Is Van Halen’s “Best Of Both Worlds” Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar at their best? The Professor of Rock thinks so. In fact, he thinks it should have been a massive hit.
In his latest video (above) Adam Reader aka The Professor of Rock argues that, although it was a popular rock radio single, “Best Of Both Worlds” had the potential to be another huge crossover hit from Van Halen’s hit-heavy 1986 album ‘5150’, which spawned three Billboard Hot 100 singles – “Why Can’t This Be Love” (#3), “Dreams” (#22), and “Love Walks In” (#22).
The Professor said, “After three serious singles about love and dreams their fourth single [“Best Of Both Worlds”] was released and it was an absolute balls to the wall, upper cut to the senses, heart stopping rocker! It’s one of my favorites of the Eddie and Sammy era.”
“This song should have been a number one on the rock charts,” continued The Professor. “It should have gone at least top ten on the Hot 100. It’s such a ball buster.”
Later in the video Hagar gave the story behind the creation of “Best Of Both Worlds” saying the lyrics came to him while in the shower.
“Ed had that written musically and he was noodlin’ around with the vocal [but] he didn’t have words, and I didn’t like it,” said Hagar. “He played it for me and I said, ‘Man I really dig this riff but I don’t wanna sing that. I couldn’t tell you what it was but it wasn’t memorable. I listened to it, I’d sing and jam a little bit, I didn’t have a chorus, and I went in my house and I jumped in the shower about two in the morning. I got in the friggin’ shower and I went, [SINGS] ‘I WANT THE BEST…OF!’ I just said, ‘DAMN!’ I had to jump out of the shower and dry and I’m tryin’ to get paper that’s wet and find a pencil.
“[In the lyrics] I started talkin’ about things that I had seen at the Loevre in Paris,” Hagar added. “I saw this photograph that just touched my heart just so hard. I felt like that was my mother in a past life in this painting. I just started talkin’ about all that stuff. I just got so excited. That song was inspired man. I stayed up all night, I couldn’t sleep. I finished it, went in [the studio] the next day and said, ‘Play that track, man. Play that’. When I started singin’ ‘Best Of Both Worlds’ I saw the guys in the control room and they jumped up in the air, threw their hands in the air, I mean people were fuckin’ goin’ craaazy. It was really, really awesome. ”
Van Halen – “Best Of Both Worlds”:
The Professor also noted that, as good as the studio version is, the version of “Best Of Both Worlds” from the band’s live concert video “Live Without A Net” is even better.
“This is such a fun song to watch live,’ he said. “Watching Eddie and Sammy and Michael Anthony just jamming together is just pure bliss. They were having such a great time together. You watch it and it just gives you goosebumps. It makes the hair on your neck stand straight up.
“This is exactly what rock and roll is all about and exactly what’s missing from mainstream modern music,” he continued. “I watch it now, of course, with a touch of sadness due to losing the genius Eddie and the fact that this kind of chemistry used to be so prevalent in the music of the 60s, 70s, 80s and some of this 90s is just not there,” he continued. “They miss the entire point of the power of live music played by real players with real talent.”
You’re preaching to the choir Professor…