1979
Van Halen's second record was released in March, 1979. In January, barely 48 hours after the end of their first tour, the boys went back into Sunset Sound in Hollywood to work on Van Halen II. Ten days later it was finished, and again produced by Ted Templeman, who had worked wonders on Van Halen's first record. Like its predecessor, instrumental overdubs were limited to just three songs. Except for one number written in the studio, Van Halen had performed the rest of the album on stage, some since the band's club days. Another side note, David Lee Roth was wearing a plaster cast on his foot in the photo on the inside album cover, because he had actually broken the foot while making the giant leap pictured on the back cover.
This album sold over five million copies and charted as high as #6 in the States and #23 in the U.K. Eddie also garnered his second Guitar Player magazine "Best Rock Guitarist of the Year" award.  
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Gold

Platinum

Multi-Platinum

4/3/795/8/7910/22/84 (3x)
  7/5/90 (4x)
   

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ruleReleased on 3/23/79

Copies Sold:  5.7 Million (US)
Peak Position (US):  6
Weeks on Chart:  47
Recording Time:  6 days
Peak Position (UK):  23
 
Producer:  Ted Templeman
Engineer:  Don Landee
Recorded at:  Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood
 
Reviews
 
Rolling Stone
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Singles
 
Dance the Night Away, Beautiful Girls
 

 

 

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Tracks
 
You're No Good (3:12)
"You're No Good" was an old standard written by Clint Ballard Jr. and covered by many mainstream artists over the years. Since their club days, Van Halen had played what they thought was Linda Ronstadt's version of the song, but since they only heard her version on the radio (and never really listened to it), their rendition came out out radically different. The intro was originally part of a bass solo Mike had worked on.
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Dance the Night Away  (3:04)
"Dance the Night Away" became Van Halen's first Top 15 hit, in July of 1979. The song came together one afternoon in the studio as the boys were standing in a circle humming at each other. It was inspired by Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way." Eddie purposely left out a guitar solo in the final version. The song's early title was "Dance Lolita Dance," but Eddie convinced Dave that "Dance the Night Away" was a more suitable title, hence the band changed the chorus. Al identified this song as one of his two least favorite Van Halen tracks.
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Somebody Get Me a Doctor  (2:51)
"Somebody Get Me A Doctor" was written about the same time as "Runnin' With the Devil" and was performed live during the band's club days. If you listen closely, you can hear applause at the end of Eddie's guitar solo. Apparently when the band was recording live in the studio as usual, Eddie's solo performance tore everybody there apart, hence the applause. Eddie also changed the song's intro from the early club version, reversing chords. The solo section of this tune was also extended for live performances, and very often turned into a jam session between Ed and Al.
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Bottoms Up!  (3:04)
"Bottoms Up!" was an old standard from Van Halen's bar and party sets. They used this song as their encore throughout their first world tour. Eddie overdubbed his guitar solos on this song.
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Outta Love Again  (2:49)
"Outta Love Again" had been written by Eddie, Al, and Dave in early 1973, just before Michael Anthony was brought into the band.
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Light Up the Sky  (3:09)
"Light Up The Sky" was the song Van Halen used to start every show on their second world tour. Eddie wrote the basic melody right after the band finished recording their debut album. The final arrangement came together during the final sessions for "Van Halen II." This was also one of the three tracks where Eddie overdubbed his guitar solo. Alex wanted this song to be released as a single.
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Spanish Fly  (:58)
"Spanish Fly" was Eddie's unaccompanied guitar solo on this record and featured acoustic guitar work. Ed got the idea for this song after playing on an acoustic guitar during a New Year's Eve party at Ted Templeman's house on 12/31/78. Ted was surprised that Eddie could play an acoustic guitar just as well as an electric and suggested he write an acoustic instrumental for the new album. He recorded it on a nylon-string Ovation guitar. Eddie has since incorporated many parts of this song into his live guitar solo.
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D.O.A  (4:07)
"D.O.A." had been written during the band's early days on the Southern California bar and party circuit.
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Women In Love  (4:05)
"Women In Love" is about a guy who loses his girlfriend to another girl. The title also is the name of a book by D.H. Lawrence and David Lee Roth is known to be an avid reader. The intro showcased Ed's new technique of false-harmonics"
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Beautiful Girls  (3:18)
"Beautiful Girls" was the second single released from "Van Halen II" and was a concert staple during the band's 1979 World Tour. The song was originally titled "Bring On The Girls" when it was recorded for the 25-song Warner Bros. demo in 1977. Most of the original lyrics found their way onto this album version, with the chorus lyrics altered.
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