Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Van Halen - "When it's Love"

When It's Love - OU812

(Debuted August 6, 1988, Peaked #5, 19 Weeks on the Chart)

A few weeks ago, I featured a song by David Lee Roth as he transitioned from the Van Halen frontman to a solo artist. Today, here's Van Halen two albums later, after Sammy Hagar filled in the space at the microphone. Hagar wasn't exactly an unknown entity before joining the band; he was a solo artist before that and also the singer of Montrose. However, he was no "Diamond Dave." Some of the group's fans weren't impressed with the change from a showy singer to a more technically correct one and referred to the band as "Van Hagar," but many fans embraced the change.

The album that included "When it's Love" was OU812, which was a sly reference to Roth's full-length solo LP Eat 'em and Smile. Written by Hagar after the Van Halen brothers provided him with a rhythm track, it was the last Top 10 pop single Van Halen ever achieved. Though there were several big Mainstream Rock hits after that and all of their Hagar-era LPs topped that chart, they began to decline on the bigger chart from that point.

Say what you want about the band's lead singer drama over the years. But "When it's Love" represents when they were still at their peak.

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