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Rock Hall Anniversary: Van Halen II

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In March 1979, and a little over a year after the release of their landmark debut, Van Halen released their second album, amply titled Van Halen II. It was the band’s first to crack the top ten on the charts, and would go on to sell five million copies. It also yielded two singles; “Dance the Night Away” (which went top twenty) and “Beautiful Girls”.

With Ted Templeman again at the helm (as he was with the debut), the recording of Van Halen II took place less than a year after the release of the band’s debut, and was completed in just three weeks. The album opened with a cover of Betty Everett’s “You’re No Good” (a number one hit for Linda Ronstadt four years earlier), but proceeds with tracks all written by the band including “Somebody Get Me a Doctor”, and the instrumental “Spanish Fly”.

Critical response to Van Halen II was positive, especially comparing to the debut, which initially met with negative reviews. And although it doesn’t match the critical and commercial acclaim of the debut, it was featured on Rolling Stone’s Album Guide, and even had four of it’s tracks found its way to the video game Guitar Hero.

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