Contact Us

25 Years Ago: Van Halen’s ‘OU812′ Album Released

Changing lead singers midstream tends to have an adverse effect on most rock bands, but after original vocalist David Lee Roth left Van Halen in 1985, the group topped the charts with their next album, 1986′s ‘5150.’ Two years later, they released their eighth LP, ‘OU812′ — and the hits kept right on coming.

With ’5150,’ the questions on most fans’ minds were how well new singer Sammy Hagar would fit in with the group and how his presence would affect the pop shift the band had started pursuing toward the end of Roth’s tenure. By the time ‘OU812′ arrived on May 24, 1988 — with a title that seems to take a shot at their former lead singer — fans knew what they were getting with Hagar-era Van Halen. The only real mystery was whether they’d be able to sustain their momentum — a riddle they solved with the release of the album’s first single, the Top 5 pop hit (and rock-radio chart-topper) ‘When It’s Love.’

While that track was one of the era’s many synth-padded power ballads, the album made room for more than keyboards, offering an expansive mix of sounds that included moody rockers (‘Mine All Mine’), uptempo numbers (‘A.F.U. [Naturally Wired]‘), radio-friendly pop anthems (‘Feels So Good’), a bluesy acoustic tune (‘Finish What Ya Started’) and even a Little Feat cover (‘A Apolitical Blues’). And although they ran the risk of alienating some fans by straying so far afield from their classic sound, the sales were nothing but encouraging: ‘OU812′ followed ’5150′ to the top of the Billboard charts, going quadruple platinum and spinning off four Top 40 pop hits along the way.

Firmly reestablished as one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, Van Halen closed out the ’80s on a high note — and when they returned with ‘For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge‘ in 1991, they picked up right where they left off, debuting at No. 1 with a triple-platinum record that contained no fewer than seven hit pop and/or rock-radio hits. For a while, it looked like there was no stopping them — and although they’d eventually be derailed by Hagar’s departure in 1996 (followed by a whole bunch of other stuff), ‘OU812′ still stands as one of the group’s most successful records, not to mention one of the decade’s smoother blends of heavy rock and light pop sheen.

Next: Top 10 'Van Hagar' Songs

More from US 103

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://us103.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on US 103.1 Classic Rock Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Register on US 103.1 Classic Rock Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!