Van Halen's "Fair Warning" Hit Store Shelves On This Day 1981

Via UltimateClassicRock.com. As Van Halen went in the studio to record their 4th album, tension was growing. The band's popularity was exploding and Eddie Van Halen wanted to get a little more experimental with the sound, while David Lee Roth wanted to play it safe and make humongous, hit filled records. There were also some bad feelings around Eddie's recent marriage to TV star Valerie Bertinelli.

In an interview the guitarist said, "It was kind of a dark period in my life. I was getting married, which flipped Roth out to the bone. I actually overheard him say, 'That fucking little prick, not only is he winning all the guitar awards, but he's also the first to marry a movie star,'" said Eddie. "So that's what I was up against. A guy that wanted everything that was going my way. The funny thing was, I really didn't want the attention, and it came to me anyway. I didn't want the press — it was like, 'Leave me alone.' ... On the whole album I was angry, frustrated and loose."

Despite it being the slowest selling album of the David Lee Roth era, critics loved it. Esquire Magazine put it on their list of "The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own." "Fair Warning" spun off four top 40 singles, "So This Is Love?" "Mean Street," "Push Comes To Shove," and "Unchained." and peaked at number 6 on the Billboard charts.

 
 
 
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