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Best Van Halen albums in order:
1) Van Halen (debut)
2) Fair Warning
3) Van Halen II & Women and Children First (tie)
4) 1984 & Diver Down (tie)
5) A Different Kind of Truth
No other 'Van Halen' albums beyond those mentioned
As a guitarist, Fair Warning provides treasure after treasure every listen
Love them all. But “ 5150 “ changed me forever.
VAN HALEN I by a mile !!! All REAL Van Halen fans know that this their best album.
2) VH II
3) Fair Warning
5) Women and Children First
Tough choice. The deciding factor was Ice Cream Man.
Fair Warning - lord strike that poor boy down
Fair warning. I thought I'd be alone on this but I see alot of people thought so too.
I voted for VH 1. When I was younger I would've voted for Fair Warning but now in my 50's the first album doesn't have one bad track. Like others have said it was so innovative and ground breaking and today the production and music still holds up very strong.
Really any of the DLR albums are my favorites. Diver Down is mostly covers but "Little Guitars" is a killer track. I really hate Sammy because he sounds like a whiney woman when he sings and his lyrics are WEAK. I mean only horny 8th graders get excited over the lyrics to "Good Enough" or "Poundcake". Dave was a brilliant genius when it came to lyrics because he could talk about booze and sex but do it in a classy and funny way. Sammy just talks about sex like he's a nerdy loser trying to get lucky with the prom queen and has no clue how to turn her on. Dave could do with his wit and charm and pretty soon he's got her panties around her ankles. Besides all that, DLR-Era Van Halen outsold Van Hagar by about 5-to-1 and DLR-Era also produced two albums that sold over 10 million copies --- something Sammy could never dream of achieving.
I LOVE all 6 of the DLR albums and voted Van Halen I as the best VH album given it's place in rock history - awesome album that changed the face of rock music. That said, I trend toward Sammy as the better singer and frontman for VH. 5150 also an AWESOME album and subsequent songs on Sammy albums are through the roof. I saw Gary front EVH twice and thought he even did an awesome job - VH3 as an album had its ups and downs and I think Mike Post should have been stonier to shape Eddie's tendencies. Still, Dave and VH made history so kudos!
Pretty much a tie between the debut album and Fair Warning. The first album is so ground-breaking and innovative that it's hard to not give it objective praise as being the best rock guitar album ever made. But I think most diehard VH fans love Fair Warning so much because it's dark and gritty and it was the band's way of saying "F--K YOU" to the label in regards to producing a radio-friendly hit or pumping out another happy party song. You can tell Dave and Eddie were not getting along at this time, but the music was brilliant and angry.
I love "Fair Warning" and "1984" --- but there it's obvious amongst multiple generations of rock fans that "Van Halen I" is the PERFECT rock guitar album and will NEVER be matched again in human history --- add to that Dave's awesome screams and Mikey's soaring harmony --- and this album literally changed how rock music should be made and played for the masses!
I sure am glad that I voted for Fair Warning. Mean Street is my very favorite Van Halen/Van Haggar song.
5150!!!! Imagine following Roth and doing it as good as they did!! Hagar is a far better singer!!
First VH album. It's the one that caught everyone's attention and really started the whole string tapping, "brown sound", style of playing.
VH1 was ground breaking & their will never be a bigger statement made by a debut album! But us true VH fans know that if anyone votes for anything other than Fair Warning, you're not a die-hard. VH1 is hunger, FW is the greatest band at the top of its creative height
As a guitarist - FAIR WARNING (which was my vote). As a casual music listener (and guitarist) - 1984, followed VERY closely by VH1 - basically tied.
I'm not talking about how VH1 was a "game changer" and just because it was better than anything before it. I'm talking objectively as if as if all these albums were all released on the same day.
And while I'm at it, here is the rest of my personal countdown:
04 'Van Halen II'
05 'Diver Down'
07 'A Different Kind of Truth' (2012)
08 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge' (1991)
09 'Women and Children First' (1980)
10 'Balance' (1995)
11 'OU812' (1988)
12 'Van Halen III'
It really varies from time to time- I’m one of the Van Hagar fans, but as of now I say VHII. Eddie’s playing is fantastic to say the least and a well underrated album among the DLR years.
FAIR FUCKING WARNING!
VH1 may have been an explosion to the senses and 1984 may have been the chart topper than made them superstars but I believe the true essence and spirit of Van Halen is on Fair Warning.
I voted VH3, cuz I'm a rebel, and Gary will probably not get many votes. Lol
(My actual top 3: Balance, VHI, OU812)
I'm going with Fair Warning as well, same reason as other commenter. Dark and gritty. Love that album.
As much as i like Fair Warning, VH1 blows every other album out of the water front to back
I’m going with Fair Warning. It was kind of a darker album for them but I think Eddies playing on it is otherworldly...????????????????????????
Definitely VH1. I dig most of their stuff but Ed’s tone here is absolutely beyond next level. Still sounds as good as the first time I heard it.
VH 1 by far because when you first heard it it changed your life