Van Halen released their self-titled debut album in 1978 and through the decades built a successful career that made them one of the biggest Hard Rock bands of all time. They have sold an estimated amount of more than 80 million records sold worldwide.
Also are one of the few bands that were able to continue on the same level of success when replacing their first classic vocalist. David Lee Roth left the group in 1985 and was replaced by Sammy Hagar.
Even though the band had countless hits, there were a few ones that some members of the group didn’t believe at first that it would be a famous track. Eddie Van Halen revealed which were those songs in an interview with Forbes in 2009.
The 2 Van Halen hits that Eddie Van Halen said his bandmates didn’t believe in
When Van Halen started to compose songs for their album “1984” (1984), they already were a famous and respected group, having released five studio albums. Those records had a big focus on Eddie Van Halen’s guitar playing, that already was an influence to countless musicians in Rock and Roll. But for that album, the musician decided to also experiment with the keyboards. Something that did not pleased many fans and even band members, who thought that he should continue to focus on the guitar.
But that choice gave Van Halen their mega hit, the track “Jump” that became a keyboard driven song. That’s one of the songs that according to the late guitarist Eddie Van Halen, other members of the group didn’t believe it could be a hit.
The musician was asked about which moments on his songwriting career he knew he had reached something special. He gave writing “Jump” as an example. “It’s like ‘Jump,’ it was our only number one single. Believe it or not I built my studio to put that song on our record cause everyone hated it,” Eddie Van Halen said.
The song remains as Van Halen’s most successful single. It reached number 1 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. It also became a song that is played constatly during sport events all over the world.
Another song that Eddie’s bandmates had not much hope that could be a hit was “Right Now”. It was featured on “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” (1991), the band’s fourth album with Sammy Hagar.
“Same with the song ‘Right Now.’ Alex and I tracked the whole thing. Certain people didn’t want to be a part of it. Then it wins a Grammy and a MTV Award for Video of the Year. And all of a sudden it’s like, ‘Hey yeah, great.’
“But it was like pulling teeth to get the person to sing the damn song. And there are certain things that I fight for because I do write all the music. So I think I have a little bit of say in how things should go.”
“I’m not a tyrant as a lot of people think. I just expect other people, if you’re in this band, to work as hard as I do. I don’t like people that just phone things in,” Eddie Van Halen said.
As the musician noted, that album gave Van Halen their only Grammy Award on the “Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal” category. In that year they defeated Guns N’ Roses that had “Use Your Ilusion I”, AC/DC with “Moneytalks” and Alice In Chains that had the single “Man In The Box”.
“Right Now” also won the “MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year”. Other famous videos were competing with Van Halen. They were: Def Leppard‘s “Let’s Get Rocked”, Nirvana‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Chili Peppers‘ “Under The Bridge”.