Proud as a peacock the 90s kids roar through the internet for being the last generation with an alliance to a pre-digital world. However, one thing that most of us couldn’t experience was legendary musicians setting the stage on fire with their testosterone-fuelled performances. 2020 has dogeared another beginning of the end with the demise of guitar god and rock legend Eddie Van Halen, who fought the last years of his life battling cancer.
Eddie Van Halen was an ingenious stallion in the music world with free reins and crescendos that reached orgasmic heights. The two-finger tapping master may have gotten the inspiration from Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, but he owned it and inspired a new legion of guitarists. His sexed-up riffs and gratifying sounds have been part of many rock ‘n’ roll-lovin’ teens’ jam sessions.
As we unfold this tribute to the face of Van Halen and one of the greatest guitarists of all time, here are the best songs by Eddie Van Halen.
Best songs by Eddie Van Halen —
This instrumental solo has Eddie Van Halen written all over it, setting a new tone for him. The 13-minute-long guitar solo garnered a different kind of following altogether despite a Van Halen list of loyalists.
Beautiful Girls (1979)
The exemplary boogie track for Saturday night-outs and their most-played song during early concerts — Beautiful Girls is from Van Halen’s second album, Van Halen II.
Beat It (1982)
Producer Quincy Jones predicted another iconic hit Beat It by Michael Jackson for his sixth studio album Thriller when he approached Eddie Van Halen to do the solo. Mind you, Van Halen dismissed it at first, presuming it a prank call by Jones.
I’m the One (1978)
High-tempo and bass and drum, the music varies through lyrics and rhythms but still showcases spectacular shredding chops by Eddie Van Halen in a matter of seconds.
Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (1978)
The third single from the band’s debut album — this track agrees more with David Lee Roth as one of his best musical geniuses while Eddie Van Halen strums and shreds to his lyrics.
This Grammy nomination features what’s been called ”a synthesizer hook and anthemic lyrics”. One of the band’s first commercial hit, bursting like a classic 80s rock. The Eddie Van Halen feeling starts sending chills down the spine from 2:17 minutes into the song.
”Unchained, yeah you hit the ground running” — upping the ante with Unchained, Eddie Van Halen went hardcore with its heavy metal tunes, establishing the band’s hard rock evolution for the coming years.
Hot For Teacher (1984)
The shredded intro of the song marks Eddie Van Halen’s rockstar guitar wizardry and Alex Van Halen’s double bass drum performance.
Feels So Good (1988)
The sonic exactitude of this track, which is part of the eighth studio album OU812 with lead singer Sammy Hagar, was an experimental hit for Eddie Van Halen.
All images: Courtesy Getty