|Studio album by Van Halen|
|Released||January 24, 1995|
|Recorded||May - September 1994 at 5150 Studios, Hollywood, CA and Little Mountain Sound Studios, Vancouver, BC|
|Genre||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Van Halen chronology|
During the recording of Balance and its subsequent Ambulance Tour, Van Halen's second incarnation broke up. Regarding this time period, in 1997, Eddie Van Halen told Guitar World Magazine "There had been a variety of conflicts brewing between Sammy and the band since I quit drinking on October 2, 1994... It got so bad that I actually started drinking again." 
Song details 
The Seventh Seal 
"The Seventh Seal" kicks off the album. Complete with chanting monks and dangling metal bells, the song unveiled a vast, open, guitar-like wall that propelled through the darkest terrain the band ever tackled.
Can't Stop Lovin' You 
"Can't Stop Lovin' You" pays homage to Ray Charles, who had his own hit song entitled "I Can't Stop Loving You". The Van Halen song references this with the lyric: "Hey, Ray, what you said is true, I can't stop lovin' you".
The song was Hagar's attempt to assume his ex-wife's point of view that she was still madly in love with him.
Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do) 
"Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)" was originally, "What Love Can Do". The song was written about the power of universal love, with references to the suicide of Kurt Cobain.
"Amsterdam" was written about the capital city of Eddie and Alex's country of birth; their actual birthplace being the town of Nijmegen, further to the east. Eddie is on record in Guitar World Magazine as saying, "I always hated the words to "Wham, Bam Amsterdam," from Balance, because they were all about smoking pot. They were just stupid. Lyrics should plant some sort of seed for thought, or at least be a little more metamorphical."
Big Fat Money 
"Big Fat Money" is a honky tonk rocker.
Strung Out 
"Strung Out" is the first instrumental. It was actually recorded in 1983, prior to the recording of 1984. The actual recording is Eddie "playing" the strings of a grand piano with various objects including ping pong balls, D-cell batteries, knives and forks.
It was this 1983 session that Eddie had rented a house that belonged to Marvin Hamlisch. There was a piano in the house that Eddie destroyed while recording himself using the aforementioned objects on the piano's strings. The piece actually comes from six hours of recorded noise. Eddie was forced to pay around $15,000 for the damage and Balance producer Bruce Fairbairn said that a recording that expensive shouldn't go to waste.
Not Enough 
"Not Enough" reflected a lot of sorrow with strings and Michael Anthony playing a fretless bass. The song was questioning if love is enough or not. Eddie stated he heard the ballad as a "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" type of song, and played like his guitar hero, Eric Clapton, even using a Leslie rotating speaker like Clapton did on the tune by The Beatles. Alex Van Halen also appears behind the mic with his brother Eddie and bassist Michael Anthony in the music video, so it seems that he is singing background vocals with them, despite not singing on the track. Returning musician Steve Lukather was the one to sing backing vocals on this song, just as he did for the band earlier on their album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge on the track Top of the World.
"Aftershock" is an emotionally straining fist-shaker.
Doin' Time 
"Doin' Time" is the second instrumental, showcasing Alex on drums and percussion.
"Baluchitherium" is the third and final instrumental. It was named after a large extinct land mammal by Eddie's wife, Valerie Bertinelli. The song originally had lyrics; the vocal melody which Hagar later developed for guitar. The intro borrows a segment from the Trevor Rabin song "Eyes of Love" from his 1989 album Can't Look Away. The track also features Eddie's dog howling. The song is not included on the vinyl.
Take Me Back (Déjà Vu) 
During the Balance tour show in Pensacola, Florida, Hagar stated that "Take Me Back (Déjà Vu)" was "a true story". The song itself features a then almost 20 year old riff Eddie had previously used on a song entitled "No More Waiting" which the band played on occasion in the pre-Van Halen I era.
"Feelin'" finishes the album. It is a minor-key rock epic with a string section and a heartrending vocal performance, unlike anything Hagar had previously brought to the band.
Crossing Over 
The Japanese pressing includes a bonus track, "Crossing Over", which was the B-side to "Can't Stop Lovin' You".
The song was originally written and recorded by Eddie in 1983, shortly after one of his friends had committed suicide. The song was given a chance at rebirth after the untimely death of their manager, Ed Leffler, ten years after the track was originally recorded. On the left channel, played Eddie's music from 1983 on electronic drums; on the right channel, played the reworked song with guitar, bass, drums and vocals.
The album's cover art features the current bassist, Wolfgang Van Halen as a toddler altered as a conjoined twin on a see-saw. Some countries refused to sell the album due to this offending cover. Later, the cover was reprinted to feature Wolfgang as a single child.
Track listing 
The album was also released on vinyl and excludes "Baluchitherium" constraints and a slightly altered track order. The Japanese bonus track "Crossing Over" was also the B-side to the US CD single for "Can't Stop Lovin' You".
|1.||"The Seventh Seal"||5:18|
|2.||"Can't Stop Lovin' You"||4:08|
|3.||"Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)"||5:56|
|5.||"Big Fat Money"||3:57|
|6.||"Strung Out" (Instrumental)||1:29|
|9.||"Doin' Time" (Drum Solo by Alex Van Halen)||1:41|
|10.||"Baluchitherium" (Instrumental) (Does not appear on vinyl)||4:05|
|11.||"Take Me Back (Déjà Vu)" (10th song on vinyl)||4:43|
|12.||"Feelin'" (11th song on vinyl)||6:36|
|13.||"Crossing Over" (Japanese bonus track)||4:49|
- Sammy Hagar - lead vocals
- Eddie Van Halen - guitar keyboards, backing vocals
- Michael Anthony - bass guitar, backing vocals
- Alex Van Halen - drums, percussion
Additional personnel 
- Steve Lukather - backing vocals on "Not Enough"
- The Monks of Gyuto Tantric University - chants on "The Seventh Seal"
- Bruce Fairbairn - production
- Erwin Musper, Mike Plotnikoff - engineering
- Mike Fraser - mixing
- George Marino - mastering
- Jeri Heiden - art direction
- Randee Saint Nicholas, Glen Wexler (front cover) - photography
|Canada (Music Canada)||3× Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|1995||The Billboard 200||1|
|1995||"Amsterdam"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||9|
|1995||"Can't Stop Lovin' You"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||2|
|1995||"Can't Stop Lovin' You"||The Billboard Hot 100||30|
|1995||"Can't Stop Lovin' You"||Top 40 Mainstream||11|
|1995||"Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1995||"Not Enough"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||27|
|1995||"Not Enough"||The Billboard Hot 100||97|
|1995||"Not Enough"||Top 40 Mainstream||39|
|1995||"The Seventh Seal"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||36|
- AllMusic review
- Entertainment Weekly review
- Rolling Stone review
- Unreleased Music
- "Brazilian album certifications – Van Halen – Balance" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
- "Canadian album certifications – Van Halen – Balance". Music Canada.
- "American album certifications – Van Halen – Balance". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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