Picks and Pans Review: Crazy from the Heat

updated 03/18/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/18/1985 AT 01:00 AM EST

David Lee Roth

Roth, the irrepressible narcissist and showman for Van Halen, may have people's ears doing a double take on this first solo jaunt. Like Billy Joel's An Innocent Man, this four-song EP is surprising in that it shows a convincing appreciation for a broader range of musical styles than one might have expected. Roth sashays through Easy Street, a cosmopolitan blues number by Dan Hartman, the former bassist for the Edgar Winter Group. (Winter plays saxophones and/or keyboards on three of the songs and helped with the arrangements.) When the needle reaches the medley of Just a Gigolo and I Ain't Got Nobody, it's tempting to check the label to make sure this isn't a Cab Calloway disc. Roth camps it up on the Beach Boys' California Girls, though this version is basically true to the original. In fact, John Robinson's smart drumming makes you wish the Beach Boys had had a more creative percussionist. Hard-core V.H. followers may find Crazy From the Heat, finely produced by Ted Templeman, to be a curiosity. But Roth carries off this change of musical garb with verve and good humor. (Warner Brothers)

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