Diver Down is the fifth studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released in 1982. It spent 65 weeks on the US album charts and had, by 1998, sold four million copies in the US.
The album cover artwork displays the "diver down" flag used in many US jurisdictions (which indicates a SCUBA diver is currently submerged in the area). Asked about the cover in a 1982 interview with Sylvie Simmons (Sounds, June 23, 1982), David Lee Roth said it was meant to imply that "there was something going on that's not apparent to your eyes. You put up the red flag with the white slash. Well, a lot of people approach Van Halen as sort of the abyss. It means, it's not immediately apparent to your eyes what is going on underneath the surface." The back cover of the album features a photo by Richard Aaron of Van Halen on stage at the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando Florida that was taken on October 24, 1981 as they concluded a set opening for The Rolling Stones.
The music video for "(Oh) Pretty Woman" was one of the first banned by MTV, although VH1 Classic has consistently aired it in recent years. In 1982, Roth explained the ban as the result of complaints that it made fun of "an almost theological figure" the Samurai warrior (Michael Anthony in the video) and also because two midgets appeared to molest a woman (actually a Los Angeles area drag queen performer). The video, directed by Roth, was, he said: "rather like a surrealistic art project ... where they paint the picture and come back three days later and try to figure out what they meant." The track "Intruder" on the album, which precedes "(Oh) Pretty Woman", was written specifically in order that there would be enough music to cover the length of the film that was edited down for the "(Oh) Pretty Woman" video. In his 1982 interview with Simmons, Roth takes credit for "Intruder," stating: "I wrote that... When we finished the movie (i.e., the video) it was about three minutes too long. So, I said, we won't cut any of it; we'll write soundtrack music for the beginning. So we went into the studio and I played the synthesizer and I wrote it. It took about an hour to put that together." (Sounds, June 23, 1982)
Eddie and Alex Van Halen's father, Jan Van Halen, plays clarinet on "Big Bad Bill".
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