Van Halen may be known for their untouchable riffs, pounding drumming and good time party jams, but thanks to a new mashup we see there’s room for a little soul in the classic “Unchained.”
Bill McClintock, who has become a YouTube favorite with a wealth of rock and metal mashups, has applied his masterful touch by pairing Van Halen’s “Unchained” with Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight” for yet another seemingly oddball combination that works incredibly well.
Rock fans should not be disappointed here as it’s Wonder’s vocal laid over the top of the chugging Van Halen riffage with the band’s instrumental work laying the base for this mashup. Aside from the occasional David Lee Roth scream insertion, Wonder’s vocal takes the lead until nearly midway through the track when Van Halen’s lyrics infiltrate and accentuate the collaboration.
It’s a magical pairing that shows there’s some soulfulness even within the heavier sound that Van Halen lays down. And McClintock also completes this melding by cutting up visual performances from Van Halen and Wonder to finish off this piece.
“Unchained” initially appeared on Van Halen’s fourth studio album, Fair Warning, back in 1981. It hit No. 13 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. As you can probably guess by the cut in black-and-white footage in the video below, “Uptight” is a little more dated than “Unchained.” It first appeared on Stevie Wonder’s 1966 album Up-Tight, preceding the record in late 1965 and eventually hitting No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Have a look and listen to “Van Wonder’s Chained Uptight” below and be sure to check out more of McClintock’s mashup mastery via his YouTube channel here.
Van Wonder, “Chained Uptight”