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Van Halen III

Van HalenAudio CD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2007 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1998 --  
Audio Cassette, 1998 --  

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With their 1978 eponymous debut, Van Halen simultaneously rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen redefined what the electric guitar could do, developing a blindingly fast technique with a variety of self-taught two-handed tapping, hammer-ons, pull-offs, and effects that mimicked the sounds of machines and animals. It was wildly inventive and over ... Read more in Amazon's Van Halen Store

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Van Halen III + Balance + For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 17, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002NGS
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,637 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Neworld
2. Without You
3. One I Want
4. From Afar
5. Dirty Water Dog
6. Once
7. Fire In The Hole
8. Josephina
9. Year To The Day
10. Primary
11. Ballot Or The Bullet
12. How Many Say I

Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Having jettisoned yet another lead singer, casting off meat-and-potatoes rocker Sammy Hagar for leaner, cleaner former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone, Van Halen ushers in its third incarnation with the appropriately titled 3. Trouble is, as a lyricist, Cherone too often speaks from the head, not the heart, filling the album with political cant that is dry and ill-suited to the band's party-hearty image. Worse, Cherone sounds disconcertingly like Hagar, giving 3 the uncomfortable feel of a tribute album. And while Eddie Van Halen's guitar still mows down anything in sight on tracks like "Neworld" and "From Afar," it's difficult to excuse his new-agey keyboard epic "How Many Say I," or his tentative lead vocal on the track. In a rare instance for a great band, it's one step forward, two steps back. --Daniel Durchholz

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
106 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
VAN HALEN III is easily Van Halen's most critically reviled, hated album. The fans were shocked and dismayed, and ultimately this album lost Van Halen's record contract with Warner. And why?

First off, the album is not as bad as everything says. It's certainly not a great Van Halen record, but if Gary Cherone's band had released it, people would be wondering who the hell that guitarist was. In many ways, VAN HALEN III has a lot of similarities to Pink Floyd's FINAL CUT.

The biggest problem with III is tone. With BALANCE, and a handful of tracks from BALANCE's predecessor, FOR UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, Eddie was trying to move Van Halen away from the party-hearty image that so long defined them, and was trying to reinvent the band as a socially conscious, more mature band. BALANCE found Van Halen balancing two major defitinions of their band, the partying, feel-good rock and rollers ("Amsterdam", "Big Fat Money,") with the more politically aware, socially concerned world citizens. (a la U2's Bono) The problem with that is Sammy Hagar was in the band. While I've always liked Sammy, he's always been about partying and getting into girls' pants (but then, so was David Lee Roth and the rest of the band).

Exit Hagar, enter Cherone. While Hagar wrote and sang from the heart and gut, and just wanted to hang out on a beach somewhere with a hot chick, Cherone instead wrote much more from a head perspective, preoccupied with intellectual concerns. Cherone has some songs about women, but the songs on III are primarily concerned with political and social matters.

Some of these political, social songs fall flat.
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55 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated and misunderstood album November 15, 2005
Format:Audio CD
On St. Patrick's Day 1998, Van Halen released their eleventh studio album, their first (and only) album to feature lead singer Gary Cherone. The aptly titled "Van Halen 3" received some positive reviews (Entertainment Weekly, Guitar World) and debuted at number 4 on the charts. At first it looked like Van Halen's third incarnation might fly. An enthusiastic audience at the world premiere, and a huge turnout to meet the band at Times square were positive signs. But alas, Van Halen's third incarnation was not meant to be. The album was a huge bomb, selling only 500,000 copies in the US, one quarter the sales of its predecessor "Balance" (1995). The tour too was a relative failure. Van Halen's third incarnation turned out to be very short-lived. The following year, while well at work on their follow-up, Gary Cherone and the rest of Van Halen parted ways. The whole Gary Cherone-era of Van Halen was seen as a failure. "3" is regarded by many as not only Van Halen's worst album, but as the worst album of all-time.

So why didn't fans take to the third lineup of Van Halen, especially when you consider that they had adjusted to a change in singers before? Why did the rock-community so reject "Van Halen 3"? The answer lies in anger/protest, and expectations.

Many fans didn't buy or open their minds to "Van Halen 3" out of protest and anger towards the band. In 1996, after eleven years of fronting the band, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen's second lead singer, left the band, and not amicably. Eddie Van Halen maintains that Hagar quit and that his "work ethic sucked." Hagar maintains that he was informed, by phone, that original lead singer David Lee Roth was returning and that his services were no longer required.

The return of Roth to Van Halen created a media sensation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire In The Hole! March 8, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I have been so put off from buying Van Halen III for the past 13 years because of so many bad reviews, and bad word of mouth when it came out; and then seeing so many reviews on sites like Amazon over the years. To be honest, I expected it to suck! Well, I finally got a copy, and even found myself regretting ordering it, but when it arrived and I put it in, I am very happily surprised. I am blown away!

First of all, let me state from the outset that I have been a fan of Van Halen ever since they came out in 1978, with Eddie's blistering guitar attacks, David Lee Roth's screaming Jim Dandy impressionistic bombastic showmanship as a vocalist, Michael Anthony's thunderous bass, and Alex Van Halen's pounding drumming. But, I felt that they started losing some of that magic around 1983 or so, with the release of "1984", and never did quite recover.

Don't get me wrong, I still bought and enjoyed everything they recorded and released, but I always felt like there were some "special ingredients" missing. Sure, I enjoyed the Van Hagar years as much as the next person, but everybody knows that the best days of VH were now behind them, held within their first three or four albums. And upon finally hearing them with Cherone, I am a bit pissed off that so many d*mn Van Hagar fans trashed this album, thus causing WB Records to drop VH from their label, thus causing VH to drop Cherone as a singer, all because their damn fans didn't "get" the new sound!

Well, let me tell you, I am so elated to hear that magic back in the VH sound! Yes, Sammy Hagar was a great singer, and a great addition to VH, but I always felt they were too AOR/commercial for my taste. Well, you get none of that with Van Halen III!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Van Halen at their most progressive! Great album!
Excellent album. Way underrated. I am a fan of progressive rock and metal and this is Van Halen at their most experimental. From Afar is just EPIC!!! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Review!! :o)
Just got it today-9/30/14!! I love it!! Amazon is #1!! Awesome!! Amazon is like a Xmas Wonderland!! A++++!! I will be doing all of my shopping here!! Outstanding!! Read more
Published 20 days ago by Thomas E Shelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great album
Published 3 months ago by Jason L . Inocencio
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated & vilified by the cerebrally challenged
This is your brain. This is Van Halen. This is Van Halen with brains. Personally, I found this album to be a welcome departure from the cliched and stereotypical VH albums which... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Byron Talbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good album
People really like to dismiss or hate on this album. Ballot or the bullet is the only song here that I don't dig too much. Read more
Published 9 months ago by CP
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT SO GOOD.....
Sorry, man.....This is not the VAN HALEN i love....Gary Cherone is not a bad singer, it could fit well on extreme or poison, but his vibe is totally NOT VAN HALEN.... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Fluminense
1.0 out of 5 stars What were thy thinking?
I paid .31 cents for a used copy...I want my money back! Perhaps live versions MIGHT sound better from the VH3 tour. Terrible.
Published 10 months ago by Terrell39
4.0 out of 5 stars Even though this is VH's 11th studio LP, it's still V.H.III - !
Gary Cherone is Van Halen's best vocalist to date. Now
before any Van Halen fans try to boil me in oil, I'll
give you the straight dope! Read more
Published 11 months ago by Rich The Reviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars A Different kind of Van Halen
Here's what happened. I have loved Van Halen for a long time. Separately, I loved Extreme. Both great bands, though very different as far as rock bands go. Read more
Published 16 months ago by srvlives
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Van Halen Album Ever!!!!!!!
My Favorite Van Halen Album EVER. And that's saying alot since I was a HUGE Sammy Hagar Fan when he joined. To bad for all the haters.
Published 16 months ago by Guy Angelini
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