It’s 5150 celebration time!
Thirty-six years ago this week, Van Halen’s 5150 album topped the charts. It was the band’s first number one album and first featuring Sammy Hagar on lead vocals. To celebrate, Hagar shared a video of the band performing the album’s debut single – “Why Can’t This Be Love” – live from Tokyo, Japan in 1989.
Along with the video, Hagar and Michael Anthony shared their thoughts on the album and ’89 Japan performance:
Sammy: I will never forget the moment ‘5150’ hit #1 as long as I live. We were in Atlanta Georgia at the Ritz Carlton Getting ready for our sold out show. Our manager Ed Leffler called a meeting. We walked into his room and he told us ‘5150’ just went number one on billboard top 100. That was a first for all of us. I’d hate to tell you what happened for the next couple days but you can imagine. PARTY ON as if we needed an excuse in those days, ha ha. Wow, I love this performance of “Why Can’t This Be Love?” from Tokyo. Back then we played everything and sang everything live as it should be. Playing guitar and singing this song was not easy trust me.
Mike: Since Sammy didn’t play any guitar on the ‘5150’ album, it was very cool that since Eddie wanted to play keyboards on “Why Can’t This be Love” for the live show, Sam graciously strapped on his guitar!! Was great having that new texture for the live show!!
Last month Hagar released another performance from the Tokyo ’89 show, the title track to 5150: