Van Halen II

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Van Halen II
A graphic of the "VH" flying-V style logo
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 23, 1979 (1979-03-23)
RecordedDecember 10–16, 1978[1]
StudioSunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood, California
Genre
Length31:36
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerTed 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." As of 2004, it has sold almost six million copies in the United States. Critical reaction to the album has been positive as well, with The Rolling Stone Album Guide praising the feel-good, party atmosphere of the songs.

Background and recording[edit]

Recording of the album happened at Sunset Studio less than a year after the release of the band's eponymous debut album.[2] Recording of the album began on December 10, 1978, just one week after completing their first world tour, and was complete within a week.[3] The band used a Putnam 610 console to record the album.[3] 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."[4] On the third try of the photo shoot for David Lee Roth's spread-eagle jump, which was used on the back cover, Roth landed sideways and broke a bone in his right foot.[3]

Artwork and packaging[edit]

The black-and-yellow guitar on the back of the album known as "Bumblebee" is buried with Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was killed December 8, 2004. Eddie Van Halen placed it in his Kiss Kasket at his funeral because Darrell had said it was his favorite.[5] 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.[6]

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 seventh 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.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Christgau's Record GuideC+[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[10]
Loudersound3.5/5 stars[11]

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," adding that the "LP retains a numbing live feel."[12] 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" and "some of the grandest hard rock ever made." Erlewine praises Eddie's "phenomenal gift" and Roth's "knowing shuck and jive."[13]

Commercial performance[edit]

It reached #6 on the Billboard 200 charts[14] and #23 on the UK charts.[15] Van Halen II was certified 5× Platinum in 2004. Approximately 5.7 million records have been sold in the United States as of 2004.[16] In 2000, Van Halen II was remastered and re-released.[17]

Track listing[edit]

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

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."You're No Good"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.TitleLength
6."Light Up the Sky"3:13
7."Spanish Fly"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]

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

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1979 Billboard 200 6[18]

Singles[edit]

Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Dance the Night Away" US Billboard Hot 100 15[18]
"Beautiful Girls" 84[18]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[19] 2× Platinum 200,000^
France (SNEP)[20] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[21] 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. ^ a b c "'Van Halen II' 40th Anniversary & Tribute". Van Halen News Desk. March 23, 2019. Retrieved 2019-03-23.
  4. ^ "Gene Simmons Talks Lost Seventies Van Halen Demos".
  5. ^ "Pantera". VH1: Behind the Music. 38 minutes in. VH1.
  6. ^ "Van Halen II". Classicvanhalen.com. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  7. ^ "Van Halen II: Twice The Pleasure, Twice The Fun!". Van Halen News Desk. Van Halen News Desk. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  8. ^ Van Halen II at AllMusic
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: V". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 9, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  10. ^ "Van Halen: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2012-03-20.
  11. ^ Rock, Classic (18 April 2019). "Van Halen: Van Halen II - Album Of The Week Club review". Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  12. ^ "Van Halen II". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Van Halen II – Van Halen | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Van Halen – Chart history | Billboard". www.billboard.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  15. ^ "VAN HALEN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Gold & Platinum – RIAA". RIAA. RIAA. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Van Halen II: Twice The Pleasure, Twice The Fun!". Van Halen News Desk. 22 March 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b c "Awards". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 4 January 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  19. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen II". Music Canada.
  20. ^ "French album certifications – Van Halen – Van Halen II" (in French). InfoDisc. Select VAN HALEN and click OK. 
  21. ^ "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.