Although it didn't feature much in the way of hit singles and was perhaps Van Halen's first commercially disappointing album, 1981's 'Fair Warning' has long enjoyed a special place in fans' hearts as Eddie Van Halen's dark masterpiece.
Bookended by two absolutely jaw-dropping displays of instrumental mastery -- the unaccompanied opening flurry of 'Mean Street' and the "don't let it end yet" fade-out solo of 'One Foot Out the Door' -- the record clearly succeeds primarily on the talent and vision of the most influential guitarist of his era.
But his drumming brother Alex, bassist and backup vocalist supreme Michael Anthony and charismatic frontman David Lee Roth are all on top of their games as well, making this downright nasty album a must-hear litmus test for any fan of hard rock.
The record is most famous for the immortal 'Unchained,' but its highlights also include the blistering 1-2-3 opening salvo of 'Mean Street,' 'Dirty Movies' and 'Sinner's Swing,' as well as the moody 'Hear About it Later' and 'Push Comes to Shove.' We stared at our ballot for about an hour, and finally chose the aforementioned opening track as our vote for Best Van Halen 'Fair Warning' song -- how about you?