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Van Halen's original lineup. Left to Right:Alex Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony.

Van Halen is an American Hard Rock band formed in 1974 in Pasadena, California under the name of Mammoth. The group's currnet lineup is Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Alex Van Halen on drums, David Lee Roth on vocals and Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. They are the 19th best selling band/ artist ever with over 56 million albums sold in the U.S. and over 80 million worldwide, with their debut album being the most successful, achieving diamond status, or 10 million sales. On March 12, 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock n' Roll hall of fame.

Roth EraEdit

After Michael Anthony joined the band in 1974, the band started to achieve more success. At first they simply played backyard shows, but started playing in clubs all across Pasadena and Hollywood. They tried to get a gig at the popular Gazzari's, but owner Bill Gazzari found them to be "too loud". They eventually did get gigs there when their new managers settled the deal. Van Halen eventually began playing at clubs like Starwood and Whiskey-a-go-go, when eventually a journalist for a rock magazine told Gene simmons to go see this band, and Simmons ended up producing Van halen a demo tape. Unfortunately, Simmons wanted Van halen to change their name to "Daddy Shortlegs" and other KISS members thought they had no chance, so Simmons stopped helping out with their development.

Later in 1977, Mo Ostid and Ted Templeman saw Van halen perform and thought they were great, so they offered them a recording contract. In October 1977, their debut album, Van Halen, was recorded and it was released in 1978. It was an instant success, and topping #19 on the Billboard pop music charts, it is one of the most successful rock debut albums to date. The band did almost a year of touring, mainly opening Black Sabbath. The band finally recorded and released their second album, Van Halen II. It contained the single "Dance The Night Away".

The band spent the next few years releasing albums and touring. Their third album, Women and Children First, was successful and cemented their reputation. However, in 1981, while recording Fair Warning, David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen weren't exactly on the same side. Eddie wanted more serious and complex songs, but Roth had too much of a poppy style. Fair Warning wasn't very successful, especially when compared to teh previous 3.

Luckily, Diver Down was much more successful and Van Halen became more popular. They got a world record for highest paid single appearance of a band, where they achieved $1.5 million in sales. Later in 1984, Eddie and Alex wrote and recorded several instrumentals for the movie The Wild Life'.

The band's next album, 1984, was a huge success and one of two albums to reach diamond status. It was recorded in Eddie Van Halen's 5150 home studio. It contained such hits as "Jump", "Panama", "Hot For Teacher" and "I'll Wait". Jump was Van Halen's first #1 pop hit. The album was #2 on the billboard charts only to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Of course, this album was also the point of the first major break-up in their career. in the midst of the 1984 tour, tensions between the members reached a high. The argument was mainly between Eddie and Dave. Similar to 1981, Eddie was sick of Dave's "poppyness" but Dave was mad Eddie did musical work with other artists without checking out with the band. (Gosh, Dave. Alex & Mikey didn't care.)

Roth, however had a successful solo career and continued to release many hit singles.

Hagar EraEdit

After Eddie was denied by Patty Smyth to be lead singer, he ran into Sammy Hagar, former member of the band Montrose. Hagar's solo career was rather successful, he agreed to join and became singer and rhythm guitarist. Their 1st album together, 5150 was a huge success and was their first #1 album on the billboard charts.

AlbumsEdit

Van Halen has released 11 studio albums so far and are going to release a 12th in 2011. They've released one live album.

Van Halen (1978)Edit

Van Halen's debut album, Van Halen is also their most successful, reaching diamond status in 1999. It features the hits "Runnin' With The Devil", "Eruption", a cover of "You Really Got Me" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love". Eruption set a new standard in rock guitar playing, with its use of tapping and was played quite frequently live throughout Van Halen's career and is still commonly played. 9 of 11 songs on the album were featured in Guitar Hero: Van Halen, the band's licensed game.

Van Halen II (1979)Edit

Not as successful as Van Halen, Van Halen II contained the hits "Dance The Night Away" and "Beautiful Girls".

Woman and Children First (1980)Edit

Even less popular, this album contained only one hit, "And the Cradle Will Rock...". It as well contains the track "Growth", put at the end of the final song, "In A Simple Rhyme". Growth was supposed to be on the opening song on the album Fair Warning.

Fair Warning (1981)Edit

This album was at the time the band's slowest selling and contained two hits, "So This is Love" and "Unchained". Although it was very slow-selling, it is many fans' favourite album. The cover art is the painting "The Maze" by Canadian artist William Kurulek.

Diver Down (1983)Edit

This album contained 3 hits and 5 covers, including "(Oh) Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. Like Fair Warning, it is also a fan favourite.

1984 (1984)Edit

A very popular album, this was Van Halen's 2nd diamond status album and was David Lee Roth's last album with the band. It contained some of Van Halen's most famous songs, including "Jump" and "Hot For Teacher", which is well-known for its drum intro.

5150 (1986)Edit

5150 was Van Halen's first album with new singer Sammy Hagar. It was Hagar's most successful album with the band, featuring the hit "Why Can't This Be Love".

OU812 (1988)Edit

OU812 was Sammy Hagar's second album with Van Halen. It is considered to be much more "poppy" than any other Van Halen album to date.

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991)Edit

Known for the hit "Poundcake" which featured a power drill opening and "Right Now", this album wasn't as successful, yet still did well.

Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993)Edit

Van Halen's first and only live album, Live: Right Here Right Now featured hits from 5150, OU812 and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge as well as several Roth era songs including "Panama" and "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love". It also included a cover of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and Sammy Hagar's song "There's Only One Way To Rock." It was recorded in Fresno, California.

Balance (1995)Edit

Van Halen III (1998)Edit

The only album released by Gary Cherone, many people's least favourite Van Halen singer. It contained the hit "Fire In The Hole".

LineupEdit

1972: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and vocals, Alex Van Halen; Drums, Mark Stone; Bass. Please note the band was known as Mammoth in this time period.

1972: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar, David Lee Roth; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Mark Stone; Bass. By htis time, the name had been changed to Van Halen.

1974: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, David Lee Roth; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass and backing vocals.

1985: Eddie Van Halen; lead guita and keyboards, Sammy Hagar; vocals and guitar, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass and backing vocals.

1996: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, David Lee Roth; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass and backing vocals.

1996: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, Gary Cherone; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass and backing vocals.

1999: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass and backing vocals.

2003: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, Sammy Hagar; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Michael Anthony; bass.

2005: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, Sammy Hagar; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Wolfgang Van Halen; bass.

2006: Eddie Van Halen; lead guitar and keyboards, David Lee Roth; vocals, Alex Van Halen; drums, Wolfgang Van Halen; bass.

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