The 10 best Van Halen songs ever. Period.

If you know me, you know there are two things I love in this world, more than anything: Disneyland, America and Van Halen.

I’ve been outspoken about this in the past and I get a lot of emails asking me things like, “What’s the best song on OU812?” or “Did you know that For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge spells out a swear word if you take the first letter of each word and put it together?” and “Who’s better: Cherone or Hagar?”

I believe that music is about evolution. I don’t think it makes much sense when you’re talking about how the world got started, but I think it explains music pretty well. Music just got continually better as time went on, it’s an accepted fact.

At first, you had classical music; which is stupid and doesn’t even have any words. Then rock n’ roll was invented, but it was all black guys. Elvis came along and made it better. Then you had Rush, ELO and Van Halen who topped that.

Then you had a better Van Halen.

Then you had an even better Van Halen; music reached its pinnacle and that was it. It never got any better and it never will.

So, as my gift to you, all the Van Halen fans out there, here is my list of the 10 best Van Halen songs of all time, lovingly crafted by me, the world’s biggest and greatest Van Halen fan of all time.

The top 10 Van Halen songs of all time:

10. Right Now (F.U.C.K.) – If it wasn’t awesome, why would they have put it in that Crystal Pepsi commercial? Plus, the video helped me learn to read.

9. Jump (1984) – The only Roth-era song you’ll find on this list. It addressed the band’s biggest shortcoming: namely Eddie’s guitar playing. If they had incorporated more synth earlier on, perhaps they could have saved the band. But then again, it never would have had the chance to soar to new heights under Sammy Hagar.

8. When It’s Love (OU812) – How do I know when it’s love? When this song is on the radio, that’s how!

7. One I Want (Van Halen III) – Gary Cherone really comes into his own on this track, taking the reigns and rocking all night long! One listen to this now and you’ll want to kill yourself when you realize what could have been!

6. Dreams (5150) – After showing some promise with “Jump”, David Lee What’s-his-face jumped ship (not literally, unfortunately) and Van Halen fans rejoiced at the idea of the band going on without him. The Hagar-era VH would mark a return to their roots as a synth-based Top 40 act, finally eschewing their sad forays into harder rock. This song, a notable exception, proved that you don’t have to be a no-goodnik to get down! Bonus points for featuring the Blue Angels in the video. I hope that helped enlistment figures!

5. Fire in the Hole (Van Halen III) – Who could forget everybody’s favorite scene in everybody’s favorite Lethal Weapon film, Lethal Weapon 4? Not me, that’s who! A crazy guy with a flamethrower is no match for the heat generated by this rocker!

4. Poundcake (F.U.C.K.) – Yes! That’s all I have to say about this! Yes! Yes! Yes! This rocks!

3. Humans Being (Twister Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – I don’t care if this broke up the band, this song is great! The perfect soundtrack for the perfect movie, Twister. I can watch that scene where the smarmy British guy gets killed over and over! God save the Queen? More like “save the pieces of your body for that closed-casket funeral we’re going to have for you later when we send you back to England!”

2. Without You (Van Halen III) – The ultimate in Gary Cherone-era Van Halen, itself the ultimate in Van Halen-ness. This is simply as good as it gets. This will rock you for days but also make you think. And this is why I feel these tracks are vastly superior to those that came before them. Nobody likes Roth and his clowning around. Rock n’ Roll isn’t about partying and having fun, just ask Rush. Sammy Hagar brought some much-needed jingoism and ballyhooing to the mix, but it was only when the two best bands of the 90’s (VH and Extreme) were blended like this, could rock take its rightful place up there with country as the king of music.

1. Without You (Van Halen III and God’s very own radio) – It’s simply good enough to be listed twice. In fact, this whole list is bullshit, 1-10 should just be this one song.

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44 comments

  1. I would probably put “Right Now” a little bit higher on this list simply for the music video. They took four of my favorite things (vaguely uplifting rock, music videos, and reading), and they combined them to make the second most witty and poignant rock video in history (the first being, of course, “Be With You” by Mr. Big). Deep inside I know you feel it, too.

  2. “Biggest and greatest Van Halen fan of all time” — ?? You have to be saying that with tongue firmly in cheek, I know. I mean, what are you, sir — maybe 23 or 24? It’s a shame some of the phrases in your blog caused it to come up in my Google news the other day. Sorry to burst a bubble here, but knowing and appreciating the band Van Halen has nothing to do with this site.

  3. Jon’s right Eric. If you want to make those kind of sarcastic statements, please don’t do it on this Van Halen exclusive tribute interweb hosting engine. Maybe you could go somewhere and start some kind of “humour ‘blog’ (a term I just made up, but I think is going to be very popular in the world wide web of tubes)”. That way, you could have your fun, but when the rest of us log into “Hollywood Phony-The Official Website of Eric Filipkowski”, we can just enjoy posts about Van Halen every day like we are expecting, rather than the random thoughts of some guy in computerland somewhere.

    Oh, and I also don’t appreciate being directed here when I was trying to find out where I could find a nice jizz-filled Frosty in my town. That was racist!

  4. this definitely made me laugh. “the biggest van halen fan ever” and then you put songs from “van halen 3” on there? and without you is at the top… twice. this is probably the most cleverly laid trap for true van halen fans. Well played sir.

  5. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to love VHIII so much, let alone at all. Every song on that album is garbage. VH lost their flame once Gary Cherone got on board; there’s a reason no one ever hears any of those songs on any classic rock radio station…ever.

    I think the only song I can agree with you on is Humans Being, and perhaps Jump.

  6. “The only roth-era song you’ll find on this list.”

    AKA: The only good song you’ll find on this list.

    I seriously hope this is satire.

  7. Seriously? I was huge Van Halen fan until their music started sounding like… poop. Gary is great and all but nothing he did with them ranks with the “real” VH.

  8. To whoever made this list,

    You sir, are a fucking retard. There is a line drawn on what is opinion and what is fact. People are entitled to their own opinions, most of the time. I hope this is a fucking joke though. Because you not a fan of Van Halen, you are a disgrace. The fact that you would even consider the work with Gary Cherone to compare with their other work is revolting, let alone, you make one of those shitty songs #1 and #2? What the fuck did your bitch of a mother ingest with you in the womb. You are a poser faggot and a fucking retard who has no idea what good music is.

  9. Only one fucking David Lee Roth song? Don’t get me wrong Sammy is great, but Van Halen would have never been anything without David. He gave Van Halen just as much character as Eddie. But of course the one David song you have is the overrated poser song you piece of shit. Have you ever heard Hot for Teacher, Unchained, or Runnin’ With the Devil perhaps. You are a cock-sucking son of a bitch. You’re life must be miserable for you to insult an innocent band trying to make an honest living by using their talents to please the world’s ears. You are pathetic and a fucking queer.

    Sincerely,
    A Real Van Halen Fan

  10. P.S. I think this is actually a really funny post. I appreciate you satirical work and I appreciate that you appreciate Van Halen enough to know what you must incorporate to sound completely ridiculous when writing this. From a Real Van Halen fan to another. May the cradle continue to rock.

    1. So what’s your top ten, Antwon? It’s easy to criticize people from behind a computer screen and just knock them down for putting themselves on the line, but it’s harder to step up and be a man. I can guarantee you that I am a bigger Van Halen fan than anyone else. Take your list and my list and put it up on any Van Halen fan site and let the fans decided which is better. I’m 100% sure I’ll kick your ass!

  11. Im only 21 years old and am listening to the so called “number 1 song” it sucks as does this whole entire ablum!. I’ll give Fire in the Hole some creit but i dont think I’d put it in the top 10!. I love Van Halen but wouldnt consider myself the biggest fan ever. I agree with Humans Being at 3 but why do you have the same song at 1 and 2?. You have 3 songs from this terrible ablum Van Halen 3 in you top 10?. You definently need to listen to some more Van Halen music brother. A song with David Lee Roth should definently be number 1! Panama, Unchained, Jump, Everybody Wants Some, etc. I dont mind SOME Hagar songs but it seemed to me after he got there they started to decline, cheesy songs, alright lyrics, and even Eddie’s guitar playing started to slip a little, things seemed to get really repetitive. I think you big Van Halen fans can agree.

  12. My favorite song of their’s is Humans Being but in my opinion Aint Talkin Bout Love or Runnin with the Devil make a very strong argument for number 1!!!!!!

  13. the best song will and always will be ERUPTION and they didnt even have to put lyrics in it because it speaks for itself!!!!

  14. Stumbled across this site by accident?
    Gary who??????????. Real VH fans don’t even recognize this Cherone era sorry mate and consider it,……..well,….. hmmm….., a bit of an embarrasment really? Maybe i’m getting to old but your either a Red Rocker man or a Diamond Dave fan? But you’ve got an opinion, and i’ll respect that. Good on you. Yeah definately Poundcake, Dreams, Jump, Humans Being (nahh) greatest VH guitar solo maybe? What about Aint talkn bout love? Why can’t this be love? Seventh Seal? Panama?. I would never put them in any order, but the above mentioned definately in my 10.
    If you put a gun to my head, i’d probably go with Dreams? Wonderful uplifting song and lyrics.

  15. van halen is the greatest band of all time. first of all, your list is shit. second, your making a list of top 10 VAN HALEN songs, not sam halen or van hagar (terms for van halen when that faggot sammy hagar joined). how could anyone even consider putting gary cherone on a list. gary cherone era is a disgrace to rock and roll. you clearly haven’t listened to any real van halen albums. go listen, and put more than one roth song on your list. actually, put ten roth songs. you are clearly a musicly uneducated dipshit.
    -Top Jimmy

    P.S.
    long live eddie van halen

  16. The best Van Halen songs include some by Gary Cherone and one that was on the Twister soundtrack? Do yourself a favor and Put the crack pipe down for awhile.

  17. After reading several of your posts I now realize this list was made in jest. Kudos to you, Eric. You certainly succeeded in getting a lot of people (myself included) fired up. This was very funny.

  18. Good lord – is this for real? “the biggest shortcoming of Roth era VH is guitar…?”. I might suggest my 10 worst list would read exactly as this.

  19. Yeah ummm… One David lee Roth song? Don’t get me wrong, Cherone and Hagar were fine replacements, but Roth was just as much a kickstart to the band as Eddie or anyone else in it! He still is today, the Roth years were the original, cool-kid years, with that van halen energy they never had without him. Where’s everybody wants some and Panama? Anything from the debut? Come on dude

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