ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Heavy Metal Connection: Guitar Virtuoso Jason Becker
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With the entire internet dumping ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or, as it is commonly known, Lou Gehrig’s Disease), I thought that I would put a heavy metal spin and a very human face on the story.

Guitar virtuoso Jason Becker was 19 years old and on top of the world. He had already released two critically acclaimed albums with fellow shredder and future Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman under the moniker of Cacophony as well as a blistering solo debut album. He had just been hand picked to be David Lee Roth’s guitarist following in the giant footsteps of Edward Van Halen and Steve Vai. But just one week after getting the Roth gig, his meteoric rise came to a screeching halt when he was diagnosed with ALS and told that he had 3-5 years to live. His first question to the doctor was, “Will I be able to tour?”

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Music Deal: Van Halen’s ‘1984’
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Right now, Van Halen‘s 1984 is on sale on CD for only $3.99 and in MP3 format for only $5.00. The CD is an AutoRip, which means it comes with a FREE MP3 version of the album (the purchase of the CD also comes with a $1 Amazon MP3 Credit).

The album, released in the year 1984, was the band’s final effort with charismatic frontman, singer David Lee Roth, before their recent reunion. 1984 spawned the chart-topping hits “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot For Teacher” and was their most successful commercial effort with Roth.

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Happy Birthday To Guitarist Extraordinaire Eddie Van Halen

Happy Birthday today to Eddie Van Halen, who remains, at the still young age of 59, considering he’s seemingly been around forever, and indeed, the first Van Halen record was released 35 years ago this year, one of the, if not THE, (in the opinions of many, many guitar heroes globally) greatest guitarists of all time.

Hailing from the Netherlands, and the son of a musical dynamo in his dad, Jan, who played brass instruments and the piano, Eddie Van Halen learned his craft by rote, by “listening and watching” in his own admission. Although his style is a hyperfast, tasteful stream of musical consciousness on the fretboard, it’s interesting to note that he grew up on bands like Cream and Led Zeppelin, who both of course had guitarists that were and still are legends in their own right in Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page respectively, yet neither of those men ever had the kind of technical razzle dazzle aurally manifested like the sounds that came through the amplifiers of Eddie Van Halen.

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$5 MP3 Album Deal: Van Halen’s ‘Van Halen II’
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As part of Amazon’s monthly MP3 album deals, Van Halen‘s Van Halen II is available all this month for only $5. The CD version is also on sale now for only $4.99.

Here’s where I justify the cost: MP3 songs are typically 99 cents each, therefore for Van Halen II to be worth the price, you need at least 5 songs worth having: heavy stuff – “Somebody Get Me A Doctor,” “DOA,” and “Beautiful Girls” BAM! (justify getting the album even at regular price!), but there’s plenty of lighter tracks on the album like “Dance The Night Away,” “Women In Love,” and the cover song “You’re No Good” (which was a hit for Linda Ronstadt in the 1970s).

Still need convincing to shell out $5 of your hard-earned money? Umm, it’s David Lee Roth-era VAN HALEN! It’s guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen shredding it up in 1979 — plus, check out his 1-minute classical guitar solo “Spanish Fly”!

This is a must-have album for all lovers of rock and hard rock guitar. For those of you who define the David Lee Roth-era Van Halen by their 1984 hit “Jump,” I beg you to expand your horizons with Van Halen II. On the flip side, if you like their hit “Panama” (who doesn’t?), then Van Halen II is perfect for you.

But sure to check out all 2,000 albums for only $5 each in MP3 format on sale through the end of January!

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$3 MP3 Album Deal: Van Halen ‘The Best Of Both Worlds’
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This week, the Van Halen hits album The Best Of Both Worlds is on sale for only $2.99 in MP3 format. The CD is on sale as well for only $12.18.

The Best Of Both Worlds contains some of the biggest hits from both eras of the band with singers David Lee Roth – “Jump,” “Panama, “Hot For Teacher,” “You Really Got Me,” and Sammy Hagar – “Why Can’t This Be Love,” “Dreams,” “Top Of The World,” “When It’s Love.” If you dig Van Halen even just a little, here’s what you need to know: there’s 36 songs on this collection and it’s only $2.99, so this is a no-brainer. Grab it now.

Browse all 1,000 albums on sale this month for only $5 each, as well as several albums on sale this week for only $2.99 each.

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