Best Sellers From The ’80s: Van Halen’s “5150”

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Van Halen - 5150 (Warner Brothers, 1986)

Van Halen - 5150 (Warner Brothers, 1986)

When [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]David Lee Roth[/lastfm] first left [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Van Halen[/lastfm] in 1985, the band considered tabbing a different guest vocalist for each song on their next album. Instead, they signed up [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Sammy Hagar[/lastfm] as Roth’s replacement and the decision paid off with a best-selling record.

March 1986, to be exact. That’s when 5150, named after Eddie Van Halen’s home studio, was dropped on a Van Halen fanbase anxious to see what would come of post-Roth VH.

Fans gave it a thumbs up as the heavily-synthesized pop-rocker “Why Can’t This Be Love?” landed in the Top 10, giving the band their second single to track at that level. The equally poppy “Dreams” and the keyboard-laden “Love Walks In” both peaked at Number 22.

It was a different, built-for-the-’80s-chart-success Van Halen– sounding more like the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Baby’s[/lastfm] than anything — but fans liked it: the album was their first Number 1, stayed on the chart for 64 weeks and has sold over 4,000,000 copies.

What was hot a quarter-of-a-century ago? Find out with more Best Sellers from the ’80s here…

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