Having just heard the sad news about the passing of Hugh Hefner, we wondered if the band had ever toured the Playboy Mansion. No news on that, but we were surprised to find that in February 2015, Playboy’s website ranked every Van Halen song.
That’s right … Jordan Hoffman from Playboy took on the gargantuan task of ranking every single Van Halen song ever recorded, sparing no details. This is the single best article we’ve ever read ranking all Van Halen’s songs (Okay, it’s probably the ONLY article we’ve ever read which ranks all their songs!) All the Dave. All the Sammy. All the Gary.
The classic lineup, Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Alex Van Halen on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and first among equals in the backing harmonies, and David Lee Roth as frontman was a recipe for perfection. They were the link from 70s guitar rock to 80s metal, but with a real emphasis on musicianship. Dave is a goof, but he hit those falsettos better than anyone. Eddie wasn’t just a speed demon, he was a whiz with technique and feel and had an alchemist’s delight with effects. For power and alacrity I say Alex holds his own against titans like John Bonham and Neal Peart. The only frontmen with more charisma than David Lee Roth were Mick Jagger, Freddie Mercury or Ozzy Osbourne. None had his sense of humor. Van Halen spawned a million boring imitators, but you can’t fault them for that. It only makes them sound better by comparison.
Something important to consider: Most of these songs are great. It’s only Balance and the Cherone album III that suck. So, if you see a tune that you like and it is ranked #68, that doesn’t mean it is a bad song. It only means that there are 67 that are greater!
With that, let’s ease the seat back, doodle “VH” on our binders and commence counting down Every Van Halen Song Ever.
Not only did this Playboy guy write 138 song reviews, he embedded 138 videos, so you can listen along as you read.
So what are you waiting for? Read the article on Playboy.com.