Van Halen’s highest charting records on the ARIA Albums Chart
Van Halen found an audience in Australia from their very first album, Van Halen, in 1978.
Commercial radio picked up ‘You Really Got Me’, a cover of the Kinks hit. But it was left to community radio to give exposure to one of the band’s signature tunes, ‘Running With The Devil’.
The self-titled debut Van Halen only reached #17 in Australia, but sold 10 million units in the US.
Interestingly, their 16 albums had a different success rate in Australia to that of the world.
With Wednesday’s news that founder guitarist Eddie Van Halen succumbed to his battle with cancer, TMN looks at the band’s best selling albums in Australia. The results might surprise you.
A Different Kind of Truth (2012) #4
Their 12th and final album, it marked the return of David Lee Roth on mic duties and Eddie’s son Wolfgang taking over on bass, replacing Michael Anthony.
Seven of the 13 songs were reworked demos from their earlier days and were critically acclaimed.
5150 (1985) #5
Named after Eddie’s home studio in Los Angeles (which took its name from Section 5150 or a California law enforcement term for a mentally disturbed person) it was also the first with Sammy Hagar on lead vocals.
In the US it reached #2, failing to dislodge Michael Jackson’s Thriller, on which Eddie made a guitar appearance.
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991) #5
A return to form with a reunion after seven years with producer Ted Templeman, the album came out at a time when social do-gooders were slamming sexual and violence in rock music.
Hagar came up with the title Fuck to further throw a cat among the pigeons, but the record company got them to dilute the message. In the US, it debuted at #1 and stayed there for three weeks.
Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993) #7
With no Australian tour in sight, fans rushed out in droves to get the band’s first live album.
Van Halen III (1998) #8
Their longest studio album, clocking in at over 65 minutes, it was their only record with third single Gary Cherone (ex-Extreme) before he got booted out (along with bassist Michael Anthony).
It had the singles ‘Without You’, ‘One I Want’ and ‘Fire In The Hole’. It was their last album for 14 years.
OU812 (1989) #9
The Sammy Hagar era continued, with a lame title that was pronounced “Oh You Ate One Too”.
Balance (1995) #9
It featured the track ‘The Seventh Seal’ which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
The band remained on a commercial high worldwide, with the album reaching #1 Stateside and selling thee million copies.
1984 (1984) #11
Complete with a cover showing a baby smoking a cigarette, 1984 or MCMLXXXIV, came with a slew of unforgettable hit singles.
These included the irresistible ‘Jump’, ‘Panama’ and ‘I’ll Wait’ and the MTV favourite ‘Hot For Teacher’.
In the US it was another ten million-seller. It was also their last with Roth.
Given Eddie’s passing, 1984 was also the last to feature all four original members of Van Halen.
Best Of – Volume I (1998) #11
Some choice cuts from the 56 singles they released during their career.
According to the RIAA, Van Halen is the 19th best-selling music group/artist of all time in the US where they sold 56 million units. Worldwide they had sold 75 million albums by 2007.
During the 1980s, they had more entries in the US Hot 100 than any other hard rock or heavy metal band.