5 Deep Cuts From Van Halen That You Should Be Listening To

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Van Halen took the ’70s English rock n’ roll and translated it for a new decade. With Eddie Van Halen’s revolutionary guitar playing paving the way, the four-piece has become one of the most influential bands of all time.

That influence led to rock classics like “Hot For Teacher” and “Panama” but their 12 studio albums hold more hidden gems that deserve a closer look. Below, we’re going through five lesser-known Van Halen songs that you should be listening to. Let’s “Jump” in.

1. “On Fire”

Featured on their landmark debut album, “On Fire” is the least well-known of an extremely eminent bunch. The final track on the record, they close things out with a rush of piercing guitar work from Eddie. It’s the sort of rock pioneering that would eventually make them household names.

2. “Bottom Up!”

Though Van Halen is most so known for stadium-sized riffs, they took things for an intimate turn a time or two. “Bottoms Up!” is one such time. Featuring spacey, groovy guitar lines you’d sooner find in the heyday of psychedelia, it remains a truly unique offering from the four-piece.

3. “Baluchitherium”

“Baluchitherium” is a rare, vocal-free instrumental from Balance (1995). Though the rest of the album didn’t compare to the material they were putting out in the decades prior, this track stands out as a gem with Eddie proving he was still a formidable guitar slinger amid a new generation.

4. “Inside”

“Inside” is a haunting number that closes out 5150 with a wall of synth-led sound. Though the song has never been performed live by the group, its growling guitar line would no doubt have been a crowd-pleaser if they has given it the chance.

5. “Could This Be Magic?”

“Could This Be Magic?” is in stark contrast to most of Van Halen’s material. With a slide guitar and a folky melody, if you heard it out of context, it would be hard to pin which band was performing it—if it wasn’t for David Lee Roth’s unmistakable voice.

Photo by Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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