Van Halen III was released 11 years ago today, on March 17th, 1998.
The album is considered to be the only disappointing Van Halen album ever made, but the tour was another story.
The 1998 tour was the second Van Halen tour when Eddie was clean and sober. While many fans didn’t think Gary Cherone was a good fit for Van Halen, most fans who caught a concert that year loved it. The tour was known for a couple things. Eddie’s playing was flawless on that tour, due to his sobriety and also his overall happiness. That showed itself during the live show as he was completely on top of his game, and jumped around throughout the show with his patented “Flying Eddie” scissor-kick jumps.
While Cherone was not fully embraced by the Van Halen fan base, he was appreciated for resurrecting many David Lee Roth-era gems that had remained buried during the Sammy Hagar years. Fans were treated to many songs that had gone unplayed throughout Hagar’s tenure with the band, including guitar showcases such as “Mean Street”, “Romeo Delight”, “Dance the Night Away” and “Feel Your Love Tonight”. The band even performed “Somebody Get Me a Doctor” with Michael Anthony on lead vocals – a move that was so well received that it remained part of the setlist when Hagar returned for the 2004 tour. Indeed, Cherone’s greatest achievement with Van Halen might have been his decision to play many of the old VH classics. The entire Van Halen catalog has never been as well represented as it was on the Van Halen III tour. It really is the best mix of the Hagar and Roth years that has ever been performed, and of course, it was the only tour to feature material from the III album.
Here’s three rare treats from 1998:
“That’s Why I Love You” (UNRELEASED demo put to rare footage) by Sphen5150:
“Fire In The Hole” (LIVE audio put to rare footage) by Sphen5150:
“This is taken from the broadcast of MTV’s live at the 10 Spot, recorded by my self back in 1998 off of television. It is mixed with amateur and other various footage. I have re mastered the audio as well. I hope you enjoy.
“Dance The Night Away/Feel Your Love Tonight” (LIVE) by 5150EVH5150: Forgive me for the bad audio-video match, but to match Gary Cherone era clips to classic Roth is tough. This is from the VHIII Tour, and despite most opinions about Gary, he kicked ass on this one.