Is "Why Can't This Be Love" Van Halen's Worst Song?

September 6, 2018

Author Chuck Klosterman ranked all 131 of Van Halen's songs from worst to best. And number 131 is kind of a shocker, since it's one of their biggest hits:  "Why Can't This Be Love". The catch is that Klosterman doesn't actually think it's the worst Van Halen song. His beef with it is that it was the first single off "5150" the first album with Ssammy Hagar.

And Klosterman called that "the worst decision the band ever made" because it gave people the wrong impression of what Van Halen with Sammy Hagar would be. He said, quote, "Introducing the Hagar era with a cold, mid-tempo, keyboard-based love song installed the belief that Van Halen was moving away from high-octane fiesta rock and toward responsible, AOR maturity."

To make matters worse, David Lee Roth came out four months later with "Yankee Rose" which Klosterman describes as, quote, "an unbelievably ebullient song about wanting to [eff] the Statue of Liberty." He says, quote, "Roth never came up with another single as good as 'Yankee Rose', but the impact was seismic and perpetual.  From that point forward, we would always know who was Laverne and who was Shirley."

As for the rest of the list, the bottom end is heavily populated with tracks from 1998's "Van Halen 3", the one with singer Gary Cherrone, and "A Different Kind of Truth" the 2012 reunion album with Roth.

But the Top 10 is ALMOST a shutout by Diamond Dave.  Here it is . . .

1.  "Eruption", from "Van Halen"  (1978)

2.  "Unchained", from "Fair Warning"  (1981)

3.  "Dance the Night Away", from "Van Halen 2"  (1979)

4.  "Panama", from "1984", (1984)

5.  "D.O.A.", from "Van Halen 2"  (1979)

6.  "Hot for Teacher", from "1984"  (1984)

7.  "You Really Got Me", from "Van Halen"  (1978)

8.  "Runnin' with the Devil", from "Van Halen"  (1978)

9.  "Romeo Delight", from "Women and Children First"  (1980)

10.  "5150", from "5150"  (1986)

Tags: