Seeing that Van Halen somehow managed to NOT cancel their show tonight at American Airlines Center, I decided to go through the band's catalogue and come up with a couple of lists. First comes the bad, and then comes the diamonds in the poo-poo.
The Five Worst Van Halen Songs
1. "Hot for Teacher" Van Halen always catered to the lowest common denominator of middle school boys, but this song always struck me as particularly stupid. Plus, it could have inspired Mary Kay Letourneau.
2. "Eruption" If I only had a dollar for every band dude who has told me, "You've got to hear our guitarist. He can almost play 'Eruption'."
3. "Dancing in the Streets" Why do bands cover this song?
4. "Jump" The cool chorus was instantly made limp by the most simplistic synthesizer riff in the history of rock music.
5. Any song sung by Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone
The Five Most Underrated Van Halen Songs
1. "Could This Be Magic?" Acoustic Van Halen? Sacrilege back in the day, but this song from Women and Children First holds up just fine today.
2. "Sunday Afternoon in the Park" From Fair Warning. Eddie goes progressive rock and it kind of, sort of works. A dark precursor of things to come and there's not a single Diamond Dave yelp to be heard.
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3. "Light up the Sky" One of the highlights of the disappointing Van Halen II. I could be wrong, but this song actually shows, God help me, a little restraint.
4. "I'll Wait" This new wave ditty from 1984 would have made a great outtake from Soft Cell.
5. "House of Pain" The final cut from 1984 showed the band could still rock. The (at the time) last shout from David Lee Roth and, for me, the end of Van Halen.