Van Halen Biography

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Van HalenVan Halen is an American rock band that became famous in the late 70’s and the 80’s. It was first formed in Pasadena, California in 1972 by the Van Halen brothers, guitarist Eddie and drummer Alex, as a three-piece band along with Mark Stone on bass.

This initial line-up was then known as Mammoth. The band went on to recruit singer David Lee Roth as frontman to help keep Eddie to concentrate on playing the guitar. Mark Stone was then replaced by Michael Anthony on bass.

The band went to play in clubs around Pasadena and tried to gather a fan base for themselves through self-promotion. They eventually discovered that Mammoth was already being used by another band and decided to change their name to Van Halen.

By playing more and more venues in the Pasadena and Hollywood club circuit, the band was able to increase their popularity and local fan base. By mid-70’s, the band had made themselves a staple act on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip.

The band was seen by executives from Warner Bros. Records in one of their club gigs in 1977. The executives were so impressed by the performance that weeks later, the band was offered a recording contract. Van Halen was able to release their self titled debut album and enjoyed immediate commercial success. It was able to reach number 12 on the Billboard rock charts and is considered today as one of rocks most successful debut albums commercially. Because of their newfound success, Van Halen was able to go on tour as an opening act for Black Sabbath and became known as a talented as well as an exciting live act.

Over the next year’s Van Halen released several albums that became commercial successes and then further increased the popularity of the band. Their successful tours were also met with much critical acclaim that further cemented their popularity and reputation as one of the most successful acts of the decade. Eddie Van Halen’s technical wizardry with the instruments seemed to contrast with David Lee Roth’s flamboyant persona. But it was the combination that helped the band soar to greater heights and enjoy immense success all over the world.

It was their album, 1984, that helped the band reach the pinnacle of success. Not only that, the album was the first that was released by Van Halen that has incorporated keyboards as a main ingredient to the band’s sound. The album’s first single, "Jump", became the bands first and only number one pop hit. Other hit singles contained in the album like "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama" became instant MTV hits as popular music videos. The album went on to peak at number two on the Billboard Charts, behind another phenomenal album released the same year, Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Despite several changes in the line-up in the ensuing years, the band was able to enjoy relative success well into the 90’s. Overall, Van Halen was able to sell more than 56 million albums worldwide. They also have earned the distinction of landing in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks. To further cement their reputation and influence as one of the world’s greatest rock bands, Van Halen was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March of 2007.

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