Our ten best Van Halen Songs with David Lee Roth article looks at the music Van Halen released when David Lee Roth was the band’s lead singer. There will always be Van Halen fans who prefer the David Lee Roth version of Van Halen over the Sammy Hagar version. Of course, there will be those who thought the Sammy Hagar version was better, In the end, does it really matter who was better? They both were great. Yet , one thing is very obvious, they were both very different sound bands with each singer. Many years ago we did a top Van Halen songs list combining both versions of the band. That was tough to do because we left off so many great songs. And of course the reader feedback we got was all split down the line between fans of each version of the group. We thought we would take another shot at releasing a top 10 Van Halen songs list but this time doing it the right way by dedicating two separate list. One for David Lee Roth’s version and the other for Sammy Hagar’s version.
Looking back, having two versions of Van Halen brought music fans more variety in the band’s sound than if it had been just David Lee Roth all the way. When Van Halen released their comeback album A Different Kind of Truth with David Lee Roth, the group sounded like the old Van Halen from the late 1970s and early 80s again. And yes we know some of the songs on the album had been around for years. However we also loved the Sammy Hagar Van Halen years which we would have never gotten music like that if Sammy Hagar had never joined the band. Eddie Van Halen recognized the different skills of each singer and wrote music to suit his vocalists. The man was a musical genius and one of the most spectacular musicians the classic rock world had ever known. We miss you Eddie.
The first Van Halen album that featured David Lee Roth was released in 1978 entitled Van Halen. Man did that album blow everyone away. The group opened for Black Sabbath when that album was released. They would not be an opening act for too long after. Van Halen’s second album with David Lee Roth was released in 1979 entitled simply Van Halen II. While not as strong as their debut , it still was a smoking album. The band’s third album and probably there most underrated record was released in 1980 entitled Women And Children First. Our favorite Van Halen album entitled Fair Warning was released in 1981 still featuring David Lee Roth as the band’s lead singer, This was their heaviest album and a very strong hardcore Van Halen fan favorite.
There were still many more David Lee Roth Van Halen songs to come. The group released the album enetuted Diver Down in 1982. It was the band shortest album, but did contain the big remake of Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman.” In 1984, the group released their most successful album of their career with there sensational record 1984 which featured their first number one single entitled “Jump.” One year later in 1985, David Lee Roth released a solo EP entitled Crazy from the Heat. David Lee Roth enjoyed great success with the EP and MTV jumped all over the David Lee Roth bandwagon. It would not be long before David Lee Roth would quit Van Halen and embark on his own solo career.
The next time Van Halen fans would hear new David Lee Roth Van Halen songs would be when David Lee Roth Roth recorded two new songs with the group for Van Halen’s 1996 greatest hits package Best Of – Volume I. In 2012 David Lee Roth reunited with Van Halen for what would be the final Van Halen studio album ever released with Eddie Van Halen still alive. 2012’s A Different Kind Of Truth featured some new David Lee Roth Van Halen songs as well as some older ones that had been bootlegged for years. And that’s all she wrote.
There were so many phenomenal David Lee Roth era Van Halen songs to choose from. Of course, there are going to be some that we left out because we are only picking ten. If we pick more than ten then it’s just not as much fun and we won’t get as many complaints and insults as we usually do when we publish our top 10 lists. In reality , this was really hard to do because there are so many classic David Lee Roth era Van Halen songs. So here you go the ten best David Lee Roth Van Halen songs.
# 10 – Eruption
We open up our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list with the monster instrumental entitled “Eruption.” While this may not feature a David Lee Roth vocal, it was recorded during the David Lee Roth Van Halen era. It comes in at just under two minutes but it’s worth every every second of rock and roll pleasure. Ladies and Gentlemen this is Van Halen. We will say this now, Van Halen was and will always be all about Eddie Van Halen. David Lee Roth may have understood that, but he didn’t carry on like he did. But who cares, because we all knew who fueled the band Van Halen at its core. We can separate the eras but we can never separate the guitar playing and musical compositions of Eddie Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen was and still is a rock and roll God! The instrumental “Eruption,” was released on the first Van Halen album in 1978 simply titled Van Halen.
# 9 – Jump
Continuing with our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list we take a listen to the band’s only number one hit of their career entitled “Jump.” While this may not be our favorite Van Halen song, we just couldn’t ignore the song because of its commercial success. It’s a significant moment in the history of Van Halen, and folks we are a rock and roll history site. The song was released on the 1984 album in 1984. It was the first single released from the album. The song was a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song also hit number one in Canada and Australia. The song “Jump,” went gold in the United States and United Kingdom while selling platinum in Japan and Italy.
# 8 – And The Cradle Will Rock
In the number eight spot on our 10 Best Van Halen Songs With David Lee Roth list we present the song entitled “And The Cradle Will Rock.” The song was released on the album entitled Women And Children First. The album was released in 1980. It was the first and only single released from the album. The single’s B-Side “Everybody Wants Some,” was an even better track and wound up ranking even higher on this Van Halen songs list. What a single that one was. And hey “have you seen junior’s grades?” is one of the best lines ever.
# 7 – Romeo Delight
One of our favorite guitar solos that Eddie Van Halen ever played on vinyl appears on this killer track entitled “Romeo Delight.” This one is special. It’s one of the most dynamic songs the band ever released. From the subtle hi hat rhythms of Alex Van Halen to the blow your head up bass lines and electric playing of Eddie Van Halen through the song’s chorus, this one lites it up all the way. This was the last song on side two of the bands Women & Children First album. One of the band’s greatest gems of a song.
# 6 – You Really Got Me
Landing in the number six spot on our 10 Best Van Halen Songs With David Lee Roth list we present the band’s first hit single entitled “You Really Got Me.” This great remake of the Kinks classic song was featured on the band’s debut album. It’s amazing how Eddie Van Halen reinvented the song with the way he played that opening riff. OMG his guitar solo in the track is almost inhuman. David Lee Roth’s swagger sells this one immensely. Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony lock together in step creating a rhythm section that was pretty much unmatched in classic rock. It all really began with this song.
# 5 – Unchained
At the halfway point on our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list is the monumental song entitled “Unchained.” The song was issued on the album entitled Fair Warning. What an amazing rock and roll album that was. Every song was heavy, dark and just a pure joy to listen to as the playing on the record was some of the best the group had ever done. The album was released in 1981. While many fans including this one believe this was Van Halen’s best album, it actually was one of their lowest selling albums they ever released.
“Unchained,” was the third single released from the album. The song was a hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Music Charts peaking at number thirteen.
# 4 – Runnin’ With The Devil
At the number four spot on our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list we present the song entitled “Running With The Devil.” The song was released on the album entitled Van Halen. The album was released in 1978. It was the second single released from the album.”Running With The Devil,” was the album’s opening track.”Running With The Devil,” was followed by “Eruption,” “You Really Got Me,””Ain’t Talkin Bout Love,” and “I’m The One.” What an album side!. One of the best ever in rock and roll history.
“Running With The Devil,” starts out with that classic Michael Anthony bass line that is then slammed against the wall by Alex Van Halen’s drums and the onslaught of Eddie Van Halen’s ferocious rock and roll guitar. The song broke onto the US Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number eighty three. David Lee Roth delivers one of his classic vocals making this one an all time Van Halen classic song and the first one anyone ever heard if their first Van Halen album was Van Halen.
# 3 – Everybody Wants Some!!
Rocking hard on our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list we take a listen to the raging song entitled “Everybody Wants Some!!” The song was released on the album entitled Women and Children First. The album was released in 1981. It was placed as the second track on the album following the lead single “And The Cradle Will Rock.” “Everybody Wants Some!!” was also placed as the B-Side to “And The Cradle Will Rock.” Over time, “Everybody Wants Some!!,” would become a much more popular Van Halen song making it one of the band’s standards in concert.
How many rock songs do you know in which movies are named after like director Richard Linklater named his 2016 film Everybody Wants Some!! after. The song has always had a cinematic feel to it as John Cusack included it in the animation sequence in the cult classic film Better Off Dead. The song was also used in the 2009 Woody Harrelson film Zombieland. “Everybody Wants Some.” is a powerful Van Halen song that helped define how important this band was in the history of classic rock.
# 2 – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
Following up “Everybody Wants Some” with the classic track “Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love,” just seemed to make perfect sense. Both songs have the same sort of swagger and attitude.They are strong testaments to the power of rock and roll and the new level of musicianship that Eddie Van Halen had inspired countless musicians who came after him to try and achieve.
The song Ain’t Talkin ‘Bout Love,” was released on Van Halen’s debut album entitled Van Halen. The album was released in 1978. It was the fifth single released from the album. The song did not chart on any of the music charts. But who cares, this is such an incredible piece of music that shows music charts can be meaningless outside of track sales and popularity among many non fans. The song was composed by Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony. The song was produced by the legendary Ted Templeman. Those five guys released some incredible music together.
# 1 – Hot For Teacher
We close out our top 10 David Lee Roth Van Halen songs list with the song entitled “Hot For Teacher.” It’s the same song that topped our original Van Halen songs list we released over five years ago. If there ever was a song that defined the David Lee Roth Van Halen era perfectly it was this one. Combined with that classic video and the amazing Eddie Van Halen guitar solo, this one delivered the goods big time. It’s one of the most entertaining and enjoyable Van Halen songs ever released. And that’s why we picked it number one. The song was released on the album entitled 1984. The album was released in 1984. It was the fourth and final single released from the album.
Top 10 Van Halen Songs featuring the lead vocals of David Lee Roth article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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