Amsterdam (Van Halen song)

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Van Halen Amsterdam.jpg
Single by Van Halen
from the album Balance
B-side "Finish What Ya Started (live)" / "When It's Love (live)"
Released 1995 (1995)
Format Compact disc
Recorded 1994 (1994)
Genre Hard rock
Length 4:45
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer(s) Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Alex Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen
Producer(s) Bruce Fairbairn
Van Halen singles chronology
"Not Enough" "Amsterdam" "Humans Being"

"Amsterdam" is a rock song written by the group Van Halen for their 1995 album Balance. It was released as single to mainstream rock radio and peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart during the summer of 1995 (see 1995 in music).[1]

According to a 1995 interview on Dutch radio, the song is based upon Sammy Hagar's tourist impression of Amsterdam, such as the freedom he felt in the city.

According to Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga, Eddie and Alex Van Halen didn't like the lyrics, feeling the song did their birthplace a disservice. Sammy, however, wouldn't budge, as it was about his tourist impression over the memories of the Van Halen family homeland.

Music video controversy[edit]

A music video was shot for "Amsterdam" in January 1995 during their promotional tour in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. After the finishing touches was completed in April, Warner Bros. sent the video to MTV, who sent it back due to the song's references to marijuana, specifically the lyric, "Score me some Panama Red, yeah." They altered the lyrics for the video for airplay, but MTV still refused to play it. The altered video eventually aired on MuchMusic in Canada.


  1. ^ Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks - Chart Listing For The Week Of Jun 24 1995

External links[edit]