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Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1

4.2 out of 5 stars 291 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 22, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

17 thundering tracks from both the David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar years, with two new songs featuring Dave on vocals! Includes Jump; Why Can't This Be Love; When It's Love; Running with the Devil; Dance the Night Away; Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love; Panama; And the Cradle Will Rock; Dreams , and more.

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It took over 20 years for Van Halen to release a Best of album, and even then, the band downplayed the effort. Instead sticking to the original plan of releasing a two-disc set--one of material with original frontman David Lee Roth, and the other with his 11-year replacement Sammy Hagar--the band opted for a single CD chronicling their entire career. For the previously uninitiated, it's a golden introduction to a band that changed the face of '80s hard rock. Guitar-blazing old tracks like "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," and "Dance the Night Away" segue into more commercial numbers like "Jump" and "Panama" from 1984. These in turn, set the stage for Hagar's slicker, more polished vocals on "Right Now" and "How Do I Know When It's Love." But while newcomers will be thrilled with the delights within, old fans will probably find little of use, since the two highly touted new tracks with Roth are pretty disposable. --Jon Wiederhorn
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: October 22, 1996
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Off Roster
  • ASIN: B000002NAA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (291 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
A pretty good greatest hits compilation. Read on for my review of this:

Pros:

Except for the live album "Live: Right Here, Right Now" and "Fair Warning" (1983) this album contains material from all of Van Halen's studio albums from 1978 up until 1995: their self-titled 1978 debut album, their self-titled 1979 sophomore album, "Women and Children First" (1980), "Diver Down" (1981), "1984" (no need to say what year this album was released, but I will say that this was Van Halen's last album with David Lee Roth), "5150" (1986, their first album with Sammy Hagar), "OU812" (1988), "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (1991), and "Balance" (1995, their last album with Sammy Hagar). What this all means is that this greatest hits CD will not only serve good for all Van Halen fans, but also for someone who is either new to Van Halen or is on a tight budget and can't afford the individual albums.

Before Sammy Hagar left Van Halen in 1996, he wrote one more song with Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, and Michael Anthony. That song was "Humans Being", which was written and recorded for the hit film "Twister", and also appeared in the movie and the soundtrack for the film. That song is to be found on this album, so any die hard VH fans who hear about the song won't have to locate a copy of the soundtrack or buy/rent the movie itself and then be sitting through half of the movie, thinking "When will that Van Halen song appear"?

1996 also happened to be the year Van Halen did a one time reunion with David Lee Roth, writing and recording the songs "Can't Get This Stuff No More" and "Me Wise Magic". Those songs have also been included on this album, which makes this album not only a Van Halen collector's item, but also somewhat of a VH souvenir.
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Format: Audio CD
...not a fitting one for a band of Van Halens' status. (Oh, and by the way, Eddie, Alex, Mike, Sam and Dave need to squash those collosal egos of theirs and do a full-on reunion - with both lead singers!) Anyway they need a better compilation than this.
Here's what should have been:
CD 1
1. Eruption
2. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
3. You Really Got Me
4. Runnin' With The Devil
5. Jamie's Cryin'
6. I'm The One
7. Dance The Night Away
8. Beautiful Girls
9. Light Up The Sky
10. ...And The Cradle Will Rock
11. Everybody Wants Some
12. Take Your Whiskey Home
13. Mean Street
14. Unchained
15. Intruder/(Oh) Pretty Woman
16. 1984
17. Jump
18. Panama
19. Hot For Teacher
20. I'll Wait
21. House Of Pain
CD 2
1. Why Can't This Be Love
2. Dreams
3. Best Of Both Worlds
4. Love Walks In
5. When It's Love
6. Feels So Good
7. Finish What Ya Started
8. Cabo Wabo
9. Poundcake
10. Right Now
11. Top Of The World
12. Can't Stop Lovin' You
13. Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)
14. The Seventh Seal
15. Humans Being
16. Me Wise Magic
17. Without You
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Format: Audio CD
Most, if not all Van Halen is good... if not great (not including 1998's Van Halen "III" featuring Extreme's Gary Cherone... yuck). This "Vol. 1" is a good intro to the band, but like so many other reviews here... there needs to be a 2nd disc. One disc should cover the span with David Lee Roth and should include at least some of the following songs "Jamie's Cryin'", "Bottoms Up", "Beautiful Girls", "Light Up The Sky", "Mean Street", "So This Is Love", "Everybody Wants Some", "I'll Wait", and last but not least "Secrets" and "Little Guitars" from DIVER DOWN - even tho one of VH's weaker releases, it still should have been represented on this "Vol. 1" collection. The other disc should cover the Sammy Hagar era and add a few more choice tunes like "Runaround", "Cabo Wabo", "Finish What Ya Started", "Seventh Seal" and "Black & Blue". Again, good first volume... the hits are here and deservedly so. But it could have been more complete with a 2nd disc.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this 2 years ago and finally gave up on them ever releasing volume 2

It is a great CD. However it is missing several of their most famous songs. I highly advise getting their 2 disc Best of Both Worlds. It has all their best stuff as well as some bonus live versions.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great collection, wonderful music from the 80s. Panama is one of my favorites because it came out after my Battalion returned from jungle training. This song could be heard all over my unit area day or night. Just a bunch of proud soldiers of what we had gone through and accomplished, and for the rest of the music. It is something that you most assuredly can rock on with. Enjoy.
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Format: MP3 Music
Van Halen’s original greatest hits volume 1 is a wonderful combination of the bands best work. I wore out my original CD from heavy use. I grew up with the band in the 1980’s and love their music. For a new fan to Van Halen it is a great place to start to get into the band’s music, then go back and research out the original DLR albums and Sammy Hagar albums in order. Van Halen is easily one of the greatest Hard Rock acts in Rock N Roll history and this is a great album of the bands material.

The original greatest hits might be missing some fan favorites but it is still a much better album than Best of Both Worlds which just shuffled all the band’s songs on a double album. Usually the GH albums get it 75% right with the biggest commercial hits but not always the best songs by the band.

Most people fall into 2 camps for the band the DLR years or the Sammy Hagar years and hate the other singers work. I have always enjoyed both lead singers contributions to the band. Both singers had a unique style and vocal range. I don’t know why they couldn’t put their egos aside in 1994 and just do a joint GH tour with both singers highlighting their best songs since that is what the majority of fans really want to see. I am not a fan of Wolfgang Van Halen touring in place of Michael Anthony it just does not seem right. Especially when Michael Anthony is still alive and can play.

The album showcases all the strong Sammy Hagar ballads but could have used a couple of his rockers as well like Top of the World, Runaround, or Sucker in a 3 Piece. I think the album got the best of DLR tracks right. Of course there is a ton of other material they could have substituted or added in. That is why WB or whoever the distributor was should have put out a volume 2 a few years later.
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