Today marks the 20th anniversary of Van Halen III, the only Van Halen album with Gary Cherone at the vocal helm. The album was released in the U.S. on 03/17/98 and in Japan about a week earlier. It was certified gold on 08/19/98. Over 550,000 copies have been sold in the U.S.
The cover was picked by Alex, who considered it extremely funny.
Mike Post was picked by Gary to produce the album. He was brought in to oversee recording in April 1997, and on 09/30/97 the album was done.
Eddie used dozens of guitars on this album, testing hundreds of ways to record them. He also tried out his new 5150 II prototype amps for the album.
- Without You
- One I Want
- From Afar
- Dirty Water Dog
- Fire in the Hole
- Year to the Day
- Ballot or the Bullet
- How Many Say I
The tour: The album is considered to be the only disappointing Van Halen album ever made, but the tour was another story. 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. Cherone 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.
Unreleased song: III is the only Van Halen album in which a fully recorded unreleased song leaked to the public. In the months following the album’s release, some advance copies of the album leaked to the public and are now in the hands of collectors. These discs, which were made for Warner Bros personel only, were identical to the released version except for one thing: the track “Josephina” was missing, and in it’s place was the unreleased song “That’s Why I Love You”.
You can listen to the unreleased song below. Do you think Van Halen III would have been better received if it contained the song “That’s Why I Love You”?