[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vh1.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Hey, I heard you missed us, we're back!]]

->''Nobody rules these streets at night but me! NOBODY!''
->'''''THE ATOMIC PUNK!'''''

->'''''I brought my PENCIL!!''''' ''Gimme something to write on, man!''

Describe Van Halen here. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_lwocmL9dQ (Guitar Solo)]]

If Music/TheRollingStones had [[CaptainObvious Eddie Van Halen]] as their guitarist and a hyperactive, insane combination of [[Music/{{Queen}} Freddie Mercury]] and Music/RonnieJamesDio as their frontman (Music/DavidLeeRoth). [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And a really good drummer.]] [[RunningGag And whoever's on bass.]] Probably the most fun HardRock-slash-Music/HeavyMetal band you'll ever hear. They even got their own GuitarHero game!

(Drum Solo)

Van Halen began their path towards super-fun rocking in Pasadena in 1972, with its initial lineup containing the Van Halen brothers (Eddie on guitar and backing vocals, Alex on drums), Music/DavidLeeRoth on vocals and Mark Stone on bass. Stone was thrown out in 1974 and the band's "classic lineup" took shape, with the Van Halens, Roth and Michael Anthony on bass and backing vocals.

After being seen by two Creator/WarnerBrosRecords executives at a concert, the band got a contract with WB and started working on its debut album. [[RecordProducer Produced]] by Ted Templeman (who stayed with the band for its first six albums), ''Van Halen'' became a smash success thanks to the combination of Eddie's hyperactive, lightning-fast fretwork and Dave's flamboyant, {{Large Ham}}my [[TheAce Ace]] persona. It contained a few classic songs, such as the band's headbanging cover of "You Really Got Me" by TheKinks, the ImageSong "Runnin' with the Devil" and Eddie's mindblowing solo "Eruption". They toured nearly a year in support of the album, notably opening for Music/BlackSabbath and completely blowing them out of the water in a time when Sabbath were going through their first DorkAge. Come to think of it, rock music itself was in a DorkAge at a time when [[DeaderThanDisco disco]] was still dominant (if you believe the old narrative), and Van Halen is seen one of the bands that stopped it from collapsing under its own weight (along with, you guessed it, PunkRock, natch). You could even say they co-opted Punk Rock, thus preventing the genre from taking over the mainstream (at least for a time).

Van Halen quickly made a followup, the aptly-titled ''Van Halen II'', which was another success and gave the band its first hit, "Dance the Night Away". ''Women and Children First'' also followed a year later, containing more kickarse hard rock but also showing Eddie's first and most definitely not last use of keyboards on a VH album (on "And the Cradle Will Rock...").

Tensions started rising around the time of ''Fair Warning'' between Eddie, who wanted to write more serious and complex stuff, and Roth, who didn't have patience for this and wanted to carry on with the fun rocking. Combined with cocaine and alcohol abuse on Eddie's behalf, ''Warning'' was a DarkerAndEdgier album that was much less fun than the previous three and, unsurprisingly, was met with much less commercial success, though it did get good reviews and spawned a hit with "Unchained". They rebounded with the [[CoverVersion cover-heavy]] ''Diver Down'' a short while later.

Van Halen hit their undisputable peak with ''1984''. Their highest-selling and most critically acclaimed album, ''1984'' saw the band reconcile their anthemic rock/metal with Eddie's love of keyboards, and gave them their most enduring hits: the keyboard-powered "Jump", the hyper-speed hilarity of "Hot for Teacher" and the EpicRiff-driven "Panama". As a testament to how good it was, ''1984'' was [[WorthyOpponent only kept off the #1 position in the US because of]] ''[[Music/MichaelJackson Thriller]]''. (Coincidentally enough, Eddie also made a cameo appearance on ''Thriller'', playing the solo on "Beat It".)

(Guitar Solo)

Roth left Van Halen on April 1, 1985, replaced by former Montrose vocalist Sammy Hagar. Drastic changes took place: Templeman left along with Roth, their logo was slightly changed (the lines extending from the "VH" letters now formed a sphere) and their sound changed. While ''5150'' retained some of the party rock sound they had become famous for ("Summer Nights", "Get Up"), Van Hagar slowly drifted away from fast, rockin' fun and became a mainstream, pop-rock band with lots of keyboards and {{Power Ballad}}s. (A smart move, since this was when HairMetal was really hitting its stride.)

Hagar left the band in 1996. After a temporary reunion with Roth, Gary Cherone from Extreme (and "[[BlackSheepHit More than Words]]" infamy) was recruited as their new frontman. The resulting album, ''Van Halen III'', was roundly panned by everybody. After a hiatus, a second tenure with Hagar and a complicated situation, Anthony was forced out of the band, replaced by Eddie's teenaged son Wolfgang, and Roth returned in 2007. The band has released a new album, titled ''A Different Kind of Truth'', in February 2012. [[HistoryRepeats In what may strike fans as a bit of déjà vu]], ''Truth'' [[BookEnds ended up peaking at #2 on the charts, kept off the #1 spot by]] ''[[Music/{{Adele}} 21]]''. (No guest spot for Eddie this time, though.)

A few years after leaving the band, Hagar and Anthony formed {{Chickenfoot}} with JoeSatriani and [[RedHotChiliPeppers Chad Smith]].

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!!Discography:

* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum Van Halen]]'' (1978)
* ''[[ChronologicalAlbumTitle Van Halen II]]'' (1979)
* ''Women and Children First'' (1980)
* ''Fair Warning'' (1981)
* ''Diver Down'' (1982)
* ''1984'' (1984)
* ''5150'' (1986)
* ''[=OU812=]'' (1988)
* ''For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge'' (1991) ([[GettingCrapPastTheRadar ged]][[FunWithAcronyms dit?]])
* ''Balance'' (1995)
* ''[[CanonDiscontinuity Van Halen III]]'' (1998)
* ''A Different Kind of Truth'' (2012)

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!!Everybody Wants Tropes!! We Got Some, Too!!

* AlbumTitleDrop: ''Women and Children First'' is namechecked in "Could This Be Magic?"
** ''Fair Warning'' is namechecked in "Mean Street."
** ''A Different Kind of Truth'' is namechecked in "Bullethead".
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Eddie and Alex are part-Dutch, part-Indonesian. Alex looks it, but with Eddie it's hard to tell because of his long hair, which looks thinner and thus lighter in color than short hair would. Of course, Eddie often being backlit also tends to make him look blond.
* AtlasPose: The cover of ''5150'', with its version of Atlas hoisting the Van Halen globe logo.
* BandOfRelatives: Eddie and Alex from the start, and now Eddie's son Wolfgang is on bass (that's right, Diamond Dave is now the only non-Van Halen member of Van Halen!). Eddie and Alex's dad Jan Van Halen guested on ''Diver Down'', playing clarinet on "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)".
* BeggarWithASignboard: the music video for the song "Right Now" features a guy holding a sign saying "I will wrestle you for food", with the caption "Right now somebody's got the wrong idea."
* BigOMG: "Hot for Teacher" ends with one.
* BigRockEnding
* CarSong: "Panama", even with all the {{Double Entendre}}s. [[WordOfGod Roth]] said that the lyrics came after he was criticized for only writing songs about "partying, sex and cars", which made him realize he hadn't written a song about a car.
* CatchPhrase: Dave's gonna tell you one time!
** He ain't lyin' to ya.
* CoverVersion: "You Really Got Me" and "Where Have All the Good Times Gone?" by Music/TheKinks[[note]]During a ''Diver Down'' interview, Dave admitted they could play "six different Kinks songs", and would play them "into the dirt" every night when they were starting out[[/note]], "Ice Cream Man" by John Brim, "You're No Good" by Betty Everett (but popularised by Music/LindaRonstadt) "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison, "Dancing in the Street" by Martha and the Vandellas, "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" by Milton Ager and Jack Yellen, "Happy Trails" by RoyRogers and Dale Evans, "A Apolitical Blues" by Music/LittleFeat (the only cover to make it on a Van Hagar album). In concert they would frequently play "Rock and Roll" by Music/LedZeppelin, "Addicted to Love" by Music/RobertPalmer, Sammy Hagar's solo hit "I Can't Drive 55" (the 2006 tour also had a few tracks from his 2000s output) and "Won't Get Fooled Again" by Music/TheWho. For many people, [[CoveredUp their versions overshadow the originals]] - Ray Davies himself said their cover of "You Really Got Me" beat the original.
** Their producer, Ted Templeman, believed that cover versions were easier to promote as singles than originals, as "half the work (was) already done". So he (and Dave) encouraged VH to do more covers. The direction of the NewSoundAlbum ''1984'' (and some of the reason for the breakup) came when Eddie got sick of covers (''Diver Down'' had five covers, four original songs and three instrumentals; the band intended the "Pretty Woman" cover to be a one-off single, but its chart success caused Warner to immediately demand a full album, so they were rushed into the studio to record more under label pressure after just having finished touring - not exactly the best environment) and wanted to do things ''his'' way, working in his own personal studio, and let VH stand or fall on their own merits (he said "I'd rather have a bomb with one of my own songs than a hit with someone else's").
** David Lee Roth also covered Louis Prima's 1956 "Just a Gigolo (I Ain't Got Nobody)", itself a mashup of two 1928 standards. The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lN-4lX0QyZc video]] also parodied {{MTV}} and dozens of 1980's celebrities.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Fair Warning''. Unsuprisingly it got a mixed reaction from fans... Eddie, however, said in a ''Guitar World'' interview that "Unchained" is one of his favorite songs, and that listening to it gives him chills.
** Given that before it the only albums for decades were the Hagar years and ''Van Halen III'', ''A Different Kind of Truth'' certainly counts.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "Only time will tell if we stand the test of time!" ("Why Can't This Be Love")
* DressRehearsalVideo
* DualMeaningChorus: "Runnin' With the Devil"
* EgocentricTeamNaming: named after brothers Eddie & Alex. (though Dave suggested the name, citing {{Santana}} as a reference)
* TheEighties: Though they rose to prominence in 1978, Van Halen set the tone for the final Cold War decade possibly better than anyone else.
* EpicInstrumentalOpener: And many are [[SiameseTwinSongs played along with the next track.]]
* EpicRocking: Their albums as a whole began to experience this after Dave left - see the note below under MinisculeRocking. As for specific examples: the longest Dave-era song was "Fools" from ''Women and Children First'', at 5:55. Their first song to actually break the five-minute mark was "Cabo Wabo" from ''[=OU812=]'', at 7:04. ''Carnal Knowledge'' had "Pleasure Dome" (6:57) and "In 'n' Out" (6:05). ''Balance'' had "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)" (5:56) and "Feelin'" (6:36). ''Van Halen III'' has the most, with: "Without You" (6:30), "Once" (7:42), "Year to the Day" (8:34, their longest official song) and "How Many Say I" (6:04).
* [[ExcitedEpisodeTitle Excited Song Title!]]: "Everybody Wants Some!!", "Bottoms Up!" and "Sinner's Swing!" "Tora! Tora!" may be a borderline example as it's more a chant than a shout (on the title; the song per se is an instrumental).

[[RunningGag (Guitar Solo)]]

* FunWithAcronyms: ''For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge''. Sammy actually said he wanted to name the album ''Fuck'' as a protest against censorship, but his friend, lightweight boxer Ray Mancini, convinced him otherwise by telling him about the false etymology of "fuck".
* FreestateAmsterdam: The lyrics Sammy Hagar made for "Amsterdam". Eddie and Alex, being born in Amsterdam, hated them (Eddie called them "just stupid" when interviewed by ''Guitar World''), but, since by then inter-band relations were getting so bad, Sammy refused to change them.
* GadgeteerGenius: Eddie is famous for extensively modifying his gear. For starters, he is the first known player to use a "Super Strat," a guitar designed to have the features and playability of a Stratocaster and the humbucker sound of a Gibson. The Super Strat would go on to be the most used guitar design of the eighties. He also modified a Univox echo unit with a motor that ran so slow it would drop the sound by an octave, creating a divebomb effect. The effect needed to be mounted in a rack and at the time guitarists didn't use effects racks so Eddie made one out of the hull of a WWII-era bomb. He also invented the "D-Tuna," a modification for a Floyd Rose bridge which allows the player to instantly switch in and out of drop tunings, something that isn't possible without the modification (tuning the bridge is extremely fiddly).
* GratuitousPanning: Templeman's production gimmick was to put Eddie's guitar high in the mix and pan it, either slightly or more blatantly, to the left (or sometimes the right) to simulate a "live" sound. Eddie hated this and got rid of it after Templeman and Dave left.
* GreenAesop: "Outta Space" is Dave singing about how Earth got so bad he wants to leave it...
** HypocrisyNod: ...but not without first admitting his guilt.
-->I do not refuse it.\\
I am guilty, I do use it.\\
I am the reason\\
We outta space!
* HardRock: They basically saved and redefined HardRock, making sure it would last TheEighties. Though on the other hand...
* Music/HeavyMetal: Their ridiculously fast tempos, high placements on the MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness and Eddie's key role in popularising the tapping technique might make them more heavy metal than hard rock. Heavy metal alone wouldn't have been the same without Eddie being the TropeCodifier for lightning-speed tapping.
** Additionally, [[Music/{{Slayer}} Kerry King]] once described HairMetal as "Van Halen, turned UpToEleven in all the wrong directions."
* ICallItVera: Eddie's striped guitar, [[FrankenX Frankenstrat]]. And yes, it ''was'' put together with parts of two different guitars.
* IconicLogo

(EpicRiff)

* IntercourseWithYou: Many of them.
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: In addition to ''For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge'', Eddie and Alex first band was named "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_%28condoms%29 Trojan Rubber Company]]".
* LargeHam: [[http://www.realmofdarkness.net/sounds/dlr/dlr-soundboard-2.htm Diamond Dave.]]
** Sammy is not too bad in this regard either, with the LyricalColdOpen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kfYWPquNMc in his very first song with the band]] being pure IncomingHam.
* LicensedGame: ''GuitarHero: Van Halen''
* LighterAndSofter: Van Hagar.
* LongRunnerLineUp: Both the Dave and Sammy line-ups lasted over 10 years.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Generally Rank around 5-6. Occasionally drift into 7, or down to 3 or 4. The DLR years on average are much higher on the list than later incarnations, fueling the BrokenBase somewhat.
** Now with Dave back, ''A Different Kind of Truth'' climbs the scale up again. The song ''China Town'' borders on an 8.
* MinisculeRocking: Their first albums with Dave were unusually short, usually in the slightly above 30 minutes mark (''Fair Warning'' is the shortest, at 30:58 total[[note]]bear in mind, though, that this length was within an LP's standards, wherein it could be filled with less songs than a CD, and if one had around 40 minutes, it would start to be considered EpicRocking[[/note]]). This era also gave us their shortest song, "Tora! Tora!" from ''Women and Children First'', barely clocking in at 0:57. Once Dave left and Sammy came onboard, at the same time as vinyls were being overtaken by [=CDs=], their album lengths immediately took a sudden jump (contrast: ''1984'' = 33:17, ''5150'' = 43:02) and actually continued to increase with every album until ''Van Halen III'' peaked at 65:18. Dave's return seems to have brought the songs back to a more "manageable", 2-4 minute length; in fact, the longest song on ''A Different Kind of Truth'' is "Beats Workin'", at only 5:02 (though, with 13 tracks, the album runs at 49:58, i.e. falling just two seconds short of the 50-minute mark).
* NobodyLovesTheBassist: By the nineties, this was hitting Mike pretty hard - most of the bass in ''III'' was done by Eddie, and not only Mike just got into the Van Hagar reunion in 2006 because Sammy wanted him to, but on the new tracks of ''Best of Both Worlds'' he only did backing vocals (Eddie had already played bass).
* NotableMusicVideos: "Jump" and "Hot for Teacher" for the Dave era, "Right Now" for Sammy.

'''"WOO!"'''

* [[OncePerEpisode Once Per Album]]: A particularly {{Narm}}y GenreShift. Notable examples include "Ice Cream Man" (an acoustic blues cover that eventually [[SongStyleShift kicks into the band's energetic hard rock]], keeping the {{Narm}} in check), "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)" (an old-fashioned-sounding swing jazz song), and "Happy Trails" (an a capella cover of a commercial jingle). These latter two are actually twice on the same album, though (''Diver Down''). There's also "Stay Frosty" on ''ADKOT'' which, on the same vein of "Ice Cream Man", starts on bluesy acoustic guitar before the band starts hammering on in). Notably, only "Stay Frosty" was penned by the band themselves.
* PowerBallad: Sketched out rather early with "In a Simple Rhyme" and arguably "I'll Wait", but it really became a staple with Hagar.
* RatedMForManly: The David Lee Roth years, with songs such as "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love".
** Although the DLR-fronted band also gave us some of their campier songs, such as "Big Bad Bill" and "Beautiful Girls".
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The lyrics of "Blood and Fire" sound ''so'' much like Dave talking about his return to the band.
-->Told you I was coming back
-->Say you missed me
-->Say it like you mean it.
* RearrangeTheSong: Their covers.
* RecordProducer: Ted Templeman between 1978-1984, with long-term engineer Donn Landee, and with various others afterwards (the band, Donn Landee and Mick Jones on ''5150'', the band and Donn Landee on ''[=OU812=]'', the band, a returning Templeman and Andy Johns on ''Carnal Knowledge'', Bruce Fairbairn on ''Balance'', Eddie and Mike Post on ''Van Halen III'', and the band and John Shanks on ''A Different Kind of Truth'').
* RetGone: Around the time Michael Anthony was kicked out, the band shot themselves in the foot by Photoshopping the cover of their first album displayed on their website to replace him with Wolfgang Van Halen.
** They also completely ignored his existence in ''Guitar Hero: Van Halen'', always having Wolfgang on the bass, even when the band appears in "classic" costumes. Justified, as they styled it as the modern band going back and playing their most famous venues rather than tracing the actual history of the band in chronological order.
* RightNowMontage: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMV-fenGP1g Right Now]]", TropeNamer.
* RockstarSong: A few of them, with the latest, "As Is", dealing with what fame does:
-->Yesterday I was a bum and broke.\\
[[RichesToRags Today I am a star and broke.]]\\
In this town that's called progress,\\
That's how we do biz.
* RuleOfFunny: They ran off this while Dave was in the band.
* SecretTest The band's infamous 1982 tour rider request that no brown M&M's be included in their backstage bowl of M&M's or the band would not perform. The request was not intended to be self-indulgent or eccentric, but was instead proof that the promoters had thoroughly read the rest of their rider, which included important information about safety, security, lighting and ticketing. If they found brown M&M's, they had a reason to believe that the promoter was inattentive, because if such a small request had been glossed over, then other more important things also had. This was [[JustifiedTrope justified]] by the band after a number of near-misses caused by promoters not adhering to health and safety requirements, and their concert preparations were so cumbersome they were rather reluctant to tour outside the USA at various points.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: What most of their songs deal with.
* ShoutOut: The chorus of "Can't Stop Lovin' You" shows that it's based on the similarly titled RayCharles song. At least, near the end of the song.
--> And I know what I got to do
--> Hey, Ray, what you said is true, ooh
--> I can't stop lovin' you
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The impact of their very first album, which was practically without precedent. While some of it was arguably the result of CoolVersusAwesome ("Runnin' With the Devil" sounded both as loud as TheWho and as fuzzy as JimiHendrix), other parts of the album were absurdly original. "Eruption" sounded like a tidal wave hitting an electric power plant, while their famous cover of "You Really Got Me" had a jerky, machine-like cadence that rock musicians had formerly needed synthesizers in order to approximate.
* SongOfSongTitles: "You and Your Blues".
* SpeedMetal: While obviously their overall sound isn't speed metal, several of their songs arguably fall under this, and "I'm the One" could be considered an UrExample
* StayFrosty: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoQjuAyeA8Q Is what the preacher man said]].
* StealthPun: In "Good Enough": "'Cause it's three, six, nine time" i.e.: Time to multiply.
* SubduedSection: "In a Simple Rhyme" and many more others.

'''"OH YEEEAAAH"'''

* TakeThat: It is a well-documented legend that the title of ''[=OU812=]''[[note]]"Oh, you ate one too?"[[/note]] was one at David Lee Roth's debut solo album, ''Eat 'em and Smile''.
** Another spin on the above legend is that there was a kind of "back and forth" between DLR and VH over the course of several albums: DLR's "Crazy From the Heat" - VH's "5150" (police code for the criminally insane[[note]]and also the name of Eddie's personal studio[[/note]]) followed by DLR's "Eat 'Em and Smile" - VH's "[=OU812=]" (as mentioned above). Then there was VH's "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" followed by DLR's "Your Filthy Little Mouth".
* TeacherStudentRomance: "Hot For Teacher", which is even quoted atop the page.
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: The main driving force of Van Halen until 1984 was the creative relationship between Eddie, the consummate technician, and Diamond Dave, the performer, whereby Dave's LargeHam clowning endeared the band to audiences and kept Eddie from indulging himself too much on records, while Eddie's guitar wizardry elevated the band's showmanship and made them stand out. (Reviewing "Runnin' With the Devil", the AVClub highlighted [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-uneven-alchemy-of-van-halens-runnin-with-the-d,90900/ the alchemy between Eddie's fret-magic and Dave's "chummy megalomania"]] as the key to Van Halen's success.) This relationship eventually grew strained due to CreativeDifferences and collapsed, leading to Dave being fired in 1984. Neither Sammy Hagar nor Gary Cherone had anywhere near Dave's capacity to challenge Eddie, who asserted control over the band's direction from then onwards.
* ThisIsADrill: Which Eddie used in the intro of "Poundcake". And it sounds [[CrazyAwesome pretty cool]].
* TitleByNumber: ''1984'' and ''5150''. Also, Eddie's solo "316" on ''For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge''.
** Letters2Numbers: ''[[PunBasedTitle OU812]]''.
* TropeCodifier: When elderly people or foreigners (non-Anglo-Americans who might be TwoDecadesBehind or more) picture rock musicians, Van Halen is probably the archetype they're thinking of. While ElvisPresley, [[RollingStones Mick Jagger]], and [[TheDoors Jim Morrison]] did much to define [[UrExample the rock star's basic personality]] and AliceCooper and {{Kiss}} solidified [[TropeNamer the "look"]], it was Van Halen who brought the ultimate in rock-and-roll energy and attitude.
* UrExample: For HairMetal. The songs "Eruption" and "Spanish Fly" are the UrExample of Neo Classical Metal.
* WeWantOurJerkBack: Many fans' reaction to a sober, more serious Eddie.

(Guitar Solo)

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