Anticipation was high. Van Halen had their previous powerhouse of a release, '1984', to live up to, if not surpass. David Lee Roth had given Van Halen the flick after Eddie Van Halen's want to move in a different direction musically. Eddie was desperately searching for the right replacement. Their record label was on their case about changing their name. It was all a big ask. Until... Eddie Van Halen made a pit stop in his Lamborghini to his mechanic and met former Montrose singer, Sammy Hager. A bromance was born, and a new album leapt into production.
March 26, 1986, 5150 hit the stands and was a hit with the fans. The album hit pole position on the Billboard 200 chart, surpassing 1984's attempt. (We are sure '1984' would of hit numero uno postion if Michael Jackson fever wasn't in full swing). The album earned Van Halen the affectionate, or contemptuous, nickname of 'Van Hagar', depending on how loyal one was to the original lineup.
The album isn't as hard rock as it was in the Roth headlining days, but it spawned some notable hits including the synth heavy, 'Dreams', and the lovey-dovey, 'Why Can't This Be Love'. Hagar's vocals are stunning, perhaps even more so than Roth's (of course this is in our humble opinion).
5150 deserves to be listened to at the highest decibel possible, and preferably in lycra.