10 things you might not know about 'Van Halen III'

Publish Date
Thursday, 18 March 2021, 12:14PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

On March 17th, 1998, Van Halen released their 11th studio album, Van Halen III. It’s their only record with former Extreme singer Gary Cherone. To mark the effort’s anniversary, here are 10 things you might not know about it:

1. The band called the record Van Halen III because it is their third recorded line-up. On top of that, their first two records were called Van Halen and Van Halen II.

2. The album is the band’s last to feature bassist Michael Anthony, who left the group in 2006. In fact, Mike only played on three songs on the record. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen took over bass duties for the rest.

3.Van Halen III is the first Van Halen album Eddie Van Halen crafted after getting the lyrics. He'd previously written music and then the band added words. He called the new process the “biggest milestone” in his life because he “finally had something to bounce off.”

4. Cherone said that when the band wrote the songs for Van Halen III, they seemed to in Sammy Hagar's key, which was higher than his own. Gary revealed that reaching for notes he wouldn’t have done with Extreme made him a better singer.

5.Van Halen III is the first Van Halen record to not sell at least a million copies.

6. The only hit from the record was “Without You,” which topped the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for six weeks.

7. “Fire in the Hole” off the album was used on the soundtrack to Lethal Weapon 4.

8. The song “How Many Say I,” which closed out the album, is a rarity for the group. It is an acoustic piano ballad with Eddie Van Halen on lead vocals and Gary singing back-up.

9. None of the songs from the album made it on the group’s 2004 greatest hits compilation, The Best of Both Worlds.

10. In 1999, the band began working on a follow-up with Gary and even made a few demos, but abandoned the project.

This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission