Thursday, May 25, 2017

Van Halen's Five Most Underrated Songs with Sammy Hagar

Van Halen's OU812 album celebrated its 29th birthday on May 24, so we figured we'd take a look at some of the band's most underrated songs from the Sammy Hagar era - tracks that weren't big hits like "When It's Love" and "Why Can't this be Love?". With Hagar, Van Halen recorded four studio albums that all went to No. 1 on the charts. Here are five of the most underrated songs with Hagar on vocals:

Humans Being (single from the Twister Soundtrack)

Released in 1996 for the Twister soundtrack, "Humans Being" has a heavy, alternative rock edge, with that classic Van Halen melody and harmony during the chorus. It was the last recording with Sammy Hagar before he left the band in June 1996. The acrimony between the Van Halen brothers and Hagar (that started during writing the Balance album) was showing when they wrote this song as evidenced by the fact the bros. didn't like Hagar's original lyrics ("Sky turning black/knuckles turning white/headed for the suck zone") and he had to come up with new words. All in all, it's a fantastic song at a time when Hagar was about to quit.

Source of Infection (from OU812)

An all-out rocker, "Source of Infection" is Van Hagar at their best, with phenomenal harmonies, Eddie Van Halen delivering a mega riff, and Sammy Hagar screaming madly about sex. Eddie's first solo harkens back to the sound of the bands early albums, complete with a vintage pick scrapeto cap it off, as the band powers back into the infectious chorus. Interestingly, Hagar was somewhat unhappy with the song because of the lame and "politically incorrect" lyrics, but noted the band didn't care.

Feelin' (from Balance)

The last song on Balance, "Feelin" is a stellar Van Halen power ballad with lyrics that might depict Hagar's mindset at the time about being in Van Halen as he noted everytime he said black, Eddie said white and they couldn't agree on anything. The solo is fantastic as Alex kicks it into double time, no rhythm guitar overdubs. A keyboard (string?) section over the last section adds a dark mood to what is a stellar song.

Seventh Seal (from Balance)

The opening track on the Balance record, "Seventh Seal" has a certain groove to it really makes the song a standout from the Sammy Hagar era. Part of that groove comes from Eddie's amazing ability to play rhythm guitar so smoothly as you can hear from that amazing opening riff. It's one of a very few Van Halen songs with no guitar solo.

5150 (from 5150)

Just a wicked song that doesn't seem to get enough love from fans. Hagar had just joined and you can tell things were going very well as they wrote this amazing song. Eddie's main riff is loose and fun, while Hagar contributed some stellar lyrics: "Always one more You're never satisfied. Share one for all with you it's only one for me. So why draw the line and meet you half the way when you don't know what that means." And you can't say enough about the blistering solo Eddie delivers. "5150" is a song that's best played loud.

Check out the five most underrated Van Halen songs with David Lee Roth


  1. Eds first song he EVER wrote was the Seventh Seal. He just waited till 95 to record it.

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  3. While the song may seem really short while just listening to it, four minutes can seem like an eternity when all eyes are on you. If the song you have picked is a ten-minute ballad, eventmanagement consider cutting it down to a more realistic length for your first dance (this goes for any of your wedding songs).

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