Had the misfortune of coming out in 1991. David Lee Roth in 1991 had already done 2 (well 3 if you count 1985's Crazy from the Heat E.P.) solo albums in the form of 1986's Eat 'em&Smile (which went double platinum) and 1988's Skyscraper (which barely went platinum).
During the time between 1988 and 1991 would see Dave completely lose his backing band on those 2 releases. Enter uber producer Bob Rock who along with Roth assembled a new collection of young talents mainly in the form of guitarist Jason Becker (who would be diagnosed with ALS shortly after recording commenced and was unable to tour).
Due to Skyscraper only selling half the # of records compared to Eat 'em&Smile, 1991's A Little Ain't Enough was hopefully going to put Dave back in multi platinum territory.
The album ended up barely going gold and was pretty much universally panned by critics. The subsequent tour also saw Dave playing to mostly empty (as well as smaller) venues as well. I guess you could say that this album was the death knell to his solo career.
So, now 15 years later, is the album really that bad as critics made it out to be? Not even close.
I think what caused most people to savage the album is that it was pretty much a square arena rock album for the most part and lacked the gonzo over-the-top musicianship of Eat 'em&Smile or the synthesizer drenched soundscapes of the somewhat experimental Skyscraper.
But although it is a straigt up no frills rock album, that doesn't make it bad in and of itself.
Dave is in top form vocally on this release and the extra production sheen from producer Bob Rock shows in terms of the amount of extra female backing vocals and extra instruments in terms of horns and even a passing harmonica or two.
Some people said the album was way overproduced, but I think it's just a casualty of being released in 1991 after Nirvana's Nevermind had hitted pretty much singledhandedly killing off most if not all of 80's muscial acts in the process. Grunge was taking over and people weren't interested in feel-god rock that Dave is known for.
Jason Becker brings a more almost at times southern rock feel to his leads as well as bringing some really thick rhythm guitar work to the table as well. It really sucks that he was diagnosed with ALS as this guy was a true prodigy IMO.
The album has a bit of filler on it in terms of the goofy Hammerhead Shark and 40 Below and as a whole it doesn't gel quite as well as it should.
But there is still a ton of good music on here and anyone who got put out with Van Hagar and want to hear DLR in his element would do wise to pick this up.
while it doesn't quite compare to his prior 2 releases (or quite to his 1998 DLR Band CD), it is still a very solid release that is a very enjoyable listen.
David Lee Braves The World Without His Hired Guns Backing Him Up By the time A Little Ain't Enough came out, the David Lee Roth versus Van Halen war was over. Rockers' attention-spans just aren't that long to bear the weight of years. You had your pop-loving Van Hagar crowd and you had your DLR stick-to-your-guns crowd and you had people that would listen to both or neither. Steve Vai was a free agent. Billy Sheehan was hamming it up with Paul Gilbert in Mr. Big. Who knows where Greg Bissonette went? DLR is naked. Left alone. Fighting to survive. Skyscraper was okay, but not nearly as radical as Eat 'Em And Smile. Van Halen proved that they could survive a lead singer transplant. Previously underrated Shrapnel Records guitarist Jason Becker joins DLR for A Little Ain't Enough. Dio's Craig Goldie helps pen a tune. DLR is fishing for song doctors. The truly cool thing about A Little Ain't Enough is that although it is the beginning of the end for Diamond Dave's career, it is pure DLR and it f*cking rocks! The first few tunes are filler extraordiaire and a very unwise choice for the beginning of the album, but there are some really cool tunes on this album. Perhaps the masses were done with DLR as the excess of the 80s was dying away. Who knows? "Hammerhead Shark" is a straight-up rocker and a catchy tune. Oh yeah. That is DLR. "Tell The Truth" is slow-down sleaze rock. DLR specific. "Baby's On Fire" is a kewel shredder. "40 Below" feels like it should have been on Eat 'Em&Smile. "Sensible Shoes" rocks. I can't explain it, but this is DLR personified and it absolutely rocks. Attitude? That's it. "Last Call" tongue-in-cheek rocker. Hilarious. This could have been a VH tune from 1984 or Diver Down. "The Dogtown Shuffle" probably my personal favorite from this entire album. Smooth and easy and fulla 'tude. Great. Dave can write pop-culture lyrics better than anyone around. Don't f*ck with the master. This is the shizzit! "It's Showtime"&"Drop In The Bucket" are filler but they're DLR filler as opposed to the first few songs and that makes them entertaining to listen to. Soundz like castaways from the Crazy From The Heat EP. Cool.
A Little Ain't Enough was not a popular DLR album nor was it considered more than a mild success. It went Gold, not Platnium. Bummer. There are a lot of killer tunes here and this is one of the most underrated albums of all time. DLR is being honest here while VH was pushing out "Poundcake" and all that other pop-oriented bullsh*t. But where VH was still selling a ton of albums, DLR was floundering. Too bad. At least he was staying true to himself and his music while his former bandmates were whoring themselves out purely for the Benjamins. Buy A Little Ain't Enough, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Dig it!A Pretty Good Album, by David Lee Roth I'm a big Van Halen fan and due to the fact that the 1st song I ever heard from them was "Jump" it solidified my status as a David Lee Roth fan. Therefore, I had to listen to his solo albums. This is only the second, album i've heard from DLR (the other being "Skyscraper" and while this one has better lyrics, I think in the music department, I think they are kind of a tie.). Here are the tracks and my thoughs and oppinions: A Little Ain't Enough:Really good title track, some of the best solo DLR lyrics. Shoot It:Very good beat and lyrics too it. I really like this song. Lady Luck: This isn't a terrific song, it's kind of...Boring really isn't the word, but it's the best I can come up with. Hammerhead Shark:This is a pretty cool song actually. It's very catchy Tell the Truth:It's allright. It's not the best song on the album Baby's On Fire: This is better than the Van Halen song "On Fire". It's a really good song. 40 Below:This is a good song and the lyrics are kind of funny. Sensible Shoes:The harmonica work is pretty good but the song itself just isn't terrific. Last Call:This song has a pretty good chorus, except the verses are kind of dumb The Dogtown Shuffle:It's semi-good. It's nowhere near being the best song on the album, It's Showtime:The guitar in the beginning is great,and it's a pretty good song the rest of the way through as well Drop in the Bucket:Guitar sounds spectacular. This is one of the better songs on the album.
So, all in all, this is a pretty good DLR album. A must for Van Halen fans. B+.