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The Van Halen song that Eddie said was one of his favorites

Van Halen


The Van Halen song that Eddie said was one of his favorites

Van Halen was formed in Pasadena, California in 1973 and in 1978 released their self-titled album that was the start of a very successful career that made them one of the most influential Hard Rock bands of all time. Over four decades they released 12 studio albums and have sold an estimated amount of more than 80 million records worldwide.


Their songs became real Rock and Roll anthems and keep inspiring countless musicians and fans. The late Eddie Van Halen,, that sadly died at the age of 65 back in 2020, talked a lot over the years about the band’s songs. Even revealing which track was one of his favorites.

The Van Halen song that Eddie said was one of his favorites

Van Halen was one of the few bands that were lucky enough to be successful with two different lead singers. They first achieved fame with David Lee Roth on vocals and then when he left the group Sammy Hagar joined them and they continued to make praised and succcessful records.

Especially in the late 70s, 80s and early 90s the band released albums that gave them multiple hits on the charts. So it’s often difficult for fans to point which are some of their favorite Van Halen songs. But the late legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen could easily name which were the ones he liked the most. He revealed in an interview with Forbes in 2009 which was one of the tracks he loved.

“One of my favorite songs of ours is ‘Drop Dead Legs.’ Whether it’s a hit or not, to me I love that song,” Eddie Van Halen song. Featured on the band’s “1984” (1984) album, “Drop Dead Legs” wasn’t released as a single at the time. Because that record had other biggger hits like “Jump”, “Panama” and “Hot For Teacher”. It was the last album of the band with David Lee Roth on vocals until “A Different Kind of Truth” (2012), recorded when he re-joined the band decades later.

The track was inspired by an AC/DC hit released a few years before

Just like Van Halen, AC/DC is one of the groups that were able to continue to be successful with a new singer. Brian Johnson joined the band in 1980 after the tragic death of Bon Scott at the age of 33.

His first album with the band was “Back In Black” which became their most successful record. Which also is one of the best-selling albums of all time. It sold an estimated amount of more than 50 million sold copies worldwide.

Eddie Van Halen was a huge fan of AC/DC and he revealed in an interview with Guitar World back in 2014, that the title-track “Back In Black” was the inspiration for “Drop Dead Legs”.

“That was inspired by AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’. I was grooving on that beat. Although I think that ‘Drop Dead Legs’ is slower. Whatever I listen to somehow is filtered through me and comes out differently. So ‘Drop Dead Legs’ is almost a jazz version of ‘Back in Black’. The descending progression is similar. But I put a lot more notes in there,” Eddie Van Halen said.

“1984” was the last album to feature all four Van Halen classics members. The bassist Michael Anthony wasn’t part of their last reunion, being replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen. Alongside Van Halen’s debut album, “1984” is one of their best-selling albums. Both records sold an estimated amount of more than 10 million copies worldwide.

The guitar solo was inspired by Allan Holdsworth

The British jazz fusion and Progressive Rock guitarist Allan Holdsworth, who known for his work with the band U.K., was one of Eddie Van Halen’s favorite guitarists. They had the opportunity to get to know each other and the musician continued to inspire Eddie.

According to the Dutch-American guitarist, the solo of “Drop Dead Legs” was inspired by Allan. “That ride out solo was very much inspired by Allan Holdsworth. I was playing whatever I wanted like jazz. A bunch of wrong notes here and there. But it seemed to work,” Eddie Van Halen said.

Curiously, it wasn’t the first Van Halen solo that was inspired by Holdsworth. Eddie had said that the solo in the song “Crade Will Rock”, released on Van Halen’s 1980 album “Women and Children First” was also inspired by him. Eddie loved the musician’s work so much that he helped him to get a record deal in the early 80s with Warner Brothers. At the time the musician was selling his equipment to be able to take care of his family.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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