The only Van Halen song to feature Eddie Van Halen on vocals

Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen never had to speak while performing because of his skill with the guitar. Eddie’s deft touch on the guitar allowed for the most amazing solo runs in music history. Even with a dynamic performer like David Lee Roth in the lead. His instantly recognizable two-hand tapping technique would knock audiences away. Eddie did finally have one song where he took the mic by the time he became more experienced.

It’s true that each member of Van Halen has to be somewhat proficient in singing. On early songs like “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Jamie’s Cryin,” Roth’s screams combined with Michael Anthony’s high harmony vocals worked a spell, even though Roth was never known to have the most technically proficient pipes.

Sammy Hagar was a great addition to the band and added even more musical depth after Roth left. Singing along to hit after hit, including “When It’s Love” and “Right Now,” Hagar quickly won over the fan base. Despite being a less technically proficient vocalist than Roth, his charismatic performance and popular songs endeared him to the audience. Following the release of the album Balance, Hagar found himself at differences with the Van Halen brothers. He remained in the band for the same amount of time as Roth.

Hagar was fired because they couldn’t agree on the lyrics of songs like “Amsterdam” and after working on a few greatest hits. Although Van Halen could have easily added another vocalist, the inclusion of Gary Cherone resulted in one of the worst musical disasters ever on Van Halen III.

The album consists mainly of tracks with less than stellar vocal performances, which lack focus. Cherone’s need to sound like Sammy Hagar results in the worst vocal takes ever heard on a Van Halen record. Even though he probably performed okay with what he was given. This is especially true for songs like “Without You.”

But when the record came to a conclusion, Eddie realized he didn’t need Cherone either. The album’s last track features Van Halen’s first recorded microphone performance. It was a low-register croon on the song “How Many Say I.”

Van Halen’s performance of the song is gritty and gloomy, in contrast to the other high-range vocalists who have joined and left the group. It sounds almost like a cheesy imitation of Tom Waits. Although Waits is a fantastic songwriter, the lyrics Eddie composed are full of hollow platitudes. They attempt to encourage his listeners to consider the actual issues facing the world but don’t mesh well with the tone of Waits’ songs.

The album’s last note closes one of the most laborious Van Halen albums ever. It feels like Eddie Van Halen is leaving the project hanging, leaving listeners scratching their heads and trying to figure out what the hell they just heard. Even though the album received the worst reviews Van Halen had ever received, they quickly turned things around.

Following his rehabilitation, Eddie toured with Roth and Hagar on several occasions before retaining “Diamond Dave” for the album A Different Kind of Truth. Anthony Van Halen’s son Wolfgang filled in for him on bass. Together, the two helped turn the album into a late-career success. They showed that the band could still be fierce even after the songs were over. Eddie’s vocal debut shouldn’t have been his final release, even though he might have been speaking from a personal place on “How Many Say I.”


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