Thunderpuss is the (mainly dance) remix/production team of music producers Barry Harris and Carl Cox. Harris, an openly gay musician and DJ, had worked previously as part of several music groups, including Kon Kan, Top Kat, Killer Bunnies and Outta Control, and had also released several singles himself. Cox, an openly straight musician and DJ, had also worked for years as a DJ and producer, producing a megamix of Paula Abdul songs, among other things, and started his own record label, Interhit Records, with Jeff Johnson.
Harris & Cox originally met in the late '80s and remained friends for years, with Harris eventually joining Cox at Interhit. They didn't start working together as a production team until late 1997, though. Their first project as Thunderpuss was a cover of the song "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything", with Thea Austin, formerly of Snap! performing vocals. They also produced Engelbert Humperdinck's 1998 album The Dance Album, but did not use the name Thunderpuss.
Over the course of almost six years, Thunderpuss had a very successful career as remixers and producers. Their biggest remix success was a hit remix of "It's Not Right But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston. They also produced hit remixes of songs by Mary J. Blige ("No More Drama" & "Rainy Dayz", with Ja Rule), CÚline Dion ("I Want You To Need Me"), Stacie Orrico ("Stuck"), and Kim English ("Higher Things"), among others. They also produced original songs for various artists, including Abigail ("Let The Joy Rise And If It Don't Fit"), Amber ("Taste The Tears"), and Soluna.
Thunderpuss also put out several singles themselves as artists, including "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag", a fully electronic dance cover of the "Pigbag" song, "Stand Up" (with Latanza Waters), and "FMH" (under the artist name Harris & Cox). They split up in late 2003 and both men are pursuing DJ/remix/production work on their own. Harris mashed up songs by Billy Squier and Fischerspooner to create the song "Everybody Wants You To Emerge" for the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy soundtrack, and Cox recently remixed the Michelle Branch single "Breathe".
Cox also found solo success for himself with his own 2000 single, "Phuture 2000".
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Cox also found solo success for himself with his own 2000 single, "Phuture 2000". Some shows were cancelled because of a venue's inability to handle the band's stage or equipment safely. Harris mashed up songs by Billy Squier and Fischerspooner to create the song "Everybody Wants You To Emerge" for the Queer Eye For The Straight Guy soundtrack, and Cox recently remixed the Michelle Branch single "Breathe". On arrival, if brown M&M's were found in the dressing room, then every line of the contract had to be double-checked, to ensure safety. They split up in late 2003 and both men are pursuing DJ/remix/production work on their own. This requirement was listed with the technical portion of the contract; according to David Lee Roth (from his autobiography, Crazy from the Heat), the purpose of the candy demand was to check up on venue management. Thunderpuss also put out several singles themselves as artists, including "Papa's Got A Brand New Pigbag", a fully electronic dance cover of the "Pigbag" song, "Stand Up" (with Latanza Waters), and "FMH" (under the artist name Harris & Cox). The band's demands were not limited to technical issues: their now infamous contract rider specified that, among other personal needs, a bowl of M&M candies, with all of the brown ones removed was to be available in the band's dressing room.
They also produced original songs for various artists, including Abigail ("Let The Joy Rise And If It Don't Fit"), Amber ("Taste The Tears"), and Soluna. Many venues in these markets had not previously dealt with such a large-scale show, and were not equipped to handle Van Halen's massive stage and light show, sometimes resulting in damage to the band's equipment and the venue. Blige ("No More Drama" & "Rainy Dayz", with Ja Rule), CÚline Dion ("I Want You To Need Me"), Stacie Orrico ("Stuck"), and Kim English ("Higher Things"), among others. As one of the first major bands with a full stage show to appear in many smaller cities, Van Halen had an extensive set of technical and logistical requirements including power availability and stage construction details that a venue had to comply with. They also produced hit remixes of songs by Mary J. Although contract riders had existed before, Van Halen's use of them to specify the band's "wish list" (stage, production, transportation, personal requirements, etc.) was new and established a standard practice that is now used routinely throughout the music industry. Their biggest remix success was a hit remix of "It's Not Right But It's Okay" by Whitney Houston. Van Halen pioneered the way for the modern "Rock and Roll Show" with their extensive use of the concert technical contract rider.
Over the course of almost six years, Thunderpuss had a very successful career as remixers and producers. This album featured three new tracks recorded with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals in addition to assorted Van Halen classics. They also produced Engelbert Humperdinck's 1998 album The Dance Album, but did not use the name Thunderpuss. In July 2004, new Van Halen Greatest Hits album Best of Both Worlds was released to the public. Their first project as Thunderpuss was a cover of the song "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything", with Thea Austin, formerly of Snap! performing vocals. At that time, the news from the unsigned band was that Warner Bros., which owns the rights to the band's back catalog, would release a second Greatest Hits compilation in June featuring a new Hagar-sung track titled It's About Time. They didn't start working together as a production team until late 1997, though. In March 2004, Van Halen and Sammy Hagar publicly announced that Hagar will be reuniting with the band for an album release and concert tour.
Harris & Cox originally met in the late '80s and remained friends for years, with Harris eventually joining Cox at Interhit. Here is a snapshot of some of the news highlights from those years:. Cox, an openly straight musician and DJ, had also worked for years as a DJ and producer, producing a megamix of Paula Abdul songs, among other things, and started his own record label, Interhit Records, with Jeff Johnson. Although, news about individual activities trickled in, die-hard fans really had nothing to look forward to. Harris, an openly gay musician and DJ, had worked previously as part of several music groups, including Kon Kan, Top Kat, Killer Bunnies and Outta Control, and had also released several singles himself. During those six years, no new albums were released and no hard information was provided to fans about the future of the band. Thunderpuss is the (mainly dance) remix/production team of music producers Barry Harris and Carl Cox. Between 1998 and 2004 the band was musically dead and adrift.
With the disappointing performance of VH3 and the departure of Gary Cherone, it appeared that Van Halen was headed for the history books. During the delivery of his Top Ten list on the evening of October 21, 1996 he sarcastically implied that then Presidential Candidate Bob Dole could gain the popular support of the American People if he would use his diplomatic skills to just convince the members of Van Halen to stop fighting so they could "start crankin' out some more bitchin' tunes (http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/archive/ls_topten_archive1996/ls_topten_archive_19961021.shtml)". During this time, comedian David Letterman succinctly expressed the frustration of millions of Van Halen fans. Although rumors were plenty, and accusations and hostility pervaded the news, there was very little useful information about the band to "soften the blow" for VH fans.
A greatest hits album had been released, their lead singer of over a decade had departed, and confusion swirled about the artistic direction and future marketability of the band. 1996 definitely marked the end of an era for Van Halen as a band. dropped Van Halen (still without a lead singer) after having been their record company since 1978. A few years later in 2002, Warner Bros.
In 1999, Cherone split amicably with the band after the VH3 tour. However, no tracks from the album ever appeared on the pop music charts--confirming the limited popular appeal of the new sound. The VH3 album did manage to peak at #4 on the charts (it was Gold certified) and did produce a #1 Mainstream Rock Track hit Without You. As a consequence, sales were lackluster in comparison to previous albums.
The result was an experimental album, Van Halen 3, that alienated the entrenched Van Halen fan-base and did not attract a new audience. In need of a lead singer to continue their work, Van Halen recruited the help of Gary Cherone, the frontman from the defunct Boston-based band Extreme. The appearance was greeted with a standing ovation and the ensuing enthusiasm only fueled speculation of a reunion. However, backstage, personalities clashed and old wounds re-opened within minutes, subsequently souring the relationship again. Soon thereafter Roth was the ex-ex-Lead singer of Van Halen. Around that time, the four original members of the band made a public appearance presenting an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.
1 peaking at #1 on the pop charts). Two songs from those sessions were added to the band's Greatest Hits album (with the Roth single Me Wise Magic reaching #1 on the mainstream rock chart and the album The Best of Van Halen, Vol. Soon after Hagar's departure, David Lee Roth entered the studio with the Van Halen brothers, Michael Anthony, and the band's first producer, Ted Templeman. Hagar claimed he was fired; Eddie Van Halen claimed Hagar had quit. Subsequently, the song Humans Being and Respect the Wind can be found on the soundtrack but with the latter being performed by only Eddie and Alex Van Halen.
However, it was during their contribution to the movie Twister that tension between Hagar and the brothers boiled over publicly with Hagar's departure. The band's Roth-era remake of The Kinks You Really Got Me was used in a Nissan commercial. The hit single and award-winning video Right Now (F.U.C.K., 1991) was used to promote the ill-fated soft-drink Crystal Pepsi. In addition to the band's success musically, the second incarnation of Van Halen also saw broadened use of the Van Halen brand as the band expanded its reach into other media with their music being featured in high-production value commercials and movies. Although it was David Lee Roth's innovative, over-the-top style that turned Van Halen from a member of the hard rock pack to the leader of it; Hagar's more conservative 'working man' person turned Van Halen into a franchise and icon.
Amazingly, Van Halen continued to enjoy tremendous popular success through the mid-90's, a period during which the anti-corporate rock, "Grunge Music" revolution, ended a decade of "Glam Metal" and dealt the final blow to many hard rock acts of the 1980s (Guns n' Roses and Poison to name a few). In addition, Van Halen was nominated for two Grammy Awards- winning the 1991 Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal award for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Also, during this time, 17 singles breached the top 12 of the mainstream rock tracks chart. During Hagar's tenure, the band established a successful musical formula which delivered both commercial and artistic success. All four studio albums reached the #1 spot on the Billboard pop music chart.
Die-hard "old Van Halen" fans derisively referred to the new "Van-Hagar" sound as "soft" or "fluffy" when compared with the earlier Roth-era raucous 80s party, 'hair'-band style- a sound which Roth himself once described as a mix of "religion and hockey". The result was a more mature, more integrated sound that differed markedly from the hard charging, straight through, run-away riffs of the group's earlier work. Hagar's musical sensibility enabled Van Halen to be more accessible to a wider audience with lyrics that were more introspective and dreamy. This was coupled with expanded instrumentation by Eddie that demonstrated tighter thematic elements brought about through more advanced blending of sonic textures within each song. Van Halen's period with Sammy Hagar was marked by two somewhat opposing trends: expansion of the band's commercial success and acceptance by a wider audience while at the same time experiencing a growing sense of fan resentment regarding the departure of Roth.
After this, every subsequent Van Halen album would break the top 5 of the pop charts. The band's second production, Van Halen II, peaked at #6 on the charts and their fourth album, Fair Warning, topped out at #5. (The Van Halen track "Runnin' with the Devil" and 1984's "Jump" are listed as two of the top 500 most influential songs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). In addition, both albums are regarded as milestones in rock and roll, ushering in artistic innovations that, although widely emulated, remain quite unique.
Both albums have reached diamond status, each having sold over 10 million copies. The band's top selling albums to date are their 1978 debut and 1984. The David Lee Roth era remains Van Halen's most critically and commercially successful period, having influenced nearly all bands who followed it. Soon after, singer/guitarist/song-writer Sammy Hagar, who had been introduced to the band during a previous tour with Hagar's former band, Montrose, joined as the new vocalist.
In the midst of their greatest commercial success and tour, the artistic and personal tensions between the musicians reached a breaking point, and Roth left the band on April 1, 1985 -- having been either dismissed or having quit, according to different reports. Music videos for the singles Jump, Panama, and Hot For Teacher, all became wildly popular. (Eddie Van Halen played the lead guitar on the hit song "Beat It" from that album). 1984 was praised by critics and fans alike, and peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts, behind the stratospherically popular Thriller by Michael Jackson.
"Jump" became the band's first and only #1 pop hit. 1984 fully integrated electronic keyboards into the band's sound, (they had dabbled in electronic keyboards on earlier albums, but never so prominently.) The album's lead single, Jump, featured a boundy synthesizer hook and anthemic lyrics by Roth. Van Halen's subsequent album, 1984 (released December 1983) became their commercial and artistic pinnacle, as well the breaking point for the original group. That record was eventually broken in the 90s.
After another successful round of touring, Van Halen became the highest paid music group for a single appearance with an appearance at the US Fest in 1983. As the band began to make their first music videos for MTV, the telegenic "Diamond Dave" Roth naturally became the focus, often to the chagrin of the other band members. Fair Warning was a relative sales disappointment and the band returned to a more accessible sound with Diver Down which featured a hit cover of Roy Orbison's classic rock and roll song "Oh, Pretty Woman". However, in 1981, during the recording of Fair Warning, tensions began to stir within the band, as Eddie Van Halen's desire to experiment with more serious songs and complex structures came at odds with Roth's pop instincts and increasingly cartoonish, ironic persona.
For the next four years the band would continue to alternate album releases with touring, to increasing commercial and critical acclaim; by 1980 Van Halen was the world's most successful and influential hard rock band. This album yielded the band's first hit single, the poppy "Dance the Night Away". They returned to the studio in 1979 for Van Halen II, very similar in style and sound to their debut. The early chemistry of the band was based upon the interplay between Eddie Van Halen's technical wizardry and frontman Roth's flamboyant antics, (a contrast that would later bloom into full-blown conflict within the group).
The band toured for nearly a year on the basis of Van Halen, firmly establishing their reputation as a talented and exciting live band. Van Halen also introduced the guitar world to the band's signature "Brown Sound": a nickname given to the combination of Eddie's own relaxed, experimental style coupled Templeman's production technique that produced a distinctive tone sought after by other musicians. According to folklore, before the release of the first album, Eddie would play his solos with his back to the audience to hide his technique from imitators. Nothing like it had ever been heard on record and "Eruption" granted Eddie Van Halen immediate guitar god status among players worldwide.
Other musicians had developed two-hand playing techniques as far back as the 1950s, but Van Halen's technique was something else again: a percussive, hugely amplified barrage of notes and effects. The Van Halen track "Eruption" introduced the rock and roll world to a new soloing technique called tapping: a technique utilizing both left and right hands on the guitar neck. It was soon regarded as one of rock's most extraordinary albums. The band quickly moved into the studio with Templeman and recorded their first album and released it to immediate success. Self-titled Van Halen, the album featured innovations in playing, production, and arrangement.
executive, and Ted Templeman, who would be the band's first producer, in a meeting that took place after a show at the famed Starwood Club in Los Angeles. Eventually the band was signed by Mo Ostin, a Warner Bros. KISS’ management passed on signing the band, and the tape did not lead to a record contract. In 1976, Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS, caught one of the band's shows and financed the production of a demo tape. The bootlegged demo commonly circulates around the internet under the name of "Zero," featuring unfinished and alternative lyrics to many of Van Halen's more famous early songs as found on the first few albums.
The band became a hit in the Los Angeles, California club scene of the early 1970’s. Playing gigs under various names including The Trojan Rubber Company, The Broken Combs, Mammoth, and Rat Salad (after the Black Sabbath song), the band eventually settled on the name Van Halen as suggested by Roth. Edward and Alex, growing tired of paying the "PA Tax" to Diamond Dave, brought him into the Van Halen fold in 1974. David Lee Roth, a noted entrepreneur his entire life, rented out his public address system to the band on many occasions.
Through the years, Mike consistently performed well on vocals, earning himself the moniker "Cannon Mouth" for being louder than the lead vocalists. Going through a number of potential vocalists, Van Halen consisted primarily of a power trio in its primordial existence. Edward Van Halen and Michael Anthony took turns at the microphone. While he was away, his brother Alex would practice on the drum set. As Eddie saw his brother excel on the drums, he decided to switch and learn the guitar. As legend goes, in order to pay for his drum set, Eddie worked delivering newspapers.
Eddie, subsequently, took an interest in playing the drums. As they grew older, Alex took an interest and began to learn the guitar. As young children, Alex (the older of the Van Halen brothers) and Eddie were trained as classical pianists. Eddie and Alex's father, Jan Van Halen, was an accomplished musician and encouraged his sons' love of music (the band would eventually feature the elder Van Halen playing the clarinet on the song "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" from the album Diver Down (1982)).
The Van Halen family emigrated from Nijmegen, Netherlands to Pasadena, California in the 1960’s. Van Halen is a United States hard rock band named after the guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his brother drummer Alex Van Halen. The Best of Both Worlds [greatest hits] (2004). Van Halen III (1998).
Best of Volume I (1996). Balance (1995). Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993). For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991).
OU812 (1988). 5150 (1986). 1984 (1984). Diver Down (1982).
Fair Warning (1981). Women and Children First (1980). Van Halen II (1979). Van Halen (1978).
That same year, Hagar also released a live album (Hallelujah), which featured Anthony and Cherone. In 2003 Bassist Michael Anthony joined part of Hagar's solo tour and performed together with Hagar and his band, The Waboritas. I'm the kind of guy you go out with if you want to split your friend with a bottle.". The difference between me and him is that "he's the kind of guy you go out with to split a bottle with a friend.
In an interview, he contrasted his personality with Hagar's by saying: Sam is a laid back, friendly kind of guy. A classic quotation from the tour came from Roth. In the summer of 2002, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar teamed up for the Heavyweights of Rock (known tongue-in-cheek as the 'Sans-Halen' or 'Sam & Dave' Tour). Since his departure from Van Halen, Gary Cherone has been busy with various projects including his new band Tribe of Judah.
He is involved with the annual music industry NAMM Show. Michael Anthony stays busy outside of Van Halen with various product merchandising projects. He also created his own merchandising brand Cabo Wabo which grace his own line of tequila as well as his franchise of cantinas located in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. After his departure from Van Halen, he released five albums.
Sammy Hagar remained active musically. The last word is that he is developing an adult theatre show in Las Vegas, Nevada. He also occasionally performs live as a feature solo act. Since his departure, Roth has produced a number of albums and toured with his DLR band (his most recent release being Diamond Dave (2003)).
In 2003, David Lee Roth brought a court action against Van Halen, their management, and record company claiming he was left out of 1996 royalty renegotiations. Alex Van Halen continued to work with his brother on new material at their fabled 5150 recording studio. In 2002 Eddie's 21 year marriage to actress Valerie Bertinelli ended in divorce. He also underwent cancer treatment and made a complete recovery.
In 2001 Eddie Van Halen had hip replacement surgery. Gary Cherone, lead vocals (1996-1999). Sammy Hagar, lead vocals (1985-1996), (2004-). David Lee Roth, lead vocals (1974-1985).
Edward Van Halen, guitar, piano and keyboard, backup vocals. Alex Van Halen, drums and percussion, backup vocals. Michael Anthony, bass, backup vocals.