Van Hagar vs Van Halen

Hello dear reader(s)!

Do you like Van Halen?  Did you like the Sammy Hagar years, or the David Lee Roth years better?  Or are you like me, and you like both.  (I won’t ask about the Extreme guy period…because, why would I?)

“BLASPHEMY!!!  Did you just say you liked both?!?!?!  How dare you?!?!“, some will exclaim.

It is true, I like both.  And I will go a step further with a very unpopular opinion.  Get ready, are you sitting down?

The songs during the Sammy Hagar years are just better.

Please don’t shoot me!  I know there is some very, very strong feelings on the subject.  The Sammy Hagar songs are more ballads while some of the Roth songs shred.

That is very true.

The David Lee Roth version of Van Halen is more fun.  Way more fun.  And the guitar is so much more innovative and complex.  I agree with this.

But also seriously cheesy.

The Sammy Hagar Van Halen songs are better from a songwriting point of view.  They don’t shred as hard, but sometimes in songwriting, there is such a thing as too much.  And if there is one thing that the David Lee Roth Van Halen perfected, it was too much.  Look how many notes Eddie can tap on the fretboard!  Look how many drums Alex has that almost never get used!  Look at David flying through the air with those God-awful clothes!  All fun, but all extremely silly.

Here is Van Halen’s best song, in my opinion.

And here is exactly what I mean about the David Lee Roth years.

Which do you like better?  Which do you think is better?

As with most of my opinions, I think it comes down to image versus substance.  Surface versus depth.  I prefer depth and substance.

So David Lee Roth and Van Halen (minus the original bass player) have decided to reunite for a short tour this year.  I’m guessing that Roth is short on cash.  It would be fun to see, and I bet the live show with David Lee Roth would be seriously entertaining, but I stand by my evaluation of the best Van Halen.  Van Hagar wins.

What do you think?  Are you going to try to see them?


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

9 thoughts on “Van Hagar vs Van Halen”

  1. Although not in my generation, my older brother was a Van Halen fan and had all their cds, that I got to listen to. I like both ,although Sam Hager does have better singing voice( has more volume ).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is good to both, that is sure. I just think that the songwriting is better in the Sammy years. That said, it is almost like two different bands in two different genres and maybe shouldn’t even be compared.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Early Van Halen is my favorite before Roth took himself way to seriously and they did get cheesy. The Hagar years are super solid though, their run from late 80’s through early 90’s was musical gold. I’ll agree the songwriting was far more superb in the Hagar years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I definitely think that the Roth years were more fun. But fun isn’t always quality. Like MC Hammer was fun, but I wouldn’t say much beyond that. Van Halen was always more musically talented though.

      Liked by 1 person

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