Van Halen Albums in Order

The prominent hard rock band Van Halen has released a total of twelve studio albums, starting with their self-titled debut in 1978 until their latest, “A Different Kind of Truth,” in 2012. Additionally, the band has produced notable live and compilation albums that contribute to their eminent legacy.

Van Halen’s studio albums showcase their remarkable talent in the rock music genre and enhance their legacy as one of the greatest rock bands of all time. With Eddie Van Halen leading the way, they revolutionized guitar techniques and created chart-topping hits like “Jump” and “Panama.”

The band’s extensive collection of live and compilation albums captures their electrifying performances, while their record sales of over 80 million solidify their status as an immensely influential force in rock history.

Van Halen Studio Albums Chronological List

Van Halen is renowned for their captivating studio albums spanning across their musical journey. Let’s dive into a detailed, chronological list of their work, touching on each album’s release date and notable details:

  • Van Halen (1978) – The highly successful debut album, featuring David Lee Roth on vocals and contained hits like “Runnin’ with the Devil” and “Eruption.”
  • Van Halen II (1979) – The successor to their self-titled debut, featuring tracks such as “Dance the Night Away.”
  • Women and Children First (1980) – This album showcased tracks like “And the Cradle Will Rock…”
  • Fair Warning (1981) – Considered by some fans to be their darkest album, it includes notable songs like “Unchained” and “Mean Street.”
  • Diver Down (1982) – A cover-heavy album featuring “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and “Dancing in the Street.”
  • 1984 (1984) – A career-defining release with hit singles “Jump,” “Panama,” and “Hot for Teacher.” This album marked the end of the David Lee Roth era.
  • 5150 (1986) – The initial record featuring Sammy Hagar as the new lead vocalist, consisting of tracks like “Why Can’t This Be Love” and “Dreams,” reached the pinnacle of the charts, marking their debut as a No. 1 album.
  • OU812 (1988) – Continued their streak of success with tracks like “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started.”
  • For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991) – Won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance, featuring “Poundcake” and “Runaround.”
  • Balance (1995) – Marked the end of the Sammy Hagar era; the album included hits like “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” and “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do).”
  • Van Halen III (1998) – Introduced new vocalist Gary Cherone; “Without You” and “Fire in the Hole” were the standout tracks.
  • A Different Kind of Truth (2012) – David Lee Roth’s return as the vocalist; featured “Tattoo” and “She’s the Woman”; the band’s final studio album to date.

Notable Live and Compilation Albums

In addition to their remarkable studio albums, Van Halen has also produced a range of significant live and compilation albums that highlight their powerful live performances and hit tracks. Some of the essential releases in this category are:

  • Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993) – This double-disc live album showcased Sammy Hagar era and featured tracks from their 5150, OU812, and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge albums.
  • Van Halen Best Of: Volume 1 (1996) – A compilation album bringing together both the David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar years.
  • The Best of Both Worlds (2004) – Another compilation spanning the band’s entire career.
  • Tokyo Dome Live in Concert (2015) – A live album recorded during their 2013 “A Different Kind of Truth” tour held at the famous Tokyo Dome in Japan, featuring David Lee Roth’s return as the frontman. It captures the energy of the band delivering classic hits like “Unchained,” “Dance the Night Away,” and “Runnin’ with the Devil.”

These live and compilation albums offer an engaging perspective on the band’s charisma and evolution, accentuating their electrifying stage presence and memorable songwriting.

Van Halen’s Legacy in Rock Music

Van Halen’s lasting impact on rock music is undeniable. They shaped the genre through iconic songs like “Jump” and “Runnin’ with the Devil,” while Eddie Van Halen’s innovative guitar techniques set new standards.

Their dynamic live performances and ability to adapt through lineup changes further solidified their legacy.


Van Halen’s illustrious career spans an impressive collection of twelve studio albums, live and compilation albums, and an enduring influence on the rock music genre. Through iconic tracks, trailblazing guitar techniques, and unparalleled live performances, the band has cemented their legacy as one of the greatest rock acts of all time.

Despite lineup changes and shifts in direction over the years, Van Halen maintained their commercial success, and their music continues to be celebrated by fans and fellow musicians.

Van Halen Featured Image by: digboston, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons