Clash of the Titans – ‘Beautiful Girls’ by Van Halen vs. ‘Summer Nights’ by Van Halen
Every rock 'n' roll fan is different, but we all have one thing in common: We never, ever get tired of arguing about whether David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar was the best Van Halen frontman. (Sorry, Gary.)
So it's only natural that we should dedicate an installment of Clash of the Titans to that age-old Sammy vs. Dave debate, and that's what we're doing here — specifically by pitting the Van Halen II track "Beautiful Girls" against "Summer Nights," one of the songs the band recorded for 1986's 5150, its first album with Hagar.
Dave struck first in this fight, with Van Halen II arriving in the spring of 1979 and outdoing its predecessor on the Billboard album chart, peaking at No. 6 and turning "Dance the Night Away" into a No. 15 hit single. "Beautiful Girls" didn't fare as well, running out of steam at No. 84, but it proved a solid rock hit, and enjoyed a prime spot in the set list during Roth's tenure with the band.
After Dave departed to pursue a solo career, Sammy stepped in, and the rest was multi-platinum history, with 5150 becoming the first in a series of four consecutive No. 1 studio albums. One of five singles from the LP to score on the Album Rock Tracks chart, "Summer Nights" helped open a new chapter in Van Halen history — and although "Nights" wasn't a pop hit, it also proved a reliable concert staple, showing up in the set list as early as Hagar's first show with the band.
So which Van Halen frontman gets your vote in this Clash of the Titans? You can cast your ballot once every hour between now and 11:59PM ET on Feb. 22. Check out both songs below.
Listen to Van Halen, "Beautiful Girls"
Listen to Van Halen, "Summer Nights"
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