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Van Halen

Van Halen

When Van Halen released their self-titled debut album in 1978, fans hadn’t heard a guitar hero with such singular style since Jimi Hendrix shuffled off onto his final experience. Eddie Van Halen did things with his guitar that didn’t seem humanly possible – he could make it hum like a helicopter one minute and crush like a bulldozer the next. Backed by one of the hardest bands to ever plug in and turn the amps to 11, Eddie wasn’t Van Halen’s only star. With singer David Lee Roth at the mic, the group had a natural showman who wrapped 70 years’ worth of stage entertainment into one motor-mouthed fireball. Following ‘1984,’ which introduced synths to the group’s arsenal of instruments, Roth quit the band and was replaced by Sammy Hagar, a rock-music vet who gave the group some much needed melodic thrust and provided them with a series of hit records.

Donaldson Collection, Getty Images
Donaldson Collection, Getty Images

35 Years Ago: Van Halen Begin the ‘Fair Warning’ Tour

Van Halen began a relatively short six-month run of shows in support of 'Fair Warning' on May 12, 1981.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

35 Years Ago: Van Halen Get Dark and Aggressive on ‘Fair Warning’

As Van Halen entered the studio to record their fourth album, they were well on their way to becoming one of the world's biggest rock bands.

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Warner Bros. Records
Warner Bros. Records

How Van Halen Jumped Over the Edge With Their Third Album, ‘Women and Children First’

Van Halen released 'Women and Children First' in March 1980.

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Ethan Miller / Larry Marano, Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Larry Marano, Getty Images

Sammy Hagar Downplays Van Halen Reunion Talk: ‘I Just Want to Be Friends’

Sammy Hagar discussed the conditions under which he would consider re-joining Van Halen.

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Ebet Roberts, Getty Images
Ebet Roberts, Getty Images

Sammy Hagar Ponders: What If ‘Van Hagar’ Never Broke Up?

Sammy Hagar says his first departure from Van Halen was a big mistake on the band's part.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

30 Years Ago: Van Halen Start the Sammy Hagar Era With ‘5150’

The future of Van Halen might have appeared to be in doubt after David Lee Roth left the band in 1985, but they quickly rebounded with new singer Sammy Hagar.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Story of Van Halen’s Second Album, ‘Van Halen II’

"The '80s are coming and we're going to be the soundtrack. We're here to blow the bugles and jump on the horns and whistle it all in and usher it down the road and round the stretch and across the finish line."

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

The Troubled History of Van Halen’s ‘III’ With New Singer Gary Cherone

On March 17, 1998, Van Halen's recording career hit its first (and so far only) road bump with the release of III, an album that debuted their third singer, former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone...

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Geffen Records
Geffen Records

How Sammy Hagar’s ‘Unboxed’ LP Led to Van Halen’s Split

Sammy Hagar adds two new songs to a solo-career greatest hits collection, leading to a dispute with his Van Halen bandmates.

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YouTube
YouTube

The Story of Van Halen’s Injury-Plagued ‘Balance’ Tour

Early 1995 found Van Halen heading back out on the road with a No. 1 album on the chart — but trouble was brewing.

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