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Eddie Van Halen’s “Unchained” Guitar – Isolated

This 1981 cut from Van Halen’s Fair Warning is the song that sold a million MXR M-117 stomp boxes. Eddie Van Halen set the flanger’s speed to sweep up on the first half of the riff and down on the second, creating a roller-coaster effect that takes you on a wild sonic ride.

Ed’s guitar work here is phenomenal as always, but at the time he was not getting along with producer Ted Templeman. 

“I felt at the time that [Templeman] didn’t understand me anymore,” Eddie told our sister publication Guitar World. “I’d get so frustrated at not being able to do what I wanted. I ended up doing 90 percent of the guitar tracking at four o’clock in the morning with our engineer, Donn Landee.”

Have a listen to Ed’s bracing wake-up call in all its isolated glory.