Rock music was undoubtedly revolutionized in the mid 70s when Van Halen first achieved mainstream success. After the release of their hugely successful, self-titled album in 1978, the lightning fast finger-tapping of Eddie Van Halen and the melodic howl of David Lee Roth set a standard that was met by few bands. Their groundbreaking style led to a slew of albums that became fixtures on the Billboard charts, as well as sold-out tour dates around the world.
Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen were originally born in Amsterdam, but moved to the United States as children. In 1972, they formed a band called Mammoth, with Eddie on guitar and vocals, Alex on drums, and Mark Stone on bass. Instead of paying David Lee Roth for the rental of his sound system, they instead decided to invite Roth to be the lead singer. After a few tour dates, Stone was replaced by Michael Anthony in 1974, and the band changed their name to Van Halen.
Van Halen's eponymous album was released in 1977 and blew away rock critics and fans with the unique, hypersonic sound. Eddie's guitar virtuosity and Roth's animated vocals continued on Van Halen II (1978) and Diver Down (1982). Van Halen was extremely busy, alternating months of tour dates with recording new albums. Despite ongoing internal conflict, Van Halen released the diamond certified album, 1984. Despite the success of singles like "Jump," "Panama," and "Hot for Teacher," and successful tour dates, the conflict within the band became too much and David Lee Roth left the band. Former Montrose singer Sammy Hagar was hired to replace Roth, officially ushering in the "Van Hagar" era. The new lineups first album, 5150 was a huge success and Van Halen flourished with Hagar. However, clashes between Hagar and the Van Halen brothers reached a head in 1996 and Hagar left amid rumors that the band was again working with David Lee Roth.
Van Halen regrouped with Sammy Hagar in 2004, released a compilation, and embarked on a series of hugely successful tour dates. Hagar became fed up with Eddie's alcoholism a year later and left Van Halen yet again. In 2007, Van Halen went on tour with Roth as their lead singer and Eddie's son Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass.
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