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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Best Van Halen Albums

See which album managed to top ‘1984,’ ‘Diver Down’ and ‘Fair Warning’

Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen and Eddie Van Halen

Van Halen in their David Lee Roth glory years.

Chris Walter/Getty

Van Halen recently announced an extensive American summer tour, then showed how much energy they still bring with a pair of wild appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Based on their previous concerts since David Lee Roth's return, expect to hear all the big hits from the first phase of their career and not even the slightest acknowledgement that Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony have ever existed on this planet. In honor of the news, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite Van Halen albums. Here are the results — and head over to our YouTube channel to listen to the playlist in full.

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Van Halen 1978 (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)


‘Fair Warning’

Back in the early 1980s, most bands recorded an album a year without even thinking about it. Not long after Van Halen finishing touring behind Women and Children First, they began sessions for a follow-up. The Ted Templeman-produced disc is a somewhat dark affair highlighted by "Unchained," "Mean Street" and "So This Is Love." Because it wasn't as immediately accessible as the previous records, it was a relative slow seller. Today, Van Halen diehards see it as one of their best works. 

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Van Halen 1978 (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)


‘Van Halen’

Van Halen remains one of the strongest debuts in rock history. The first half alone reads like a greatest hits album: "Runnin' With the Devil," "Eruption," "You Really Got Me," "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "I'm the One." Then flip the thing over and you've got "Jamie's Cryin'" and "Atomic Punk." The whole thing is just explosive. If this was the only album they ever made they'd still be legends, but they were just getting started. Expect the band to play a huge chunk of it on the road this summer. 

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