10 Lesser Known Pre-Sammy Van Halen Songs to Prepare for the Tour

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When I was a kid, the first record (or cassette in this case) I wore out was the first album from Van Halen. I played the cassette so many times, the tape started squealing. I got another copy and did the same thing. It along with KISS' Alive II re-enforced the hard rock tendencies that simmered beneath my suburban goodie two shoes exterior.

The new tour and record announcement came as no real surprise to me. One of my good friends has been working as a tech with the band for several years and I'd heard rumors and rumblings that they were preparing to get back at it with David Lee Roth. But hearing it still reminded me of when I loved the band, before Sammy Hagar replaced Roth and the wheels came off for early VH fans.

This is not to say I don't like Hagar. I had several of his solo efforts including Standing Hampton and Three Lock Box, both regulars in my rotation in the early '80s. Maybe it was the heavy handed use of synthesizers and electronic drums, but the Van Hagar edition of the band fell flat with me, so when DLR came back in the fold a few years ago, I was thrilled if skeptical, just as I am to hear their new music.

In honor of their new tour and record, I give you ten of my favorite lesser known pre-Sammy songs to get you juiced for the coming mayhem.

10. Dirty Movies

From Fair Warning, could this have been the impetus for Ed's porn soundtrack music career?


9. Top Jimmy

Despite the success of the ultra cheesy "Jump," 1984 turned out some damn fine songs including this swingin' rocker.


8. Hang 'Em High

Few bands did the super fast heavy thing in the late '70s as well as VH and this is a killer example.


7. I'm the One

Like "Hang 'Em High," a balls out shuffle with some early piercing Mike Anthony vocals -- miss that guy.


6. Ice Cream Man

My friends and I used to love this bluesy ode to ice cream truck vendors... or was that a metaphor?

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FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard

Barely recall any of them, and I pretty much listened to 107.5 exclusively in high school.  Guess I was too tied up in the Ramones, AC/DC and Guns & Roses at the time. 

Chris D
Chris D

Off topic: but arent there any other decent VH bootlegs other than that Largo show? You would think sombody would have had a video camera rolling..

fhlh
fhlh

all solid choices! I'll add another off 1984 - House of Pain

Suzinne Sayles
Suzinne Sayles

My fav is Van Halen's cover of the Kinks "You Really Got Me."  Rip roaring and kick ass!

Jeff
Jeff

Very good song, but a single from their first record and still gets tons of airplay. Didn't really fit the "lesser known" thing I was going for, but a great song nevertheless.

Keith
Keith

Glad you mentioned ice cream man. That track is killer.

Bruiser
Bruiser

My favorite VH song is one I never hear mentioned, "In A Simple Rhyme" off of "Women and Children First." My 9 year-old daughter is currently making up a 20 song setlist of VH songs she wants to hear on this tour...

Jeff
Jeff

Good one!

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