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.
The History of Eddie Van Halen's 12 Most Famous Guitars
The famous Frankenstrat is one of the many instruments the guitar wizard has played and designed.
Wolfgang Van Halen Says Fans' Sam vs. Dave War Is 'Dumb'
Bassist plays peacemaker again, telling fans to stop arguing over band's famous singers.
25 Years Ago: Van Halen Chronicle Balance Tour With Pay-Per-View
The final tour of the band's original Sammy Hagar era was professionally filmed.
How Van Halen Brought a Hamburger to Life in 'Better Off Dead'
Band's 1980 hit soundtracked an animated sequence from the John Cusack movie.
Van Halen Album Art: The Stories Behind 14 Different Covers
LP images occasionally offered clues to the band's struggles and personality conflicts.
Patty Smyth Turned Down Van Halen Because They Drank Too Much
Band's hard-partying ways were part of why the Scandal singer turned down the job.
25 Years Ago: 'Not Enough' Ends Van Halen's Hot 100 Streak
Van Halen's days as mainstream hit makers ended with this 1995 ballad.
Every David Lee Roth-Era Van Halen Song Sammy Hagar Sang: 1986-04
Watch Van Halen's second singer tackle songs from the group's original lineup.
Which Songs Have Van Halen Played the Most in Concert?
David Lee Roth-era cuts dominate the list, but Sammy Hagar and even Gary Cherone make an impact.