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Friday Faceoff: Van Halen vs. Chickenfoot

February 24, 2012

heavy metal blogs van halen logoWe had an old series of columns called versus that pitted two bands, artists, songs, albums, etc against each other in an attempt to justify if one is better than the other. They have proven to be very popular with you so Surdus put his foot down and told me we are going to make it a weekly feature. I couldn’t be more pleased.

For our first Friday Faceoff we are going to see who stands taller: the modern super group Chickenfoot or the resurging and Roth filled Van Halen. Both have new records and both have a long history. This should be a good one.

In the categories of time in the business and record sales it’s obvious that Van Halen is going to take it hands down. Having officially founded in 1972 and selling over 80 million records it is hard to compare them to the relatively new Chickenfoot from 2008, but they do have an impressive 3 million records sold in a much different industry.

I think the only thing we can do is take a look at the key players as individuals:


Chad Smith – Chickenfoot – Chad is on his way to the Hall of Fame for his time in the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Rolling Stone Magazine has named him the 87th best drummer in the history of music and he is in demand on multiple projects including John Fogerty, Dixie Chicks, GlenHughes, George Clinton, Pharaoh, kids projects, and many more.

Alex Van Halen – Van Halen – Alex has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for his work in Van Halen and many look to his aggressive drumming as a major influence for stars that came after him. The only issue I have when compared to Chad Smith is the lack of other projects or genres.

Winner: the more well-rounded drummer – Chad Smith

heavy metal blogs michael anthonyBass

Michael Anthony – Chickenfoot – known at this time as the bass man and back-up vocals for Chickenfoot and other Hagar inspired bands; Anthony will forever be known as the bass carrying maniac of Van Halen. Being unceremoniously kicked out of a band he helped found has done nothing to slow him down as he still got his HOF induction and song writing royalties from every Van Halen album, except the new one A Different Kind of Truth

Wolfgang Van Halen – Van Halen – no offence to the kid, but I refuse to compare him to a legend.

Winner: for obvious reason – Michael Anthony


Joe Satriani – Chickenfoot – has worked with multiple people like Mick Jaggar, Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and has a very successful solo career that saw instrumental music reach new heights on mainstream radio. The word virtuoso is thrown around a lot when talking about Joe and many consider him one of the best in the world.

Eddie Van Halen – Van Halen – if many consider Satriani to be one of the best in the world those same people will tell you EVH is the best in the world. What Eddie has done for guitar in all genres is quite simply incomprehensible. His mastery has influenced every star that picks up the axe today whether they know it or not.

Winner : clear cut winner on legacy alone – Eddie Van Halen

heavy metal blogs sammy hagarVocals

Sammy Hagar – Chickenfoot – going from Montrose to a very successful solo career highlighted by “I Can’t Drive 55,” Sammy was riding a very high wave when he went into Van Halen replacing the wildly popular David Lee Roth. Sammy changed the landscape of Halen and what most people don’t seem to realize is with Sammy on vocals Van Halen had 4 number 1 platinum selling albums. Something never reached with Roth at the helm. The later reunion with Halen was a massive success and Sammy has never stopped working including branding himself around the world with his party boy attitude.

David Lee Roth – Van Halen – Roth was named the 19th best heavy metal singer of all time by Hit Parader and his range is something that most female artists could only dream of. The onstage act of Roth is legendary with the high kicks and ass-less chaps. After leaving Halen he went on to a short but very successful solo career. From that point forward things got a little ugly for Roth as he was a lounge lizard and even worked as a fully accredited EMT. The reunion with Halen in 2007 was massive and lead to the new album and tour that people seem pretty excited about.

Winner: he was never a lounge lizard or one trick pony – Sammy Hagar

New Album

Chickenfoot III – Chickenfoot – a more refined and intricate piece of work than their first self-titled album, but at the same time it keeps the feel of four friends having a good time, doing something they love. The lyrics are party oriented and never take themselves too seriously while at the same time the individual talents of each member are allowed to shine.

A Different Kind of Truth – Van Halen – most reviews including mine used the same wordage. Classic Halen with a clear vibe of their earlier stuff. There is nothing earth shattering, but at the same time the songs are catchy and it`s great to hear EVH in fine form knocking out solos that leave you drooling. It’s great to have VH back on the scene and this album is a sign that they still have plenty of life in them.

Winner: none – both are great albums.

So if we tally up the scores we have:

Chickenfoot: Drums, Bass, Vocals

Van Halen: Longevity, Sales, Guitar

With no clear winner in the categories I will leave it up to you to decide. Does the legacy of Halen win, or the fresh hard rock vibe of Chickenfoot?

I hate ties so let me go on record as saying: CHICKENFOOT!!!

heavy metal blogs chickenfoot

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7 Responses to Friday Faceoff: Van Halen vs. Chickenfoot

  1. WARBLADE on February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Nice Jack Daniels bass Michael Anthony! \m/

  2. Sarjoo on February 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    In all honesty Chickenfoot and Van Halen are two different groups musically, speaking. So, as far as I am concerned, the comparison is not fair.

  3. Anonymous on March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

    If you think Chad is a better drummer than Alex you????? You have no clue about drums then because in my opinion Chad doesnt deserve to set up Alex’s Drumset. Let alone he’s better or more rounded?!?!?… come on! Chickenfoot could have done alot better by getting anyone else! Not some pop music doofis who plays like he belongs in blink 182

  4. Anonymous on March 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I thought about it and I feel dumb for that… Chad is not that bad at all he is very very good but I just do not think again pure opinion he is more rounded then Alex on drums. He may be very very close but not there yet.

  5. Martell on March 2, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I appreciate the come back on that. Music is about opinion and its awesome when we can respect each others.

    I had a very hard time with the Chad vs. Alex category. I just went by catalogue of work and how they perform in different genres. It could go either way in my opinion.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  6. DD1 on May 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Can anyone reading this hear a song that Chad Smith has played on that’s not RHCP and single him out? His playing doesn’t change at all on other albums. He’s OK, but vanilla, nothing very sophisticated. One note and I can tell it’s Alex Van Halen. He’s got the chops on Chad, he’s got the maturity on Chad and I don’t mean age either. It’s by choice that Alex doesn’t play with other artists. Anyone who plays drums would tell you that Alex is a much better, well rounded player with WAY BETTER chops. There is a subtlety to how he plays. Some songs on the surface seem easy to play, but are pretty hard to copy. Listen to “Feels so good” seems easy, but it’s not.

    I also question your criteria. How are you judging this? Why does it mater DLR did some lounge gigs. He recorded some outstanding solo stuff and took chances knowing full well his record sales would suffer because of it. He chose to go the artistic route, not the pop route Sammy went. Come on Martell, “Why can’t this be Love, when love walks in, When it’s love. How about “When it’s gay”. Dave also volunteered as an EMT – NO PAY. Why does that count against him? When was the Van Halen dynasty built anyway, before or after 1984? Pop music will always win over pure raw rock. There’s a bigger audience for pop.

    I agree with you on Mike. Don’t want to mention Wolf’s name in the same breath let alone same article. Mike’s the greatest. You can definitely hear his style and although it might not always be overly complex, he complimented Eddie really well. I miss his backing vocals on the new album.

    I think Van Halen wins. I have both CF albums and the new VH album and I’m listening to VH way more. Has the same groove as the original VH.

  7. Morgan Shatt on April 10, 2013 at 1:17 am

    I think this is among the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The site style is great, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

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