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100 Best Van Halen Songs

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Ray has been an online music writer for over four years. Having sung in multiple competitions as a youth, he has a passion for the art.

Van Halen Songs

Van Halen Songs

1. "Eruption"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Hard Rock, Instrumental Rock

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "Eruption"

  • "Eruption" is one of the best Van Halen songs played by Eddie Van Halen using a guitar.
  • The song became the B-side to Van Halen's top single, "Runnin' with the Devil."
  • "Eruption" is one of the best guitar solos of all time that has left a mark in rock history.
  • "Eruption" is one of Eddie Van Halen's songs popularized due to its highlight tapping, or the two-handed tapping style of playing the guitar.
  • The track received multiple accolades from different publications such as Guitar World, Q, and Rolling Stone, where it ranked 2nd place in 2009's 100 Greatest Guitar Solos in the United States.
  • "Eruption" was one of Guitar Hero: Van Halen's songs together with other 24 songs from the band's unique pieces.

2. "Unchained"

Album: Fair Warning

Genre: Heavy Metal Music

Year Released: 1981

Facts About "Unchained"

  • "Unchained" is one of the heavy metal Van Halen songs that became popular due to MXR M-117 flanger audio effects.
  • Warner Bros released the songs in different countries such as Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, and Belgium.
  • The song is in the 2nd spot since Chuck Klosterman from Vulture, an American biweekly magazine, ranked it as the second-best Van Halen song.
  • The song is probably one of the most memorable songs of Van Halen due to its rich harmonies, energetic vibe, and killer guitar riff and chords.
  • Many critics say that this song is why many people love Van Halen as a heavy metal band - because of the song's great sense of humor.

3. "And the Cradle Will Rock"

Album: Women and Children First

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1980

Facts About "And the Cradle Will Rock"

  • Aside from "Eruption," "And the Cradle Will Rock" is also one of Eddie Van Halen's songs but featuring mainly a keyboard instrument. Eddie Van Halen was one of the musical personalities who wrote Van Halen songs.
  • The song starts with an electric piano sound resembling a guitar, making the music enjoyable.
  • "And the Cradle Will Rock" got the 55th spot on the 1980 U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • The popular music magazine, Vulture, ranked this song the 50th best Valen Halen song.
  • Eddie Van Halen described the song as wicked and enjoyable in an interview, saying that his group jammed the music two hours a day for two straight weeks.

4. "Runnin' With the Devil"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "Runnin' With the Devil"

  • "Runnin' With the Devil" was Van Halen's second single from his self-titled album.
  • The song was one of the best Van Halen songs peaking at 9th spot on the list of the greatest heavy rock songs of all time by VH1.
  • Many critics say good things about the song's composition, especially David Lee Roth's vocal performance and the staccato bass.
  • "Runnin' With the Devil" is one of the multi-awarded Van Halen songs that peaked at #2 on the Dutch Mega Charts, #11 in the 1978 Belgian V.R.T. Top 30, #84 in 1978/1980 U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #52 in the U.K. Singles Chart, and #14 in the U.S. Hot Rock & Alternative Songs.

5. "You Really Got Me"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Garage Rock, Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "You Really Got Me"

  • Van Halen adapted this song in 1978 from the English rock band the Kinks for their self-titled album.
  • Van Halen's version of "You Really Got Me" peaked at #36 on the 1978 Billboard Hot 100.
  • The producer of the group Warner Bros chose "You Really Got Me" as the lead single of Van Halen's debut album.
  • The song got featured as a commercial song for an animated advertisement of a Nissan sports car.

6. "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Heavy Metal Music, Glam Metal Music

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"

  • "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" was Van Halen's third single from their self-titled album Van Halen released in 1978.
  • "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" is one of Van Halen's songs with Sammy Hagar in the mid-'80s.
  • Eddie Van Halen, the guitarist, wrote this piece supposedly to sound like a punk rock parody but didn't turn that way.
  • The band considered this song as one of their most heavy metal tracks.
  • Many critics describe this piece as powerful and memorable, showing dominance over a woman.

7. "Panama"

Album: 1984

Genre: Glam Metal, Heavy Metal, and Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1984

Facts About "Panama"

  • "Panama" is one of the best Van Halen songs categorized under glam metal classic.
  • The band revealed that they wrote the song to talk about a car Roth saw racing in Las Vegas. The car's name was "Panama Express," hence the song's title.
  • The famous biweekly magazine, Vulture, ranked the song as one of the top Van Halen songs describing the song as "strongest pure riff in the catalog."
  • The song ranked #2 in the U.S. Mainstream Rock in Billboard, #13 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #15 on Canada Top Singles (R.P.M.), and #30 on Irish Singles Chart.
  • "Panama" also peaked at #12 in the U.S. Hot Rock & Alternative Songs.
  • The band also revealed that the country named Panama has nothing to do with the song.

8. "Jump"

Album: 1984

Genre: Glam Metal, Synth-Rock Music, Pop Rock Music, Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1983

Facts About "Jump"

  • "Jump" is one of the top Van Halen songs released as the lead single from the band's 1984 album.
  • "Jump" peaked at #1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • "Jump" is one of the Van Halen songs with David Lee Roth saying they dedicated the song to Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, an American martial artist.
  • Vulture ranked this song as the 16th best Van Halen song.
  • The song got listed as one of the "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll" in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Ohio, United States.

9. "Dance the Night Away"

Album: Van Halen II

Genre: Hard Rock Music, Pop-Metal Music

Year Released: 1979

Facts About "Dance the Night Away"

  • "Dance the Night Away" is a Fleetwood Mac song-inspired track created and written by most of the band's members during the recording sessions for the album Van Halen II.
  • "Dance the Night Away" is one of the most famous Van Halen songs, with David Lee Roth as the lead decision-maker wanting to call the song "Dance, Lolita, Dance."
  • David Lee Roth claimed that the song talks about a woman having sex in the back of a truck and ran not wearing her pants properly from police officers.
  • "Dance the Night Away" peaked at the #15 position on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #95 on the U.S. Top Pop Singles in Billboard.
  • Critics describe the song as a very radio-friendly and light song to listen to while in traffic.

10. "Hot for Teacher"

Album: 1984

Genre: Glam Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, and Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1984

Facts About "Hot for Teacher"

  • "Hot for Teacher" is Van Halen's fourth and final single from their sixth studio album 1984.
  • "Hot for Teacher" is a Van Halen song about being attracted to your teacher.
  • Guitar World, an American monthly music magazine for guitarists, ranked "Hot for Teacher" at the 46th spot of the best Eddie Van Halen solo of all time.
  • The song charted at #56 on the 1984 U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #23 on the U.S. Rock and Alternative Songs in 2020.

11. "Right Now"

Album: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1992

Facts About "Right Now"

  • "Right Now" is one of the best Van Halen songs with Sammy Hagar that many critics describe as heartfelt.
  • The song reminds us to always live in the moment.
  • Eddie Van Halen, the band's guitarist, wrote this song during the David Lee Roth era.
  • In 1993, "Right Now" was the commercial song for Pepsi's clear cola named Crystal Pepsi.
  • The song's music video won Best Video, Best Direction, and Best Editing at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

12. "Cathedral"

Album: Diver Down

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal Music

Year Released: 1982

Facts About "Cathedral"

  • "Cathedral" is a hard rock Van Halen instrumental song that sounds like a Catholic church organ, which is how it got its name.
  • The track shows Eddie Van Halen's excellent guitar sound, resounding, and short as it runs for 1 minute and 23 seconds only.
  • The main goal in writing the song was to copy the sound of a church organ in all its

13. "Beat It"

Album: Thriller

Genre: Hard Rock and Dance Rock

Year Released: 1983

Facts About "Beat It"

  • "Beat It" is a Michael Jackson song but includes an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo highlight.
  • "Beat It" won the 1984 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
  • The song also won two American Music Awards.
  • Rolling Stone included "Beat It" in the list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

14. "Feels So Good"

Album: OU812

Genre: Glam Metal Music

Year Released: 1988

Facts About "Feels So Good"

  • "Feels So Good" is one of the most famous Van Halen singles from their eight studio album OU812.
  • "Feels So Good" is one of the Sammy Hagar-Van Halen songs that appeared to be Hagar's second feature in the band.
  • The song peaked at #6 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart in 1988 and #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989.

15. "When It's Love"

Album: OU812

Genre: Glam Metal

Year Released: 1988

Facts About "When It's Love"

  • "When It's Love" is a Van Halen power ballad music considered the most popular song from the band's album OU812.
  • Since 1988, "When It's Love" has been a staple song of Van Halen in their live performances.
  • VH1 featured this track in their list of 25 Greatest Power Ballads, getting the 24th spot.
  • "When It's Love" peaked at the #1 position on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock and #5 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1988.

16. "Spanish Fly" / "D.O.A."

Album: Van Halen II

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal Music

Year Released: 1979

Facts About "Spanish Fly"

  • "Spanish Fly" is one of Eddie Van Halen's songs demonstrating his guitar touch and skills.
  • "Spanish Fly" is an acoustic guitar solo, and the keys are as hard as their song "Eruption."
  • The album, which includes the brilliant one-minute instrumental music, peaked on multiple charts such as Australia's Kent Music Report, Dutch Album Top 100, U.K. Albums, U.S. Billboard 200, etc.

17. "Jamie's Cryin'"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal

Year Released:1978

Facts About "Jamie's Cryin'"

  • "Jamie's Cryin'" is a hard rock metal Van Halen song from the Van Halen album.
  • The song is about a woman who regrets experiencing a one-night stand throughout her life.
  • The song describes a woman who seeks deeper and valued relationships with guys but what happens to her is the complete opposite.
  • The track did not come out as a single but became a fan favorite from the list of Van Halen songs with David Lee Roth, the guy responsible for the song's lyrics.

18. "(Oh) Pretty Woman"

Album: Diver Down

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1982

Facts About "(Oh) Pretty Woman"

  • "(Oh) Pretty Woman" is a recorded version of Van Halen from Roy Orbison, who recorded the song's original version.
  • The song's recorded version got the 1st spot in the 1982 U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock, #10 in the U.S. Cash Box Top 100, and #12 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • The promotional video of Van Halen's version of the song shows the band members in different outfits. Roth dressed as Napoleon, Eddie as a cowboy, Alex as Tarzan, and Michael as a warrior.
  • The song got even more popular when the band released it in 1982 where Sasson Jeans, an 80s designer jeans, used the song's original version as their T.V. commercial song.

19. "Finish What Ya Started"

Album: OU812

Genre: Country Rock

Year Released: 1988

Facts About "Finish What Ya Started"

  • "Finish What Ya Started" is one of the best Van Halen songs with Sammy Hagar from their album OU812.
  • A 1990 American sitcom, Sydney used the song as their theme music starring Eddie Van Halen's then-wife, Valerie Bertinelli.
  • "Finish What Ya Started" got the 13th position on the Billboard Hot 100 and 2nd on the Billboard Rock Chart.

20. "Dreams"

Album: 5150

Genre: 1986

Year Released: Glam Metal

Facts About "Dreams"

  • "Dreams" is one of the best Sammy Hagar-Van Halen songs from the band's 5150 albums with great taste and relaxed vibe described by Sammy Hagar.
  • The track was the second single from the album and was the campaign's theme song at rallies across the United States in 2004.
  • They played the song during the closing ceremony of the 2004 Democratic National Convention after John Kerry's acceptance speech.
  • The song reached the 22nd spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1986.
  • The 1995 American science fiction superhero film Mighty Morphin Power Rangers featured "Dreams" on its soundtrack album.

21. "Mean Street"

Album: Fair Warning

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Year Released: 1981

Facts About "Mean Street"

  • "Mean Street" was the opening song of Van Halen's fourth studio album Fair Warning released in April 1981.
  • The song proved the superiority of Eddie Van Halen as a musician of the era.
  • The song has a pleasant tune offering an expressive interlude slogan.
  • "Mean Street" peaked at #12 on the Mainstream Rock Chart in 1981.

22. "On Fire"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "On Fire"

  • "On Fire" was the last track from Van Halen's self-titled album.
  • "On Fire" is a heavy metal song showcasing Eddie Van Halen's guitar riffs.
  • The song was one of the staple songs of the band in live performances.

23. "Little Guitars"

Album: Diver Down

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1982

Facts About "Little Guitars"

  • "Little Guitars" is one of the most notable Van Halen songs featuring Eddie Van Halen's acoustic-folklore style of guitar playing.
  • "Little Guitars" is one of the Eddie Van Halen songs in the band's Diver Down album.
  • Dave Petschulat, a Nashville designer, created a particular custom-made miniature guitar for Eddie Van Halen in playing this song.
  • The song talks about David Lee Roth, a smooth-speaking lady, a senorita.

24. "Get Up"

Album: 5150

Genre: Pop-Metal, Synth-Rock, New Wave, and Synth-Pop

Year Released: 1986

Facts About "Get Up"

  • "Get Up" is one of the best Van Halen songs spotted at #3 on the tracklisting of their album 5150.
  • Critics describe "Get Up" as an Eddie Van Halen-dominated song with his guitar tracks.
  • The music also includes vocal performances from Sammy Hagar.

25. "Black and Blue"

Album: OU812

Genre: Glam Metal, Heavy Metal, Blues Rock

Year Released: 1988

Facts About "Black and Blue"

  • "Black and Blue" is one of the top Van Halen songs from their album OU812.
  • "Black and Blue peaked at #1 on the Billboard Album Rock Tracks Chart and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Vulture ranked this Van Halen song at the 97th spot of the best Van Halen songs.
  • They revealed that a high school employee used the song to sexually seduce her male student and let him murder her husband.

26. "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"

Album: Van Halen II

Genre: Hard Rock Music

Year Released: 1979

Facts About "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"

  • "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" is the third song in Van Halen's Van Halen II album.
  • Gene Simmons, an Israeli-American musician, arranged the song's lyrics.
  • The song is about being high on something and feeling the best in the world.
  • Rolling Stone, an American monthly magazine, included "Somebody Get Me a Doctor" in their list of 20 Insanely Great Van Halen Songs of All Time.

27. "Romeo Delight"

Album: Women and Children First

Genre: Hard Rock Music, Heavy Metal

Year Released: 1980

Facts About "Romeo Delight"

  • "Romeo Delight" is one of the best songs from their studio album Women and Children First.
  • The band composed the song's lyrics, and critics say that the song was the first time the group started to produce heavy and thematic pieces.
  • The song features a full blast of electric guitar that makes your heart beat fast.
  • The song is the #1 most viewed Van Halen tribute band on Youtube.
  • "Romeo Delight" is one of the most popular guitar hero Van Halen songs available for play.

28. "5150"

Album: 5150

Genre: Pop Metal, Synth-Pop, Synth-Rock, New Wave Music

Year Released: 1986

Facts About "5150"

  • "5150" is the name of Van Halen's title track for their first album and happened to be Eddie Van Halen's studio name as well.
  • "5150" is one of the first quality Van Halen songs with Sammy Hagar taking over David Lee Roth.
  • The song talks about taking a chance on love.

29. "Everybody Wants Some"

Album: Women and Children First

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal

Year Released: 1980

Facts About "Everybody Wants Some"

  • "Everybody Wants Some" is the second song from Van Halen's 1980 album Women and Children First.
  • During the early career of the band, the song always became the highlight of their concerts.
  • The song features various tones and tunes, including Eddie Van Halen's guitar skills, jungle drums, and vocals that resemble Tarzan.
  • "Everybody Wants Some" became the staple song of the band.
  • "Everybody Wants Some" was one of the best Van Halen songs with David Lee Roth leading composer.

30. "I'm the One"

Album: Van Halen

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal

Year Released: 1978

Facts About "I'm the One"

  • "Van Halen" is one of the greatest Van Halen introduction songs, usually started by David Lee Roth.
  • Alex Van Halen, the band's drummer, used a double-kick drum on the song.
  • The song is one of the best Van Halen songs featuring a bass and drum rush, unique-style guitar with a little bit of rock, jazz, and pop music.

More On the List of Van Halen Songs

Van Halen Song TitleYear Released

31. "So This Is Love?"

1981

32. "Atomic Punk"

1978

33. "Summer Nights"

1986

34. "I'll Wait"

1984

35. "Love Walks In"

1986

36. "Feel Your Love Tonight"

1978

37. "Best of Both Worlds"

1986

38. "Ice Cream Man"

1978

39. "Happy Trails"

1982

40. "Dirty Movies"

1981

41. "Cabo Wabo"

1988

42. "Hear About It Later"

1981

43. "In a Simple Rhyme"

1980

44. "Humans Being"

1996

45. "Where Have All the Good Times Gone"

1982

46. "Beautiful Girls"

1979

47. "House of Pain"

1984

48. "Mean Street"

1981

49. "Dancing in the Street"

1982

50. "Women In Love"

1979

51. "Love Walks In"

1986

52. "On Fire"

1978

53. "Poundcake"

1991

54. "Top of the World"

1986

55. "Light Up the Sky"

1979

56. "Drop Dead Legs"

1984

57. "Ice Cream Man"

1978

58. "I'll Wait"

1984

59. "Outta Love Again"

1979

60. "Cathedral"

1982

61. "Top Jimmy"

1984

62. "Fools"

1980

63. "Ballot or the Bullet"

1998

64. "Bottoms Up"

1979

65. "Outta Space"

2012

66. "Good Enough"

1986

67. "Big Bad Bill"

1982

68. "Hang 'Em High"

1982

69. "Beats Workin'"

2012

70. "Happy Trails"

1982

71. "Right Now"

1991

72. "You and Your Blues"

2012

73. "Girl Gone Bad"

1984

74."Dirty Movies"

1981

75. "Feels So Good"

1988

76. "She's the Woman"

2012

77. "Judgement Day"

1991

78. "Big River"

2012

79. "The Full Bug"

1982

80. "Don't Tell Me"

1995

81. "Bullethead"

2012

82. "Runaround"

1991

83. "Sinner's Swing"

1981

84. "Take Me Back"

1995

85. "Secrets"

1982

86. "Little Dreamer"

1978

87. "When It's Love"

1988

88. "1984"

1984

89. "Could This Be Magic?"

1980

90. "Take Your Whiskey Home"

1980

91. "You're No Good"

1979

92. "Blood and Fire"

2012

93. "Spanish Fly"

1979

94. "Up for Breakfast"

2001

95. "Push Comes to Shove"

1981

96. "Sucker In a 3 Piece"

1988

97. "Stay Frosty"

2012

98. "316"

1991

99. "Man on a Mission"

1991

100. "Can't Stop Lovin' You"

1995

Van Halen Song Playlist on Youtube

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Ray

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