1980
Van Halen's third album, released in March, 1980. Women and Children First marked the first time Van Halen completely filled an album with original songs, and David Lee Roth gave perhaps his best vocal performance as a member of Van Halen. Again, Ted Templeman produced the album, recorded at Sunset Sound, in just 2 1/2 weeks. The band recorded most of the songs live , with again, very few overdubs.
Although this record did not yield a hit single, the album charted as high as #6 in the States and #15 in the U.K. It also became the band's third multi-platinum release. The band's 1980 "Invasion Tour was more successful than their previous two tours, and the performances even more intense. Also, Eddie Van Halen received his third straight "Best Rock Guitarist of the Year" award from the readers of Guitar Player magazine.  
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Gold

Platinum

Multi-Platinum

5/29/806/2/8010/22/84 (2x)
  8/4/94 (3x)
   

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ruleReleased on 3/26/80

Copies Sold:  4.3 Million (US)
Peak Position (US):  6
Weeks on Chart:  31
Recording Time:  2 Weeks 
Peak Position (UK):  15
 
Producer:  Ted Templeman
Engineer:  Don Landee
Recorded at:  Sunset Sound Recorders, Hollywood
 
Reviews
 
Rolling Stone
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Singles
 
And the Cradle Will Rock
 

 

 

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Tracks
 
And the Cradle Will Rock (3:31)
"And The Cradle Will Rock..." featured a small electric piano part blasting though Eddie's Marshall amplifiers. This marked the first time a keyboard was used on a Van Halen record.
Audio Clip Lyrics
 
Everybody Wants Some  (5:05)
"Everybody Wants Some!!" was a concert highlight for several tours and was featured in the movie Better Off Dead with John Cusack. The opening guitar effect was the same as in "Atomic Punk," but instead of Eddie rubbing against all the strings, he rubbed just the low E. The drum/vocal interlude was completely ad-libbed. Dave came into the studio on the day of recording with the vocals unprepared, so he just winged it. Dave has stated that the actual lyrics were not sung perfectly in favor of the more mumbled words to add more feel to the song.
Audio Clip - Lyrics
 
Fools  (5:55)
"Fools" was written during the band's club years, Eddie did the intro spontaneously in the studio in one take. Early versions of this song date back to 1974 with Mark Stone on bass, providing far different backing harmonies than Mike's signature backing vocals. It was originally titled "I Live With Fools".
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Romeo Delight  (4:19)
"Romeo Delight" was a concert highlight during the "Invasion Tour." Many of the song's melodies were taken from an unreleased track called "Get The Show On The Road," recorded during the "Van Halen" sessions. Dave often forgot the lyrics to this song during live performances. Notably, the '83 US Festival, where he yelled "I forgot the fuckin' words" during the second verse.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Tora! Tora!  (:57)
"Tora! Tora!" espoused Van Halen's attitude towards touring. This instrumental was actually recorded to tape backwards. The song's title and lyrics were inspired by the toast and battle cry of Japanese Kamikaze pilots in WWII. Ed wanted to call this song "Act Like It Hurts".
Audio Clip   -
 
Loss of Control  (2:36)
"Loss of Control" had been written in 1976 as a commentary on the first wave of Punk Rock to reach America. The video for this song (which was never released) features the band in surgical outfits.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Take Your Whiskey Home  (3:09)
"Take Your Whiskey Home" contained no guitar overdubs and an exceptional acoustic guitar intro. Very early versions of this song date back to 1974 with slightly different lyrics and longer solo sections. The acoustic intro was not present on those early versions..
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Could This Be Magic?  (3:08)
"Could This Be Magic" was an excellent acoustic guitar and vocal harmony workout. As the band prepared to record this song, producer Ted Templeman suggested a slightly different sound for the chorus. Nicolette Larson was brought in from the next studio, where she was working on a solo album, and supplied the only female backing vocal ever heard on a Van Halen record. Her harmony can best be heard on the line "Could this be magic?" right after the guitar solo. A small, but unique contribution.
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
In a Simple Rhyme  (4:33)
"In A Simple Rhyme" was written in late 1975 and played often during the band's club years. Eddie wrote the acoustic intro during the "Women and Children First" sessions and recorded it on a 12-string electric guitar
Audio Clip   Lyrics
 
Growth  (:4)
According to Eddie, the 20-second piece of music following "In a Simple Rhyme" was supposed to be continued on the beginning of the next album. As you may have guessed, this didn't happen. Rumor has it the working title of this song was "Growth" and it only appears on the CD and LP versions of this album. Mike once referred to this song as "Tank"
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