Listen to Eddie Van Halen’s Unreleased 1984 Instrumental ‘Strike’
"Strike," a track from Eddie Van Halen's unreleased score for the 1984 film The Wild Life, is now online in its entirety.
Unearthed by the Van Halen News Desk, "Strike" is just the latest in a long series of Wild Life numbers that have been posted by the site over the past several years, remedying the frustrating fact that the score has never seen official release — and just one track, "Donut City," ended up being excerpted from Van Halen's work for the soundtrack album.
One of several extracurricular projects the guitarist was working on at the time, The Wild Life found Eddie branching out into film work with producer and engineer Donn Landee during the waning days of David Lee Roth's original tenure with Van Halen. As he later admitted, his participation in the score was cut short due to prior commitments with the band, who were then touring on behalf of their wildly popular 1984 LP.
"Donn and I saw the script for The Wild Life and said we'd do something for it. We ended up doing just about the whole film," Van Halen told Guitar World a few years ago. "It was fun, but we were kind of under pressure because of the deadlines. I had to leave on tour again, so I sort of left Donn to finish the mixing and everything. I played all the instruments."
Touted as screenwriter Cameron Crowe's highly anticipated return after Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Wild Life explored similar themes, focusing on the teen exploits of a group of characters played by a cast led by Chris Penn and Eric Stoltz. It missed the mark at the box office, perhaps partly because the script arose from a creative left turn Crowe was forced to take after hitting a wall while trying to write a movie about the Doors.
Ultimately, "Strike" offers another intriguing glimpse of an under-explored corner of Van Halen's musical output — even if the artist himself never really intended for anyone to spend much time listening to it. "We didn't really want anything on it," he shrugged of the soundtrack LP. "The songs on the record aren't even in the movie. We said that if they had to have something on the album, take 'Donut City.' We were concerned about doing stuff for the film, not selling a record."
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