Rolling Stone Readers Select Ten Favorite Van Halen SongsPicks include 'Right Now,' 'Panama,' 'Hot for Teacher,' 'Eruption'
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2. 'Panama' (1984)
The big albums of 1984 produced a ludicrous amount of hits. Think about Born In The USA, Purple Rain, Like A Virgin, Footloose, Private Dancer, and Van Halen's 1984. Now, at first glance one might think that "Panama" is a serious political song about the country of Panama. That would be incorrect. It's about a car. More specifically, it's about a car called the Panama Express that David Lee Roth saw race in Las Vegas. It also contains one of David Lee Roth's greatest spoken-word moments: "Yeah, we're runnin' a little bit hot tonight. I can barely see the road from the heat comin' off of it. Ah, you reach down between my legs. Ease the seat back..." The man has a way with words.