there’s two camps of Van Halen fans: Roth fans and Hagar fans (I’ve never met a Cherone fan). As history told us, Roth abruptly exited Van Halen in early 1985 for a solo career, Van Halen replaced him with Montrose frontman and solo star Sammy Hagar. Was the “Van Hagar” lineup a success? it depends.
5150 came out in mid-1986 and one-upped 1984 by going to #1 (but in all fairness, “1984″ was #2 behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, the biggest album of all time… 1984 still sold twice as much and spent a longer time on the charts). When I first the album in the late 1980’s, I loved it, even tho I was a bigger fan of the DLR lineup, I did think 5150 was a rocking album.
However, as time has passed, 5150 has not aged very well. Even tho it’s predecessor 1984 was also a product of the excessive synthesizer age, that album holds up very well and to this day, songs like “House Of Pain” and “Panama” STILL rock, and songs like “Jump” and “I’ll Wait” still sound great, even if you can tell those songs are products of twenty years ago. On the other hand, many of the songs I thought rocked on 5150 just don’t do it now.
I used to love “Good Enough”, “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “5150″ and “Summer Nights”, but age hasn’t been kind to these songs. Alex’s electronic drums make this album very dated to the extent the music’s lost it’s enjoyment.
If you want a good “Van Hagar” album, try out “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, that was the album they finally found their identity without Roth,