It’s hard to believe that 80s icons, Van Halen were around in the 70s, but it’s a fact—they released their first single, a cover of The Who’s, You Really Got Me, in 1978. Their first top 20 hit was their 1979 release, Dance the Night Away.
van halen fax
- Van Halen formed in Pasadena, California, way back in 1972.
- For their first 11 years, the band retained the founding line-up: Eddie Van Halen (guitar), David Lee Roth (vocals), Alex Van Halen (drummer), and Michael Anthony (Bass). David left the band in 1985
- Despite great success throughout the 80s, Van Halen had only one #1 hit single—1984’s Jump.
- The album, 1984, sold over 12 million copies in the US.
- David left soon after to be replaced by with ex-Montrose lead vocalist Sammy Hagar.
- Over the next decade, Van Halen released four #1 albums.
- In 1996 Sammy left and Gary Cherone joined. He lasted only a year and the band took time out until 2003.
- By 2005, Michael had been replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang; David was back and the band was on a roll again.
- At the time of writing, Van Halen is the 19th-best-selling rock act of all time in the US – 56 million albums (80 million worldwide). Even in 2013, they were at #4 on the list of highest money earners. They are one of only five rock bands that have had two studio albums sell more than 10 million copies in the US.
- In 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
dance the night away fax
- Peaking at #15, Dance the Night Away was Van Halen’s first top 20 US hit single.
- Eddie has said it was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s, Go Your Own Way.
- David originally wanted to call the song, Dance Lolita Dance, but Eddie convinced him otherwise.
- In a 2006 performance, David announced that he wrote Dance the Night Away as a tribute to an intoxicated woman who was having sex in the back of a truck and, when endeavouring to run away from police officers, ran into a bar Van Halen were playing at, with her pants on backwards.
- Dance the Night Away appears in a number of movies including, Mission to Mars, Argo, and the trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
- Dance the Night Away lyrics.
dance the night away – van halen – 1979 – video
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