Stuff like this is in my collection not because it’s valuable to me, but because at one point in time I got it for free. We ran across promos like these all the time, and couldn’t sell them, so they were free to take. Because it was Van Halen, I hung onto it even though all five tracks are taken from the live album Right here, right now. It disappears in your CD collection due to the jewel case without a back cover or spine. For the sake of simplicity (and a shorter title), we’ll just refer to this EP as “Van Halen turns 15”.
It actually plays really well. Without any filler or solos, it’s a tight CD packed with some of the best songs. “Dreams” serves as a connection to the earlier pop rock sounds of 5150. Live, it rocks with higher octane than the studio version. “Judgement Day” was one of the better representations of the then-new For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge material. Its modern groove was predictive of the kind of music people would want to hear in the 90s: heavier with more edge. “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” is the one token DLR track, and then seemingly to balance things out, it’s Sammy’s “One Way to Rock”. Whatever — the listening experience is perfect.
Because “Right Now” was the biggest thing since Crystal Pepsi, it’s inevitable that the live version was included on this CD. If you find “Right Now” to be vomit-inducing, you can just hit stop.
Since this is a promo and should only be sought as a freebie, appointing it a score out of 5 stars is meaningless. Radio stations are always ditching boxes of old CDs so it’s bound to turn up somewhere.