Best Van Halen Albums

The Top Ten
1 Van Halen

The first was awesome! Great listening album, party album, or just driving around looking cool album. Every song is good, but "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "Ice Cream Man" ruled.

The first time I heard "Eruption" was like discovering music all over again!

Basically like a greatest hits album. Other than the last track, the album is perfect. What a debut from a band who was hungry and trying to make a name for themselves. They've made so many great records, but none could touch the debut.

One of the best debuts. Not since a band like Led Zeppelin or Bad Company had there been a debut album that just announced the band. Every song stands out. Only Atomic Punk and On Fire do I find weak, but by no means bad.

2 1984

Best album of all time, in my opinion. Just:

1. 1984 (just cool synthesizer intro for the album and Jump) 10/10
2. Jump (awesome one, really catchy) 10/10
3. Panama (my favorite song of all time) 11/10
4. Top Jimmy (also really good and fast-paced) 10/10
5. Drop Dead Legs (really cool, as good as Top Jimmy) 10/10
6. Hot for Teacher (second best in 1984)
7. I'll Wait (awesome)
8. Girl Gone Bad (REALLY good)
9. House of Pain (great closer to a great album)

1984 to me is Van Halen's #1. HOWEVER, if Hot for Teacher isn't on this album, 5150 is in the #1 spot. 1984 clearly has the better songs in Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher, and I'll Wait.

While the other five songs are definitely good, they just don't measure up to the other half of the album, and definitely not to the songs on 5150.

3 5150

While the loss of a legendary frontman like Diamond Dave was detrimental, the band gained a guitar player and songwriter who could write songs that made sense in Sammy Hagar. Many of the songs written in the Roth era made many people stop and wonder what the song was even about.

This album was the first step Van Halen took to becoming a band with lyrical clarity. While I believe that Roth was a better frontman and performer, I think Hagar wrote better lyrics.

Songs like 5150 and Summer Nights show that the band can mesh together and have a good overall sound while showcasing the different talents of each member. Eddie kills on the guitar, Alex showcases his monster skills on the drums, and Michael creates a strong bass foundation.

It's a close tie with 1984, but in my opinion, 5150 just barely wins out.

4 Fair Warning

Mean Street, best riff, great drums. Dirty Movies is twisted and funky. Hear About It Later is just beautiful. Unchained is a top 5 VH song. The guitar tone is stellar, more great drums.

Push Comes to Shove is always a favorite, with my favorite Eddie Van Halen solo, showing more tricks, more smoothly, than any other. The rest of the album is great fun, but I'm rambling.

Eddie at his best. Most twisted lyrics. Dark and heavy.

With lyrics like, "Daddy's little angel after some damn rainbow - got the big deal in the back of a limo!" "You'll get some leg tonight for sure!" and "Baby's on the corner and she's looking' so fine," how can you go wrong?

5 For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

The boys finally dumped the synthesizer and got back to the guitar. Eddie's guitar playing here, in my opinion, was his best ever. Don't freak out, "Eruption" and "Mean Street" fans. We are talking albums here and not solos.

The power drill on "Poundcake" is outstanding and innovative. "Runaround's" solo is sublime, and "Right Now" and "Top of the World" make this the band's Hagar era masterpiece and peak. Even the lesser songs, "In 'N' Out," "The Dream Is Over," and "Man on a Mission," all rock.

"Pleasure Dome" is an undervalued classic and Anthony's best bass playing ever. I love this album, and not because of the cool title either!

6 Van Halen II

I agree with the last comment that this album should be higher. VH1 and VH2 should be ranked 1 and 2 respectively. I give the nod to VH1 because it was such a great debut that signaled the end of '70s disco and ballads to a more stripped-down arena rock vibe.

But VH2 is a close second. Eddie's guitar work blew everyone away, causing many young teenagers to buy their first guitar and dream of being rock stars.

Van Halen II is a killer album. In my opinion, it is even better than Van Halen, and that is saying a lot.

A top-class album! Just like their debut, there is no filler here. All tracks are rockingly strong. Classic!

7 Women And Children First

Most bands hit their stride with their second or third albums. While the first two are great, I truly believe that Van Halen was at the top of the mountain with Women and Children First.

Highlights include In a Simple Rhyme, Everybody Wants Some!!, and Tora! Tora! /Loss of Control.

It gets lost among more mainstream releases, but I think this is their best overall record. Brilliant riffs, DLR sounding the most insane of his career.

This one jumps through the speakers at you. Hard, melodic, and nuts!

This is my favorite because it's the least commercial. No big radio hits here. Just great songwriting!

8 OU812

You have to admit that they have a sense of humor with this album because they do two albums named after years then, Oh! You ate one too?

Come on, this is way too low. Cabo Wabo, Black and Blue, and Source of Infection are three of Eddie's best. This is a very underrated album. Should be on top, followed by Fair Warning.

Every song flows together perfectly.

9 Diver Down

I love all Van Halen albums. Besides Happy Trails at the end, there are no fillers. Greatest Van Halen album at the peak of their powers.

10 Balance

Just a strong listen from beginning to end. Don't Tell Me should be getting airplay to this day, but for some reason, it doesn't. This CD did not leave my car for well over a year.

Hands down their strongest album. Eddie's playing shows a new level of maturity. Every song on this album has more depth than every Roth song they ever recorded.

Sammy's vocals and Eddie's playing make this an outstanding album from beginning to end. Anthony's bass is second to not many. Alex - enough said!

The Contenders
11 A Different Kind of Truth

Eddie shreds better than ever. Alex delivers loud, thundering drums. Wolfgang plays a mean bass line (and delivers great backups), and Dave writes classic lyrics and still sings like he used to!

One of their best!

You can't deny that this is a great album. It's their newest work with David Lee Roth, and it's got to be one of their best yet. Sure, it's not as good as 1984 or the debut, but it's still a great piece. It's got to be on the list.

You and Your Blues is definitely one of my favorite Van Halen songs! I love the solo, the lyrics, and the bass! If this isn't in your collection, err... It should be.

12 Best of Volume I
13 Tokyo Dome Live in Concert
14 Live: Right Here, Right Now
15 Van Halen III

It's better than "A Different Kind of Truth" for sure. It's not a top 10, but it deserves to be higher than "A Different Kind of Truth" and "Tokyo Dome."

16 Best of Both Worlds

Best of Both Worlds is the best of all worlds. Roth is truly memorable, and Hagar shreds. The new tracks on this album are serious contenders with the original songs. Eddie still proves to me (and every other Van Halen fan) that he can play guitar upside down should the situation call for it.

I love this. You'll never find a more complete selection of great hard rock.

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