Odd as it may seem, Van Halen have to date only issued 12 studio albums. That's not a lot for a band who released their debut in 1978, especially when you consider that they put out one a year during the first five years of their recording career, and eight within their first decade together.

The quality of the songs on those early albums, particularly their first six with original singer David Lee Roth, is staggeringly high and consistent, making the job of selecting the best track from each extremely difficult. There were also a couple of instances, such as their last album with second lead singer Sammy Hagar, and their first and only album with third singer Gary Cherone, where choosing a best track was difficult for the opposite reason.

Still, there's something lovable or at least interesting and informative on even the worst Van Halen album, and on the great ones we resisted the temptation to announce five-way ties for first, or award seven silver medals, and instead tried to narrow our focus down to the single track that best showed what all four members of each lineup were capable of when they were at the height of their powers.

More Van Halen Lists:
Van Halen Albums Ranked Worst to Best
Top 10 Van Halen Songs
Top 10 Eddie Van Halen Guitar Solos
Michael Anthony's Best Van Halen Songs
Alex Van Halen's Best Van Halen Songs
Van Halen's Best Keyboard Songs
Sammy Hagar's Best Post-Van Halen Songs
Top 10 Sammy Hagar '80s Songs
Top 10 David Lee Roth Songs

See Rock’s Epic Fails: Van Halen Edition