Career Resurrection: Many fans had written Van Halen off at the start of the second decade of the 21st century. After a messy divorce with Sammy Hagar, an album with Gary Cherone which flopped, Michael Anthony's forced departure from the band and Eddie's bouts with alcoholism and cancer. But once Eddie came out of rehab, the band mended fences with Roth and hit the studio to record A Different Kind of Truth the band's first album of new material in 14 years. The album charted all the way up to #2 (same spot as 1984), spawned a hit single and returned them to the limelight, featuring some of Eddie's best playing in decades.
Some mocked the band reworking old demo tapes for A Different Kind of Truth, but most of that came from Wolf digging in the archives and making suggestions for new songs. Being the son and nephew of founding members, he knew exactly what fans would want.
Creative Differences: A music reviewer summed up the Van Halen-David Lee Roth split quite well as a situation where Eddie wanted to Grow The Beard and make the band more "artistic", but Diamond Dave was content with the success of their partying Hard Rock style. This holds up when one takes into account how the band went quite Darker and Edgier once Dave wasn't around to butt heads with and Eddie took over their creative direction entirely.
It marked the debut of Gary Cherone of Extreme as the band's third frontman after David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar. It was also the last album he'd be featured on, as well as the last album of new material they would release until 2012, as its sharply negative reception would cause Cherone to leave Van Halen and the band to go on hiatus. The same factors that drove both Roth and Hagar to quit Van Halen on bad terms were responsible for the failure of Van Halen III — namely, that, despite Cherone ostensibly being the frontman, Eddie Van Halen was the one who was really in charge, even though he had depended on Roth and Hagar to help compose the music in the past.
It was also the last album that composer Mike Post would produce, after which he would return to his day job composing theme music for TV shows.
Hostility on the Set: Simply put: Eddie Van Halen is an asshole. A talented one, but almost universally regarded as a complete dick, mostly since he's trashed Sammy and Michael Anthony publically for over a decade while not speaking a word to the guys themselves, trashing Roth while he's in the band, and generally having a bad attitude about any-and-everybody that doesn't have "Van Halen" as their last name. Says something things eventually got so fiery with both singers they wanted to take a rest, and Michael Anthony also didn't like being sidelined (to the point he only joined the 2004 reunion because Sammy wanted him there).
Name's the Same: This trope is part of the reason why the band has its current name; originally, the guys wanted to call their band Genesis. When they learned that another band was using that name, they started calling themselves Mammoth instead until they changed it to Van Halen some time later.
The video for "Jump" was badly affected by David Lee Roth's ego and his clash with the rest of the band. The other 3 members didn't want to be around him and asked director Robert Lombard if they could be filmed separately. Lombard hated the idea but buckled down with the exception of a few shots. Cameraman Pete Angelus didn't know how to operate a 16 mm camera properly, resulting in all footage he shot being unusable. Roth demanded that he be filmed doing a bunch of crazy stunts. Lombard wanted to cut out Roth's stunts and make the video a performance video to keep it personal, claiming it would make the video more successful. The other 3 members agreed to this, resulting in Lombard changing the video's format. Roth got word of this and demanded Lombard be fired. Lombard never again worked with Van Halen, Roth's stunt footage would surface in a future video, and "Jump" won the award for Best Performance Video at the first MTV Video Music Awards. It's also seen as one of the most memorable music videos ever made and helped cement the band's already monumental popularity even further.
The sheer personal tension surrounding "Humans Being", from the soundtrack to Twister, nearly destroyed the band. The first half of 1996 was meant to put the band on a break, with the Van Halen brothers Eddie and Alex needing surgery and Sammy Hagar about to have his third child. However, manager Ray Danniels convinced them that contributing to the Twister soundtrack would make them enough money to get them through the rest of that year. Originally, Sammy and Eddie wrote two songs, "The Silent Extreme" and "Between Us Two". According to Hagar, the two songs were recorded, and he was about to head back home in Maui to his wife until Eddie informed him that Between Us Two wasnt going to be used. Hagar and the Van Halen brothers clashed over lyrics, with Alex renaming "The Silent Extreme" to "Humans Being", Sammy flying back and forth between home and work so much that he moved to San Francisco and had to have the baby there (against his wife's wishes). At one point, the lack of compromise angered Sammy so badly he and producer Bruce Fairborn rewrote their lyrics in 15 minutes on the hood of a car, recorded his vocals in less than 2 hours, and stormed out. Ultimately, Sammy Hagar quit Van Halen due to the Van Halen brothers' prima-donna tendencies. All of this is detailed in a particularly ugly interview from the April 1997 edition of Guitar World, which suggests the issues went as far back as 1994 with problems rising up from a greatest hits package of Sammy's solo work.
The Pete Best: Mark Stone, the bassist who preceded Michael Anthony.
Throw It In!: Most of David Lee Roth's speaking breaks, combined with Funny Moments. "Eruption" also started initially as a warmup before Templeman convinced Eddie to record it and put it on the album. The rain in the background of "Could This Be Magic?" is actual - the band opened the studio's door during a rainy day because it was hot and poorly ventilated, and the effect got caught on tape.
By the way, the person saying "c'mon, Dave... gimme a break!" in "Unchained" is Templeman himself, telling Dave to stop before his talking got out of hand.