Van Halen News Desk has just uploaded this previously unreleased instrumental version of “Big Fat Money” from the group’s 1995 Balance album. It offers a great opportunity to hear Eddie Van Halen’s stellar guitar work on this hard-rocking track without any vocals to get in the way.
According to the VHND, the solo on this track was recorded in one take on a Gibson ES-335 through Van Halen’s Marshall.
“Ed was fooling around with some suggestions from Bruce Fairbairn, while unbeknownst to him, Bruce was taping his first attempt. Fairbairn decided he liked what he heard,” the site notes.
“A lot of thought went into the coin sound at the end of the song. Everyone crowded around the recording console where they dropped quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies until they got the perfect sound.”
Balance was the group’s fourth and final studio album with Sammy Hagar as vocalist. According to Ian Christe’s book Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga, the album was made amid escalating tensions between Van Halen and Hagar. Ed was newly sober and musically productive, but Hagar didn’t enjoy working and would put in only a couple of hours in the afternoon. In addition, bassist Michael Anthony was now a father and was unable to work on a moment’s notice.
Still, the band managed to pull together the album, which went to Number One on the Billboard 200 and sold more than three million copies in the U.S.