Diver Down Songs Ranked

Diver Down is the fifth studio album by American rock band Van Halen and was released on April 14, 1982. It spent 65 weeks on the album chart in the United States and had, by 1998, sold four million copies in the United States. The album cover artwork displays the “diver down” flag used in many US jurisdictions (which indicates a SCUBA diver is currently submerged in the area). Asked about the cover in a 1982 interview with Sylvie Simmons (Sounds, June 23, 1982), David Lee Roth said it was meant to imply that “there was something going on that’s not apparent to your eyes. You put up the red flag with the white slash. Well, a lot of people approach Van Halen as sort of the abyss. It means it’s not immediately apparent to your eyes what is going on underneath the surface.” While impressed by Roth’s creative marketing spin, manager Noel Monk also explained the sophomoric sexual double-entendre “dive her down” in his 2017 band memoir Running With the Devil. The back cover of the album features a photo by Richard Aaron of Van Halen on stage at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida, that was taken on October 24, 1981, as they concluded a set opening for The Rolling Stones. Here are all of Diver Down songs ranked.

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12. Happy Trails

“The track is not to be taken seriously of course, the band is laughing for the whole performance. The album was heavily criticized for having too many covers.”

11. Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)

“Big Bad Bill” is just bizarre, but at the same time, look how well they pulled off that jazz/ragtime sound! You could play this song for an old-timer along with the Beatles'”

10. Little Guitars (Intro)

“Little Guitars” is another minor classic in the band’s canon, a great melody with great singalong verses. As for the rhythm section … they’ve never been particularly fancy & as always lay down the steady rhythm they are good at albeit a bit slower.”

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9. Cathedral

“Cathedral” is one of Eddie’s most enthralling guitar instrumentals, primarily because when you listen to it you think it’s an organ and you wonder how did he get that music on a guitar.”

See more: Van Halen Albums Ranked

8. Secrets

“Secrets” is an unusually mellow pop rocker which also fits nicely in the tapestry of the record. I love the entire tempo and layered guitar melody, not to mention the way that DLR sings on the track, followed by — what else — Eddie’s blazing guitar solo yet again!!”

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7. The Full Bug

“The Full Bug” is the least distinct of the album’s four originals, but it’s still a cool blues workout that starts out soft (works great coming immediately after the equally soft “Big Bad Bill”) then really kicks into a full-on jam.”

6. Intruder

“The intro, “Intruder”, which Dave claims to have written, was composed specifically to take up time on the controversial video that MTV banned, as the song was about two minutes too short for the film they shot on the video. Rather than edit down the film further, they just wrote an extended intro.”

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5. Dancing In the Street

“Dancing In The Street” is one of the greatest things they’ve ever done. The bubbling guitar work (or is it a synthesizer?!?) on that song is incredible, it’s a classic song that they only improved on by giving it a whole new funky vibe.”

See more: Van Halen Songs Ranked

4. Where Have All The Good Times Gone!

“Opening with the Kinks’ Where Have All The Good Times Gone (you gotta remember Van Halen was a party/bar band for a lot of years, and they played a lot of covers) is pretty decent. They give it that Van Halen paintjob, making it partly their own.”

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3. Hang ‘Em High

“Hang ‘Em High has that throttling boogie to it. Old song, new lyrics. It smokes! Leather cross his thighs… Brilliant Roth lyrics. Brilliant Eddie groove. A top-ten VH song for sure.”

2. (Oh) Pretty Woman

“Van Halen did a one-off of (Oh) Pretty Woman the old Roy Orbison hit. Warner Bros. loved it and it was sort of a hit in its own right. So suddenly Van Halen is told, you need to do another album. Use songs that were already successful.”

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1. Little Guitars

“Little Guitars” has a strange Mexican flavour too it, and while nothing particularly wrong with it, there’s nothing real memorable about it either. The song was improvised and recorded live.”