From the moment fans became mesmerized by Eddie Van Halen’s lightning fast licks, which were highlighted by the two-handed tapping technique he mastered, Van Halen was destined to become one of the all-time greats. Add in a charismatic showman of a singer in David Lee Roth, and the airtight rhythm section of Alex Van Halen on drums and Michael Anthony on bass, and the formula for rock and roll success was all there.
Van Halen then went out and proved their mettle in the clubs of L.A. before releasing their self-titled 1978 debut. Van Halen is widely considered to be one of the best hard rock introductions ever thanks to songs like “Runnin’ with the Devil,” “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love” and “Eruption.” And that was just side one.
Van Halen went on to place 23 songs on the all-genre Billboard 100 during their career, including 3 top 10s and 1 #1. Even when Roth was replaced halfway through the ‘80s with Sammy Hagar, the band kept chugging along. And the Roth vs. Hagar debate won’t be settled with this metric; each capable singer is responsible for half of VH’s all-time top 10s.
Let’s take a look back at the 10 biggest hits of Van Halen’s career via the Billboard 100.
From 1986's 5150, it peaked at #22 during a week "Invisible Touch" by Genesis was #1.
9. LOVE WALKS IN
From 1986's 5150, it peaked at #22 during a week "Stuck With You" by Huey Lewis & the News was #1.
8. DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
From 1979's Van Halen II, it peaked at #15 during a week "Bad Girls" by Donna Summer was #1.
7. I'LL WAIT
From 1984's 1984, it peaked at #13 during a week "Let's Hear It for the Boy" by Deniece Williams was #1.
From 1984's 1984, it peaked at #13 during a week "Ghostbusters" by Ray Parker Jr. was #1.
5. FINISH WHAT YA STARTED
From 1988's OU812, it peaked at #13 during a week "Look Away" by Chicago was #1.
4. (OH) PRETTY WOMAN
From 1982's Diver Down, it peaked at #12 during a week "I Love Rock 'N Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts was #1.
3. WHEN IT'S LOVE
From 1988's OU812, it peaked at #5 during a week "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns N' Roses was #1.
2. WHY CAN'T THIS BE LOVE
From 1986's 5150, it peaked at #3 during a week "Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston was #1.
From 1984's 1984, it went to #1 on 2/25/84, overtaking "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club.