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Showing Some Van Hagar Love

Remember honestly loving an album without knowing any of the back story? Not hearing a million different reviews from critics trying to outdo each other? Before forums when anyone with a computer could cut down the band you love?

For me, those were the salad days of music. Oh man, how I loved Van Halen's Balance when that record came out. I thought it was just the best thing ever. I mean, it rivaled Aerosmith and if you knew me in 1995 - well, let's just say there wasn't much more important to me at that time than Aerosmith.

Anyway, I'm sick of reading of how crappy an album Balance is...I love it, no matter what the detractors say. Which brings me to today's post. Last night, my husband says (ok, demands) "Write about favorite Sammy Hagar - Van Halen songs for tomorrow." Well, I aim to please, so here goes. My top five Van Hagar tunes, in no order:

The Seventh Seal - from the album Balance
Dreams - from the album 5150
Top of the World - from the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Why Can't This Be Love - from the album 5150
Can't Stop Lovin' You - from the album Balance

Now I realize it's highly dangerous for me to post about favorite Van Hagar tunes when there's a huge contingent of Van Roth lovers who will pounce if they think Diamond Dave has been slighted. Look, I'm not slighting David Lee Roth at all. My husband prefers Van Hagar and he wanted other people's opinions regarding Van, let's have 'em. Give me your favorite Van Hagar tunes. And for the record, I love (LOVE!) Sammy's solo work, too. He's a party music machine! Woo hoo!

(Oh, and if you're wondering, my husband's favorite Van Hagar tune is "When It's Love" from the album OU812).

Speaking of Van looks like the talk of a new studio album to be released next year was just...rumors. We'll see I suppose.

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Reader Comments (30)

I've had Balance on repeat for about 3 have great timing(or your husband does). Favorite tunes off of Balance are Seventh Seal, Enough, and Amsterdam. Next Wed I'm heading up to Michigan to see the Red Rocker, gotta love Hagar shows. As for other Van Hagar, I'll go with Finish What Ya Started, 5150, Why Cant This Be Love, Poundcake, and Runaround.

"She's gotta have soul.....or it won't feel right!"

July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercruefreak
"Balance" is the ONLY Van Hagar record I like. And like is not a strong enough word...I love it. "Not Enough" and "Don't Tell Me" are my favorite tracks, but I love it from start to finish. Other Van Hagar, I can tolerate, and the occasional song I like, but "Balance" is a winner through-and-through.

Same goes for the Cherone album, though most disagree with me there too. I love VHIII.

As far as the "rumors," I believe John 5 and his unofficial "Eddie is on fire" over the VH publicist. They want to lower expectations and release it when they're ready, which I'm cool with....but my expectations couldn't be higher.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJT
Nothing beats the real deal, it's the original never duplicated rock n roll train of consequences Van Halen with Mr. Diamond David Lee Roth! now if Dave had his way the would already be on the second reunion album and tour. One break coming up!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlooksthatkill
Meh. Van Hagar never did anything for me. For my money, it's hard to get a whole lot better than the very first Van Halen album.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
I loved the original group, like most, but I thought the 5150 album and tour were terrific. There was so much bad blood between Eddie and Dave that it was nice to see the group happy again. That album was full of great songs and the tour was very energetic and fun. The band seemed renewed on all fronts. Sammy has never been my favorite singer in the world, but it really seemed to click. After that, there was a huge quality drop in the material. From OU812 (get it? heh heh) forward, the band regressed further and further into the cheesy sex stuff. That might be okay for a group of 20-somethings, but when 40/50-something men are singing about "Poundcake" and giving embarrassing, single-entendre titles to albums (F*U*C*K, get it? Heh heh, get it? ), they went straight to creepy old man/Steven Tyler territory. It was like someone's dad trying to be Beevis and Butthead -- it just doesn't work. It's try-hard. So, I loved 5150, but I think it went downhill pretty quickly after that. Today, the band is just a joke, regardless of who's singing.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBB
I adore Van Hagar! My 5 favs:

1.) Why Can't This Be Love
2.) Can't Stop Loving You
3.) Not Enough
4.) When It's Love/Runaround (tie)
5.) Mine All Mine
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShade
Sammy Hagar can do no wrong. I never had the chance to see Van Hagar, but love all of their work. VH with Sammy was by far superior to Diamond Dave and his travelling carnival. It was about the music with Sammy, not the strippers.

I had the chance to see Sammy with Chickenfoot and it will go down as one of the coolest shows I have ever seen. Sammy is one of the great musicians of several generations and deserves much more respect.

Oh yeh... I'm a Sammy Hagar fan!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartell
I can only tolerate Van Hagar if I treat it as a totally separate band. Any comparisons to the original & everything I hear just falls short. I saw Dave & Sammy when they toured together & Dave was definitely the headliner. At the beginning of the show, hLf the crowd was chanting Sammys name & the other half was chanting Daves. By the end, nobody was willing to admit they came for Sammy. Dave wiped the stage with him.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGEO II
Although I love Roth era Van Halen, I still prefer Van Hagar. The two times I've seen Van Hagar in concert are the two best sounding concerts I have been to. I have a list (in no particular order) of my top ten favorite Van Hagar songs:

Mine All Mine
Why Can't This Be Love
Judgement Day
Summer Nights
The Dream Is Over
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTMC
Wow, GEO II, you must not have been at the Alpine Valley, WI stop of that tour like I was. I had to stop singing along to "Little Dreamer" because Dave wasn't even close to singing what the lyrics were or where they should be in the song. At that show, Sammy was the better act. Plus he did "Three Lock Box" and "Heavy Metal". I definitely have to agree with Martell on this one.

Best Van Hagar songs have to be "Poundcake" and "Black and Blue". Thanks for another great topic Allyson!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermom2ross
Now wer're talking!!!! I can talk Van Hagar ALL DAY LONG if given the chance! Balance is a great record. I could have done w/out a few of the instrumental tracks but overall a STRONG, STRONG record. Too bad the tour was dubbed, The Ambulance Tour!
Either way, the Balance cd/tour was my FIRST introduction to Live Van Halen and LIVE SAMMY....March, 1995 and the first live song I ever heard Van Halen play was THE SEVENTH SEAL and my world CHANGED right then and there! I was also turned into a REDHEAD that same night as I heard Sammy sing Eagles Fly for the first time. I saw this tour only two times and then my world changed again when Sammy left the band :( so I know I missed out on soooo much! I remember hearing the Live RHRN tour commerical on the radio that was coming to Baton Rouge in 1993, but no car, in high school and no means to the show it wasn't meant to be! I'll stop here so this post doesn't turn into a novel of my Van Hagar obsession! Thanks Ally for making me smile today!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
HELLLOOOO BAAAAABBBBYYY!!!! The only words that are sweeter than that is "Welcome to the Cabo Wabo"

OK, can't stop after reading the post the whole way...
2. Best of Both Worlds (Live W/out A Net Version)
3. Top of the World
4. Cabo Wabo
5. Why Can't This Be Love / GOOD ENOUGH

Runner Ups: Mine All Mine, Seventh Seal, Take Me Back, When Its Love, Runaround, Not Enough...OMG, I could go on and on!!! My all time favorite record is 5150! I couldn't live w/out 5150! Cabo Wabo is not one of their best songs but its totally personal b/c as the song says, you go there once, you'll be there twice. I'm going back for my 5th time this fall (hell, I know ppl that go atleast twice a year and have for years, so my little 5 times is NOTHING). Cabo is my Happy Place! On another VH note....let's talk Humans Being, Yes, this was the song that pretty much broke the band, however I think its such a STRONG song and even though it isn't associated with good VH memories, I'm glad the last song from that VH era was a kick ass one!!

I'll defend Van Hagar till the day I die! I always viewed Van Halen and Van Hagar as TWO different bands so being a hard core VAN HALEN fan I know to separate the two and I'll leave it at that. I love each for very different reasons but....when its all said and done, Sammy is my heart and VAN HAGAR wins out!
(Dreams LIVE at the Whisky, 1993)

OH, what I wouldn't have given to have been old enough at that time to have gone! WOW!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Martell, I like the way you think!!! I'm loving reading all the thoughts on this topic (good and bad). I didn't grow up with Classic VH so I don't know what that must have been like to have witnessed the greatness of the first VH era and then the shake up of DLR leaving....however, HAGAR TRUMPS ALL IN MY WORLD!!!! Yes, DLR was about the SHOW (and prob ONE of the best front men of all time. It's true when ppl say, all the women wanted to be with him and all the men wanted to BE him, he was truly something special from footage of back in the day)....HAGAR JUST WANTED TO ROCK! I love that! I wish Eddie wouldn't have been a drunken mess on the 2004 reunion tour but I'm glad I got to see it 3 times.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
Right Now. Without doubt my favorite Van Hagar song, by miles. I think that song changed my life. :)
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKiki Chrome
Could have easily made this a top 8. Here are 5 in no particular order:
5150 (5150)
Best Of Both World (5150)
Dreams (5150)
Mine All Mine (OU812)
Feelin' (Balance)
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersasquatch
Just to throw in a song that's often over looked is "It's About Time" which was on the last greatest hits and Sammy reunion tour. Awesome old school Van Hagar!!!!
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpapa_rocker
Van Hagar is shiet and he knows it.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiam
One of my very first albums was 1984 and of course with all the MTV and radio play, it ruled. Radio also played all their earlier classic tunes all the time. When David Lee left, I thought it was the end. However, when Sammy came on board, the band was rockin again. The first couple Van Hagar albums made a big splash, radio and MTV overplayed it and I just could not get into Sammy's voice matching up with Eddie's guitar style. I agree with other posts, that they would have to be considered two different bands. They were good, but nothing..NOTHING like Van Halen with David Lee.
Love Chicken Foot
Love Sammy Solo.
Dont like him all that much in Van Hagar.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian L
your husband is so gay.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiberace
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is my favourite Van Halen album bar none. I love a lot of Dave's stuff, don't get me wrong, but Poundcake and Runaround are a double punch that's hard to beat. I loved seeing the Dave VH live, but I regret that I'll never see Van Hagar now.
July 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

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