After burning through most of the bountiful collection of pre-record deal demos and song ideas on their first two albums, the big question was whether Van Halen could write new material that would keep their hot critical and commercial streak going. 1980's 'Women and Children First' gave a quick answer: No %$#@* problem.
The cheekily-titled album found the band stretching out with longer, more expansive material. The distorted keyboard (which many people assumed was guitar) of 'And the Cradle Will Rock' and the tribal drums of 'Everybody Wants Some!!' made a powerful album opening one-two punch.
Both songs are staples of the band's live sets to this day, and for a long time the frenzied 'Romeo Delight' was used to open Van Halen shows. In fact, much like Led Zeppelin's second album, 'Women and Children First' seems to replicate the pacing of a really excellent live concert. (Which we would kill to attend.)
OK, enough rhapsodizing -- there's a lot more great albums to discuss - which song on 'Women and Children First' do you think stands above the rest?