"Looking at the cover of David Lee Roth waist deep in the waters off the Seychelles, one might come up with an image of something more relaxing compared to the heavy metal theatrics of Van Halen. And it shows that rather than dipping his toe in the water to test for a viable solo career, Roth confidently knew what he was doing, even though he returned to the same Van Halen-type rock in Eat'em And Smile.Dan Hartman's bluesy "Easy Street" is definitely a change from "Panama" or "Jamie's Cryin'", with Edgar Winter's sax helping out. In fact Roth thanks the Frankenstein man in the liner notes for inspiration.The jump swing and jiving swagger of 1940's-50's artists like Louis Jordan or Louis Prima fits Diamond Dave's persona well on the medley "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody." And Roth's rapid-fire scat vocals following Edgar Winter's sax before he launches into the final reprise of the number adds to the retro-40's sound. Figures, as he grew up listening to Frank Sinatra and Louis Prima, the latter whom I know covered this, but whether he was the original artist, I know not. Despite the difference in instrumentation, jazz instruments versus rock instruments, the engaging swinging sound is well-preserved.The standout cut here is the Beach Boys classic "California Girls," in which he enlists the aid of Carl Wilson and Christopher Cross for backing vocals. This retread is boosted by a harder-edged guitar compared to the original as well as Edgar Winter's synthesizers, but loses none of that laid back beach music flavour due to Mr. Wilson's contribution. Both this video and the one for "Just A Gigolo" comprise early MTV memories for me.Finally, a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Coconut Grove," which is a laid back affair compared to the previous three numbers.So, we have a 70's instrumentalist who worked with the Winter Brothers, a prime example of swaggering jump swing, and two songs from the 60's, the laid back California sound and a group known for its good-natured "electric good time music." It shows the various influences and appreciations that the Van Halen frontman had for music.Producer Ted Templeman, who produced all the Van Halen albums up through 1984, clearly followed Diamond Dave on this album and his first full-length solo album, Eat'em And Smile. Crazy From The Heat isn't a bad EP and launching ground for solo stardom. Unfortunately, it led to a schism in Van Halen fans, Roth loyalists who derogatorily referred to the reformed Van Halen as Van Hagar, and those who sided with the Van Halen brothers, snidely thinking "David Lee Who?" Chances are though, there were those who accepted the split and both, such as your humble reviewer here."
Why we gave this guy the spotlight
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crazy from the Heat is one awesome extended play CD. Yeah, there are only four songs by David Lee Roth on this album--but what a terrific four songs you get! David never sounded better--he's at his best here singing about his love for women, living life as a gigolo and worshiping girls who just happen to live in California.
The CD starts with David performing wonderfully on "Easy Street." The piano arrangement is great and when David comes in this tune takes off like a jet! The percussion and drums help to carry the melody along; and there's some pretty awesome guitar work, too. David sings passionately and I like this tune very much. Love that horn solo, too! "Easy Street" is an underrated number.
Of course, listen for the major highlight of this album when David performs "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody." Contrary to what you may have heard, this is NOT an original song by David Lee Roth. Sophie Tucker, the last of the Red Hot Mamas, sang "Just A Gigolo" plenty of times as far back as the 1920s! Of course, David makes this peppy little tune his own with his incredible timing and his diction is excellent. "Just A Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" retains its original melody but the number is updated with heavy drum and guitar work in the arrangement; it's truly a gem when David belts this one out!
"California Girls" is a cover of that Beach Boys song that easily rivals their own rendition; and David sings this without a superfluous note! The musical arrangement couldn't be better with some great percussion and guitar work--it's all THAT good. David sings this great; and again his excellent timing makes this a really fun song that so many people are bound to enjoy.
The CD ends with David singing his heart out on "Coconut Grove." "Coconut Grove" starts with a musical flourish and just like with "Easy Street" when David starts singing the number takes flight! David sings with great sensitivity and I really love it. The melody is actually very pretty and it gets a lot of strength from that fantastic guitar work.
Overall, this CD is wonderful. If you like this, try getting another CD by David entitled The Best. It's out of print but available through sellers on this website. If you like this album, you won't be disappointed with more by David Lee Roth. "
A sign of great things to come
Reuben K. | Honolulu, HI USA | 06/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you listen to every Van Halen record from 1979 - 1984, you hear traces of David Lee Roth's happy-go-lucky, lounge singer-type style throughout every song, and that's highlighted in this "Crazy From The Heat" 4-song EP. One gets the sense, when you listen to it, that Roth is trying to say "YES!! I'M FREE!!" in every song. And who can blame him? By the time VH's album "1984" came out, Roth had begun to notice that everybody else in the band was steering away from the fun musicical style that he liked so much & going into a more serious direction, causing him to leave the band and launch his solo career. This EP was the result of that effort. And what a good first effort it was!!
After the last song, "Coconut Grove," you were left asking "Is that all?" Fans would have to wait another year to get that answer, and they wouldn't be disappointed. It would only get better."
This is in response to Moron Robert J. Usher's idiotic revie
Therracck Greenleaf | Canfield, Ohio | 06/23/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Hey Robert, you Idiot! Dave did not rip off Louis Prima or the Beach Boys! The songs on this album are "Covers" you Moron! A few of the Original Beach Boys even did guest, back-up vocals on the California Girls "Cover"! If they were cool enough to sing back-up, how can you call it a Rip-Off??? This is a cool, 4 "Cover"-song EP. Its not Awesome, but it is very decent. Dave's versions of all of these songs, have become fond memories, in their own right. In fact, yes, many people do associate Just a Gigalo/I Ain't Got Nobody with Diamond Dave, far more than they do Louis Prima & Co. cause, guess what? Dave's version flat out blows Louis' away! That, and you just don't hear a whole lot of Louis Prima nowadays. . . I suppose you feel that Hendrix ripped off Dylan with All Along the Watch Tower & the Beatles ripped off Chuck Berry with Roll Over Beethoven. Jeeze, give me a break!"
Brent Evans | Rockhampton, Australia | 03/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Lee Roth wanted to do a solo EP's worth of covers in between Van Halen albums.Crack session players transformed a Beach Boys classic (CALIFORNIA GIRLS); a Dan Hartman blues(EASY STREET); a Lovin'Spoonful ballad(COCONUT GROVE) and a lounge lizard standard(JUST A GIGILO /I AIN'T GOT NOBODY).This was Diamond Dave's statement of independence from under the Van Halen banner.Unfortunately,Dave wanted to work on a movie script instead of the follow up to 1984, and he was pushed (or jumped,if you believe Dave's version)from Van Halen.They lost the flash,heart and soul when DLR departed."