Van Halen II

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Van Halen II
Van Halen - Van Halen II.jpg
Studio album by Van Halen
Released March 23, 1979
Recorded December 11, 1978[1] – January 1979
Studio Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California
Genre Hard rock
Length 31:36
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Ted Templeman
Van Halen chronology
Van Halen
(1978)
Van Halen II
(1979)
Women and Children First
(1980)
Singles from Van Halen II
  1. "Dance the Night Away"/"Outta Love Again"
    Released: April 1979
  2. "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"/"Women in Love..."
    Released: 1979 (Japan)
  3. "Beautiful Girls"/"D.O.A."
    Released: September 1979

Van Halen II is the second studio album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released on March 23, 1979. It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the singles "Dance the Night Away" and "Beautiful Girls". To date, it has sold over five million copies in the United States. Critical reaction to the album has been positive as well, with the The Rolling Stone Album Guide praising the feel-good, party atmosphere of the songs.

Background and recording[edit]

Recording of the album took place less than a year after the release of the band's eponymous debut album; the process was completed in three weeks.[2] Many of the songs on Van Halen II are known to have existed prior to the release of the first album, and are present on the demos recorded in 1976 by Gene Simmons and in 1977 by Ted Templeman, including an early version of "Beautiful Girls" (then known as "Bring On the Girls") and "Somebody Get Me a Doctor".[3] In the band's licensed game, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, four of the ten tracks of this album are available for play: "Dance the Night Away", "Somebody Get Me a Doctor", "Spanish Fly" and "Beautiful Girls".

Artwork and packaging[edit]

The black-and-yellow guitar on the back of the album is buried with Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was killed on December 8, 2004. Eddie Van Halen placed it in his casket at his funeral because Darrell had said it was his favorite.[4] However, Eddie himself stated in interviews that the guitar itself was not actually used on the Van Halen II album, as it had only been completed just in time for the photo shoots for the album. David Lee Roth is shown in a cast in the inner liner notes, as he allegedly broke his heel making the leap also seen in the picture on the back cover art.[5]

In the liner notes, The Sheraton Inn of Madison, Wisconsin is thanked. On Van Halen's first tour, they stayed at the hotel and destroyed the 7th floor, having fire extinguisher fights in the hallways and throwing televisions out windows. They blamed the incidents on their tour-mates at the time, Journey.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[7]
Robert Christgau C+[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[9]

In a 1979 Rolling Stone review, Timothy White writes, "Scattered throughout Van Halen's second album are various Vanilla Fudge bumps and grinds, an Aerosmith-derived pseudobravado, a bit of Bad Company basement funk and even a few Humble Pie miniraveups". Also stating, the "LP retains a numbing live feel".[10] In a retrospective review, Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic rates Van Halen II 4 stars out of 5. He notes the album is "virtually a carbon copy of their 1978 debut", though goes on to say it is "lighter and funnier than the debut" and "some of the grandest hard rock ever made." Erlewine praises Eddie's "phenomenal gift" and Roth's "knowing shuck and jive".[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 charts[12] and #23 on the UK charts.[13] Van Halen II was certified 5× Platinum in 2004. Approximately 5.7 million records have been sold in the US as of 2004.[14] In 2000, Van Halen II was remastered and re-released.[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "You're No Good" (writer: Clint Ballard, Jr.) 3:16
2. "Dance the Night Away"   3:06
3. "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"   2:52
4. "Bottoms Up!"   3:05
5. "Outta Love Again"   2:51
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Light Up the Sky"   3:13
7. "Spanish Fly" (instrumental) 1:00
8. "D.O.A."   4:09
9. "Women in Love..."   4:08
10. "Beautiful Girls"   3:56

Personnel[edit]

Van Halen[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Ted Templeman – producer
  • Corey Bailey – engineer
  • Jim Fitzpatrick – engineer
  • Donn Landee – engineer
  • Gregg Geller – remastering
  • Jo Motta – project coordinator
  • Dave Bhang – artwork and design, art direction
  • Elliot Gilbert – photography
  • Neil Zlozower – photography

Chart positions[edit]

Album[edit]

Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1979 Billboard 200 6[16]

Singles[edit]

Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Dance The Night Away" Billboard Hot 100 15[16]
1979 "Beautiful Girls" Billboard Hot 100 84[16]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[17] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[18] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[19] 5× Platinum 5,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rosen, Steven. Record Review Interview. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Halen, Van. "Van Halen Interviews 2 on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  3. ^ "Gene Simmons Talks Lost Seventies Van Halen Demos". 
  4. ^ "Pantera". VH1: Behind the Music. 38 minutes in. VH1. 
  5. ^ "Van Halen II". Classicvanhalen.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  6. ^ "Van Halen II: Twice The Pleasure, Twice The Fun!". Van Halen News Desk. Van Halen News Desk. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Van Halen II at AllMusic
  8. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Robert Christgau: CG: Van Halen". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Van Halen: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 10 Dec 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-20. 
  10. ^ "Van Halen II". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  11. ^ "Van Halen II - Van Halen | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  12. ^ "Van Halen - Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "VAN HALEN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. RIAA. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Van Halen II: Twice The Pleasure, Twice The Fun!". Van Halen News Desk. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c "Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2 July 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen II". Music Canada. 
  18. ^ "French album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen II" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select VAN HALEN and click OK
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen II". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH