On this day in 1998 Van Halen released the single “Without You”, the very first to feature Gary Cherone on lead vocals. The track debuted at number one on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Yet, when Van Halen released their Best Of Both Worlds compilation in 2004, “Without You” was not included among the 36 “best” Van Halen tracks. Should it have been?
Let’s first go with the argument for not including “Without You” on a Van Halen “best of”. With an album title of Best Of Both Worlds, it’s pretty obvious that the band was going to focus on the Dave and Sammy eras only. Adding a song from a third era of the band might seem a little odd. Plus, with the backlash that 1998’s Van Halen III album received from fans and critics, maybe it was best to just leave that era out altogether. Or was it?
The argument “Without You” most definitely belongs on a Van Halen “best of”? As already mentioned, it was a legitimate hit single. Topping the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart ain’t too shabby. Some of the other Van Halen songs that topped that same chart are “(Oh) Pretty Woman”, “Jump”, “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Black and Blue”, “When It’s Love”, “Poundcake”, “Runaround”, “Top Of The World”. All of those tracks were included on Best Of Both Worlds. By the way, “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)”, “Humans Being” and “Me Wise Magic” were tracks that also topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart but were surprisingly left off of Best Of Both Worlds. We’ll save that discussion for another time.
It should be noted that the video for “Without You” was included on the band’s 1996 release Van Halen Video Hits Volume 1. Over on YouTube, the video has garnered over one million views on since it was uploaded by TheManFromCabo in 2012. It is certainly a very cool video – literally. It was shot inside the Ice Hotel in Sweden.
So, what say you Van Halen fans? Should “Without You” have been on Best Of Both Worlds? There must be some kind of way we can make this right, but we just can’t do it without you. Let us know in the comments section below!