiment, and the super-hit Right Now (appreciated by Pepsi and John McCain) makes an inspired combination of piano and guitar. Judgement Day (remember the Hard'n'Heavy top on Radio Nova 22) is pure NWOBHM almost up to the chorus, and Spanked is reminiscent of the blues-like naughtiness on the first Van Halen records, when David Lee Roth was belly-dancing. In the lyrics, naughtiness is ever-present: besides Spanked, Poundcake and Runaround are filled with sexual innuendos; but not In 'n' out, (the apparently most suggestive title, right?) which actually has a serious subject: it’s more expensive to get out of life (to die) than to enter it (to be born). So, in the lyrics, as in the music, the attitude is ambiguous: they look like fun-loving guys, but sometimes stop to ponder on social and political issues.


Nothing is ambiguous to me when scoring F.U.C.K.: it has only one weak point: Man on a Mission. As for the rest, only super-hits, hits and songs many bands would kill for to have, at least one on a record, and they’d be happy.

Klawz more Nota: 9.5

Posted at 22:43 |  16 Iulie 2010  | 6 Comments  | 4727 Views

Comment on: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

  • Felicitari Klawz pentru recenzia Van Halen! Si mai ales pentru indrazneala de a (re)aduce in atentie albume mai vechi dar bune si care nu se incadreaza neaparat in categoria "true metal" :).

    1. Posted by b.o.b. | 19 Iulie 2010 16:47
  • Mersi si multumesc. cultiv si promovez metalu untru de mic copil.

    2. Posted by Geralt de Rivia | 19 Iulie 2010 16:51
  • ma tem ca esti prea tru ca sa te dai untru

    3. Posted by Mikix | 19 Iulie 2010 22:29
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