The Studio Albums 1978-1984 is a no-frills package of VH’s first great era, all the albums released with original vocalist David Lee Roth at the helm. Featuring the now-immortal six-string styles of Eddie Van Halen, the devastating rhythm section of bassist Michael Anthony and drummer Alex Van Halen and the clean production of Ted Templeman, this box is a crash course in killer pop-rock, from the strains of “Eruption” to MTV-ready hits “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher,” plus classic covers of The Kinks (“You Really Got Me”), Roy Orbison (“Pretty Woman”) and Martha Reeves and The Vandellas (“Dancing in the Street”).
Roth, of course, famously went solo shortly after 1984; Sammy Hagar famously took the vocal reins until 1996, when Roth returned for a greatest-hits package. Gary Cherone of Extreme sang on one album, Van Halen III (1998), and Hagar took them through another round of touring (and another hits set) from 2003 to 2005, after which he and Anthony both left the band. In 2006, Roth returned with new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie’s son) to tour the world; in 2012, this lineup released a new album, A Different Kind of Truth. (WHEW!)
All discs in the package are presumably sourced from Chris Bellman’s digital remasters from 2000, so if you’ve got those, you’ve probably no reason to upgrade. But if somehow you’ve gone this long without owning these? Then a) What the heck, I thought we were pals, and b) get them now! The box is available March 26 in the U.S. and February 25 in the U.K. – pre-order it here (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.).
The Studio Albums 1978-1984 (Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013)
Disc 1: Van Halen (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3075, 1978)
Disc 2: Van Halen II (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3312, 1979)
Disc 3: Women and Children First (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3415, 1980)
Disc 4: Fair Warning (originally released as Warner Bros. LP HS 3540, 1981)
Disc 5: Diver Down (originally released as Warner Bros. LP BSK 3677, 1982)
Disc 6: 1984 (originally released as Warner Bros. LP 23985, 1984)