The folks at Rockabye Baby! remake hard rock from the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Tool, and the Smashing Pumpkins into baby-friendly jams with "soothing mellotrons, vibraphones and bells," replacing all the things that made those bands perfect for well, making rock and roll babies. This week in the mail we received our copy of Rockabye Baby!: Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen and we threw it on after a few days debating it in our heads.
We don't have kids yet, so the concept of needing soothing, non-abrasive music for a child's ears is strange and interesting. Shea Serrano -- the best music writer in town with twin boys -- came by to visit the office and we showed it to him. We said we didn't understand the disc. To which he said, "Because you don't have kids."
Growing up the quietest music we remember jamming was maybe praise and worship stuff with our father or soft-rock with mom. But we did love ourselves some Joe Scruggs, who was like the Morrissey of songs about car rides, ice cream, and going to sleep. His LP, Traffic Jams, was a mainstay in our cassette deck and must have driven our parents mad. They probably welcomed the George Strait, Nirvana and Beatles we got into once we outgrew Scruggs.
Rockabye's versions of classic Van Halen cuts are obviously gutted of the raunchy spirit of David Lee Roth, and the godhead guitar work of Eddie Van Halen. Our standouts so far, sense we have only listened once for this blog, include "Beautiful Girls" which translates well to vibraphone, and "Hot For Teacher" with the added bird chirps. Not to be outdone, "Jump" has some frog calls, or "ribbits" as they are known to everyone ever. We also nodded out a few times listening to this disc too, it was so soothing.
Soothing is our new word this week. Also included is a recipe for a kid's dish called Hot For Peaches, which sounds yum if you don't have teeth. But then again, we'll eat anything.
Thank the Lord Jesus Christ that they left off songs from the Sammy Hagar era, because that could be child abuse or something. Plus, this instills into children from the coming generation that there is only one lead singer of Van Halen and it is Diamond Dave. Duh.
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Roth himself added a quote to the liner notes:
"David Lee Roth here, the smile that launched a thousands hips, once they got launched, welp, time for some lullabies! Rockabye Baby's Van Halen lullabies are here, and it's all of your favorite tunes, but dialed down for just right after happy hour."
Here's a video of a baby jumping to Van Halen's "Jump" in a weird harness thing, since that totally makes sense.