So here it is...
Having come across this band for the first time in my life only a few months ago -and after severe lecturing received for being so "musically ignorant"-, i finished my analysis of the bandīs discography.
Also, as part of this process, i found myself exposed to ideas and thoughts of some sort of heated debate fans have on the go: which Van Halen is better? Referring to the "initial era", when a vocalist named David Lee Roth was in the band, or, the "second era" with vocalist/guitarist Sammy Hagar as frontman.
Well, i take the "initial era" -David Lee Roth- hands down.
Yes, humans can not yet fight the "timeless tick tick" of the clock, and things change, people grow up -at least physically, which does not necessarily imply becoming more "mature"-, and it is clear that the first era has an intensity, energy and power that commences fading real fast from the "5150" album (1986) and through the releases that followed -Hagarīs first appearance-.
This is not to say the "Van Hagar" era -as they referr to the Sammy Hagar time in the band- did not produce sound material. I was told Van Halen still reached high commercial success with Hagar.
Still, i believe David Lee Roth displayed a type of frontman wit i do not detect in Hagarīs contribution; by saying this i am strictly referring to what you can get from hearing the album alone...if you go further and see live videos of the band with each of the two vocalists, the gap -in my view- grows even bigger. Rothīs antics would cleanly outmatch Hagarīs.
The guys who introduced me to this band -btw, they are way older than me- would comment that although Hagar is "more a musician" than Roth is -Hagar plays guitar for instance, Roth does not-, it was clear something went missing after Rothīs departure.
Surely opinions will vary, some might prefer Hagarīs time in the band.
Real powerful track of the Roth era should be: "Mean Street", Girl Gone Bad", "Ainīt talking about love"...
Any comments from the heavy metal guys in the forum?
P.S. By the way, during my time in Mexico, i did visit a very cool bar in Cabo, named "Cabo Wabo"...little i did know the owner of such bar would be Sammy Hagar.