Van Halen Songs That Fans Disliked

Van Halen Songs That Fans Disliked | I Love Classic Rock Videos

David Lee Roth and his bluegrass version of Van Halen's "Jump" - Karaoke by Martin / Youtube

From fiery beginnings in the 70s rock scene to stadium-filling anthems in the 80s, Van Halen’s impact on music is undeniable. Anchored by the powerhouse Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex, the band left a legacy of iconic albums like Diver Down and 1984.

These records became soundtracks for countless adventures, blasting from car speakers and echoing through packed arenas. But even legends have a B-side.

Alongside contemporaries like Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe, Van Halen helped define “arena rock”, a genre built for massive crowds and lighters held high. Eddie Van Halen’s revolutionary guitar work and the band’s knack for catchy hooks made them radio royalty.

However, not every Van Halen song resonated with every fan. To find out which ones fell flat, online publication Grunge polled 688 readers across the US, asking them for their least favorite Van Halen tracks. Buckle up, because the results might surprise you.

Not Everyone Hates the Devil’s Company

Remember the late 70s and early 80s? Some folks in the US were up in arms about rock music’s influence on young people. Satanism and the occult were particular concerns, seen as creeping into innocent minds.

So, a Southern California rock band with a song titled “Runnin’ with the Devil” and a devil-may-care attitude? That must have been a real red flag for these groups.

But hold on a minute. According to Running with the Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, the song isn’t about the devil at all. It’s about freedom and living life to the fullest. And guess what? Van Halen fans seem to agree.

The poll showed “Runnin’ with the Devil” as the least disliked song, with only 12.5% of voters picking it as their least favorite. Seems like the devil wasn’t so bad after all.

Not Everyone’s Party Anthem

Van Halen wasn’t afraid to experiment, and “Everybody Wants Some!!” from their 1980 album Women and Children First” is a prime example. This rock anthem throws some curveballs. David Lee Roth throws in a spoken-word section that Vulture‘s Chuck Klosterman described as a “lascivious and fetishistic” rap.

Is it a bit much? Maybe. Klosterman even questioned how the “tribal drumming and monkey screeches” would fare today.

Still, the song’s quirky charm landed it in pop culture. It rocked out an animated claymation sequence in the classic teen comedy Better Off Dead and even made a cameo in 2009’s Zombieland.

Despite its quirks, Van Halen fans seem to have a taste for the unexpected. In Grunge’s poll, only 13.95% voted “Everybody Wants Some!!” as their least favorite Van Halen song. Looks like some fans are happy to have a little weirdness in their rock and roll.

Least Loved, But Not Least

Let’s look at the remaining four songs that didn’t win over Grunge’s readers. Interestingly, three of them come from the same album!

First, the outlier: “Unchained” from 1981’s Fair Warning. While Klosterman considers it the band’s second-best, a surprising 14.53% of voters disagreed, making it their least favorite Van Halen song.

Now, we head to the juggernaut album, 1984. Three tracks from here landed on the not-so-loved list. The radio-friendly, synth-driven “Jump” got 15.12% of the vote. Klosterman even mentions some hardcore fans refusing to consider it true rock.

Following “Jump” is “Panama”, another 1984 track featuring a spoken-word section by Roth. But with a whopping 19.33% of voters on the “dislike” train, it seems this rock anthem didn’t quite hit the mark with everyone.

So which 1984 song takes the (unofficial) crown for least favorite Van Halen song among the publication’s readers? Well…

Hot for Teacher? Not Anymore

“Hot for Teacher” might have been a rock anthem back in the day, but times have changed. The song’s accompanying video, released in the 1980s, reveled in the idea of playfully bullying a nerdy student. Today, with bullying a serious issue, that kind of humor doesn’t fly.

Even the song’s core theme – a student with a crush on their teacher – is no longer seen as lighthearted. For decades, rock music has been full of questionable lyrics about age gaps in relationships.

But these days, the idea of a student-teacher romance, even played for laughs, is just plain uncomfortable.

It seems Grunge readers agree. With a whopping 24.56% of the vote, “Hot For Teacher” takes the (unofficial) crown for least favorite Van Halen song, proving that not everything ages like fine wine.