The Songs of Summer #57: ‘Beautiful Girls’ by Van Halen
There was a time in the 80’s when my Van Halen tapes didn’t ever stray very far from my boombox. They were part of my summer soundtrack to long days lazing at the pool or beach. I’ve been toying with the idea of including an entire playlist of Van Halen summer songs, because it’s really too hard for me to pick just one. I still might do that, but for today, here’s just one song. ‘Beautiful Girls,’ the last track on the band’s 1979 killer album Van Halen II.
Van Halen’s near-metal sounds coupled with great pop hooks and Eddie Van Halen’s otherwordly guitar brought them from the bar and backyard party circuit of Southern California in the late 70’s to mega-stardom. To, VH is the ultimate summertime rock band. I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion. You might think that with my highly-evolved, super-sophisticated taste in music of a thousand genres would render a band like Van Halen obsolete to my ears. Never. As we grow, we never forget that music we loved so much in our early years. Van Halen is no exception. I still listen to VH a lot. A LOT. You could call it a guilty pleasure, but no. No no no. There’s no guilt involved. Just pleasure. Van Halen and Summer go together. And Eddie Van Halen’s guitar? It’s just a pure Sound of Summer. A true force of nature. Its sound will always bring out the inner 15-year old music fan that I hope never dies in me.
So get that drink in your hand; get those toes in the sand. All you need is a beautiful girl. (Or a boy, I guess. It’s your choice, really.)