Sunday, March 23, 2014

Van Halen mark 35th anniversary of Van Halen II

March 23rd marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Van Halen’s second album, “Van Halen II.”

The follow-up to Van Halen’s groundbreaking 1978 debut was recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood less than a week after the end of the band’s first world tour.

The group entered the studio on December 10, 1978; three weeks later, at a New Year’s Eve party at producer Ted Templeman’s house, Eddie Van Halen was jamming on an acoustic guitar when Templeman suggested he write and record an instrumental for the record – which surfaced as “Spanish Fly.”

Some of the tunes were written early in the band’s history: “Somebody Get Me A Doctor” appeared on a 1976 demo produced by Gene Simmons of KISS, while a pair came from the group’s 25-song, 1977 demo for Warner Brothers – “D.O.A.” and “Beautiful Girls” (originally recorded as “Bring On The Girls”).

The album’s lead single, “Dance The Night Away”, delivered Van Halen their first Top 20 US hit, reaching No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Inspired by Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way", it was the only track written completely in the studio. David Lee Roth originally wanted to name it "Dance, Lolita, Dance", but Eddie came up with the final title.

Supported by radio airplay and constant touring, the album was certified gold (500,000 copies) in the US just 10 days after its release, and platinum (1 million) a month later. The project eventually reached No. 6 on the US Billboard 200 album chart and went on to sell more than 5 million copies in the States alone.

Two days after “Van Halen II”’s release, Van Halen kicked off their “World Vacation Tour” at the Selland Arena in Fresno, California. The band went on to play 97 shows by the time the trek wrapped up October 7, 1979 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

See also:

PHOTO: Wolfgang Van Halen celebrates 23rd birthday with parents
VIDEO: David Lee Roth releases new episode of The Roth Show
Controversy over Eddie Van Halen asking to join KISS continues
VIDEO: David Lee Roth and Beach Boys singer perform California Girls
Search Van Halen at hennemusic