Van Halen’s Best Song On Each Of Their Studio Albums

Van Halen Songs

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Putting together a list of Van Halen’s Best Song On Each Of Their Studio Albums created some controversy here at the site as many of the writers have very different opinions on the best material on each Van Halen album. The reason is very simple: every song on every Van Halen album is like the best song on the record. It doesn’t matter if you are on the David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar side; there is just so much great material to choose from. In our 10 Abums That Changed My Life Series, the first Van Halen album is found on almost every list. That is how influential the band was to so many musicians. This one was tough.

Van Halen – Eruption

Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. Eddie Van Halen. This one changed everything. That’s all that needs to be said about this one.

Van Halen II – Light Up The Sky

Van Halen did not disappoint their fans with their follow-up album to their stunning debut.  There was a lot of great material on this one. We loved the remake of “Your No Good,” and “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” was a lot of fun. In the end, this roaring dark piece, “Light Up The Sky,” was the top pick.

Women and Children First – Everybody Wants Some!!

The band looked so cool on the album’s cover. Side one of the album was unbelievable, with the songs” “And the Cradle Will Rock…” “Everybody Wants Some!!” “Fools” and “Romeo Delight” all in a row. The battle was between the first two. In the end, we had to go with the smoking track “Everybody Wants Some!!”

Fair Warning – Mean Street

Fair Warning is our favorite Van Halen album. There is nothing in the band’s catalog that sounds like this one. It was as dark as the band ever got. Even though “Unchained”
was the big hit, the album’s title track, “Mean Street,” gets the pick.

Diver Down – Little Guitars

Many Van Halen fans have mixed feelings about this album. It was a short record, and it contained five cover songs. Nonetheless, there was also some spectacular material, including our pick “Little Guitars.”

1984 – Hot for Teacher

After what many fans felt was a disappointing album in Diver Down, Van Halen came roaring back with the smash 1984. The big 1980s keyboard dominance in rock music played a significant role on this record, fueling the success of songs like “Jump,” “I’ll Wait,” and “Panama.” However, the phenomenal track “Hot for Teacher” gets the pick here. Not only do we believe it was the album’s best song, but it was also chosen as Van Halen’s number one song of all time on our Top 10 Van Halen Songs list.

5150 – Get Up

The Sammy Hagar Van Halen era began with the sensational 5150 album. We are fans of both eras of the band, but as Sammy Hagar fans, we really enjoyed the album he recorded with Van Halen. The album is filled with great tracks, but the song “Get Up” is the prime choice. This is a particularly motivating piece of music.

OU812 – Black And Blue

This is Van Halen’s groove album. It’s heavy, of course, but there’s also a lot of space between Eddie’s solos and a cool rhythmic groove behind many of the tracks, which is really evident in the song “Finish What Ya Started.” While it almost got the pick here, in the end, Eddie’s solo in “Black and Blue” proved to be the deciding factor, as well as those killer Michael Anthony backing vocals.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge – Right Now

Just like Fair Warning was probably the most underrated album of the Roth era, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge was the same for the Sammy era after all the attention the first two albums got. Well, not anymore as the reissue of the album just released is mind-blowing. We almost went with “Poundcake,” but “Right Now” was such a legendary track with that great piano opening, it stole the pick.

Balance – Amsterdam

Maybe it’s because I visited Amsterdam a few years ago and couldn’t stop hearing this song in my head. If you have ever been to Amsterdam, this song will make a lot more sense. And with this one, the Sammy Hagar Van Halen era pretty much ended.

Van Halen III – “Fire in the Hole”

As we all know, this one was pretty much an outlier in the band’s catalog as the only Van Halen album not to feature either David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar as the lead singer. Gary Cherone is a great vocalist, but something just didn’t feel right here. The pick is “Fire in the Hole,” pretty much by default.

A Different Kind of Truth – Chinatown

It’s hard to comprehend that this album, which seemed so new at the time, is already 12 years old. It was nice to have a new Van Halen album even though many of the songs on the record had been released on bootlegs in different versions. For the pick here, it was a battle between “Chinatown” and “She’s The Woman,” with “Chinatown” getting the nod.

Van Halen’s Best Song On Each Of Their Studio Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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