Many Van Halen fans were understandably skeptical when it was announced that the band was going to continue without charismatic frontman David Lee Roth following his 1985 departure from the group.
But with 1986's '5150' Van Halen proved they knew what they were doing when they hired Sammy Hagar, even if the result was a markedly different, more mature version of everybody's favorite party band.
After the success of 'Jump' and 'I'll Wait,' and with "Diamond Dave" gone, there was no stopping Eddie Van Halen from using his keyboards, which featured on nearly half of the new album's tracks.
Some traditionalists checked out on their first listen to the synth-pop introductory single 'Why Can't This Be Love,' but an even larger wave of fans eagerly took their place, giving the band their first-ever No. 1 album. (Granted, only Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' kept '1984' from that coveted spot.)
The album also features the soaring anthem 'Dreams' and Van Halen's first flat-out pop ballad, 'Love Walks In.' Don't worry, there's plenty of riff-rock, like the bawdy 'Good Enough' and the propulsive self-help guide 'Get Up.'
Perhaps most impressive are the more laid-back, sophisticated and confident rock songs toward the end of the album -- 'Summer Nights,' '5150' and in particular, the dynamic and truly inspired 'Best of Both Worlds.' OK, we've tipped our hand again, it's probably pretty obvious which song we're voting for - how about you?