Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love is the fourth track on Van Halen.

The Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love single was released in 1978 with Runnin’ With The Devil as a B-Side.

Eddie felt this song was the “lamest” song he had ever written. It took him six months to work up the nerve to show it to the rest of the band. It appears on the albums Van Halen, Best of Volume 1 and Live: Right Here, Right Now.

This song was originally written, as was Loss of Control, to poke fun at the emerging punk scene.

The song was written in one day in the basement of David Lee Roth’s parents’ home in 1977 (along with the unreleased tune Bullethead). Dave’s house was often used as a rehearsal space.

A Coral electric sitar was used to double Eddie’s solo.

The song has also been played for many years at Gillette Stadium whenever the New England Patriots are able to force an interception or recover a fumble.

2 Live Crew sampled a riff from this song without permission for their 1990 song The Fuck Shop and was subsequently sued by Van Halen, who sought $300,000 for copyright infringement. The suit was filed on 12/17/90.

From Guitar World:

Much as Slash has gone on record saying that his legendary guitar intro to “Sweet Child O’ Mine” was written as a joke, Eddie Van Halen has downplayed “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” as “just a stupid thing. Just two chords.” But to paraphrase Spinal Tap, there’s a fine line between stupid and clever. And this classic cut from Van Halen’s 1978 debut (as well as Slashe’s work on “Sweet Child,” for that matter) falls firmly into the latter category.

“Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” was one of the last songs ever written for Van Halen, and Eddie originally conceived the straightforward, two-chord basher (the majority of the song follows a basic Am-G chord progression) as a knock on the then-burgeoning punk movement. But apparently “punk rock” as played by Eddie Van Halen includes an opening riff built on heavily palm-muted, arpeggiated cords, a third-verse breakdown filled with chiming harmonics, and a hooky, almost vocal – like guitar solo that, on the album version, Eddie doubled with a Coral electric sitar. Of playing the sitar, he recalls, “It sounded like a buzzy-fretted guitar. The thing was a real bizarre.”

In the end, perhaps the joke was on Ed, as “Love” has gone on to become one of Van Halen’s most iconic tunes. In addition to being a classic-rock radio staple, it’s been played on almost every tour band has done with Roth. And in perhaps an even greater testament to its popularity, it was one of the few DLR-era songs that remained in live sets during the Sammy Hagar years.

Isolated Guitar Track:


I heard the news baby, all about your disease
Yeah you may have all you want, baby, but I got somethin’ you need
Oh yeah, ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, yeah before
You know you’re semi-good lookin’, and on the streets again
Oh yeah you think you’re really cookin’ baby, you better find yourself a friend
My friend, ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, uh before, uh before, before
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Babe it’s rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, uh before
I been to the edge, an’ there I stood an’ looked down
You know I lost a lot of friends there baby, I got no time to mess around
Mmmm, so if you want it got to bleed for it baby
Yeah, got to got to bleed baby
Mmmm, you got to got to bleed baby
Hey, got to got to bleed baby
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, before, before
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Don’t wanna talk about love
Don’t need to talk about love
Ain’t gonna talk about love, no more, no more, ah
Hey Hey Hey
Hey Hey Hey
[Repeat til outro]