Roth v. Hagar v. Cherone

Recently, I came across the torrent for “Balance” – a Van halen album from the mid-90’s Hagar region. This album was one of my favorites, and it brought an entire plethora of memories from my teenage years when i really liked and listened to alot of Van Halen.

This got me thinking… Which lead singer of Van Halen is the best? I almost titled this thread as “Roth v. Hagar”, because in all seriousness, who can even compare Gary Cherone to either of them? He was a short lived wonder and an overall bad thing to happen to the entire music industry.

So that leaves David Lee Roth and Samuel James Hagar. For me, this decision comes quickly and easily. Sammy Hagar was a much better frontman for VanHalen than Dave R. was. For me, Hagar is a better singer, songwriter, frontman, and entire persona. Obviously, Roth was the first, so he has his group of loyalist who think anybody else is garbage… But the truth is that the band is completely different with these two singers. With Roth, the songs always seemed to be sexual in nature… Either that or drugs/drinking/overall partying.

With Hagar, Van Halen’s songs take on a depth. They don’t have meaningless lyrics about wanting to have relations with your teacher. They are real, heartfelt… the songs have an emotional side that Roth’s just don’t. Obviously there are exceptions on both sides to this argument (Jump, Poundcake..etc.) but the general consensus i believe to be accurate.
Other things to consider…

  • Roth’s Jumping splits
  • Roth’s “spandex”
  • Hagar’s Perm
  • Tornadoes (only enfuego and vanbergs will get that reference)
  • Eddie VanHalen

Regardless of the frontman, Eddie VanHalen is probably the best guitarist of all time… It’s hard to even consider somebody who is more of an innovator. I don’t usually like instrumental music very much… but some of the instrumental songs by Eddie VH are amazing. (Eruption and Baluchitherium for example.) Digress, the debate is not Eddie VanHalen… Who was a better frontman for VanHalen… Roth or Hagar??

9 thoughts on “Roth v. Hagar v. Cherone

  1. Vanberge Post author

    David D. is a better singer than both, i agree… but as he was never the lead man for VH, then that is not a valid point.


  2. vanlandw

    who are you vanbergs vanberge and jjafuller

    I feel David Lee is more “fun” but Hagar had a better voice. He was kinda wussy at times but ultimately it’s a tough call. David Lee is more party rock where Hagar is more soulful.

    Cherone is the worst lead singer ever ttyl

  3. FLO

    i grew up with the hagar variant of van halen. so, therefore, i would have to agree with van on this one. but david d. is the best lead singer ever. he should be the lead singer of all bands, inculding van halen.

  4. mickeyvb

    Truth of the matter is this… The best lead singer of VanHalen was Eddie’s guitar… The vocals in every song created by that group are FAR outweighed by the skillful ministrations of pick and fingering upon “the Soul of Rock” by the skillful master, Eddie… It takes but one riff on that guitar to send chills down the spine of true rock fans…. and that IS what rock is all about.

  5. Vanberge

    jja… that comment wasnt even worth leaving. what a waste of time, effort, and a mysql table row.

    Mickeyvb, you are right i doth believe… Even though i would call hagar the better singer, songs like Panama and Runnin’ with the devil are truly epic… And its really EVH’s guitar that does that, not Roth’s vocals/lyrics… 😛

  6. Kramer

    MickeyVB is dead on.

    Although, it was sad that EVH couldn’t make up for the sucktitude of Gary Cherone.

    And in my book, Stevie Ray Vaughan > Eddie Van Halen, but that’s another debate for another day.

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