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.
Van Halen's 'Fair Warning': A Track-by-Track Guide
Band's 1981 album remains its darkest work, but it's also a fan favorite.
Van Halen Longboxes and Deluxe Packages: Photo Gallery
Band's first nine albums were all released in the now-extinct packaging format.
How 'Humans Being' Spelled Disaster for Van Halen and Sammy Hagar
Their initial 11-year association ended slowly, and then all at once.
Sammy Hagar 'Would Have Been Embarrassed' to Be in 'Van Hagar'
Singer recalls record-label executive suggesting name change during band meeting.
Why Van Halen Didn't Change Band Names When Sammy Hagar Joined
David Lee Roth's replacement eventually helped the group to four consecutive chart-topping albums.
Sammy Hagar Regrets ‘Angst’ About Van Halen in His Memoir
Former frontman wishes he’d “been a little more conservative” 10 years ago.
Why Van Halen’s ‘5150’ Made Steel Panther’s Satchel Mad
Guitarist thinks he formed his band to avoid “growing and evolving” like his heroes.
Dreams: Imagining Van Halen's '5150' With David Lee Roth
Let's make some educated guesses based on history and artistic trajectories – and a little bit of wishful thinking.
Who Cares if Eddie Van Halen's Grammy Tribute Was Kind of Short?
Guitar legend died last October after a long battle with cancer.