25 Years Ago: ‘Not Enough’ Ends Van Halen’s Hot 100 Streak
Van Halen's long winning streak on the pop charts came to an end with the July 18, 1995 release of "Not Enough."
The stately piano-driven ballad, which features Michael Anthony playing fretless bass for the first time on record, peaked at No. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100. Following "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)," "Amsterdam" and the Top 30 "Can't Stop Lovin' You," it was the last single released from Balance, the group's fourth and final studio album with second singer Sammy Hagar.
Between their 1978 self-titled album and Balance, Van Halen earned 23 Hot 100 singles. All but two of their 10 studio albums (everything except 1980's Women and Children First and 1981's Fair Warning) spawned at least one Top 40 hit. Hagar's decade-long tenure with the band was responsible for 11 of those Hot 100 tracks and 9 of the group's 16 Top 40 appearances. But the "Van Hagar" lineup but had run out of gas and patience for each other.
"We were making the Balance record, but it was over for Van Halen," Hagar said in his 2011 autobiography Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock. "If it wasn't for the producer Bruce Fairbairn, we never would have finished that record. ... I knew they were trying to get rid of me. Eddie [Van Halen] was trying to make me quit. He would find something wrong with every lyric I'd write."
Watch Van Halen's "Not Enough" Video
Things didn't get any better on the injury-plagued "Ambulance" tour the band mounted in support of the album. Both Eddie and his drumming brother Alex were battling painful chronic injuries, and the battles between the duo and Hagar continued to escalate.
After the last show, Hagar says the Van Halen brothers pressured him into recording the song "Humans Being" for the soundtrack to the movie Twister, then tried to get him to participate in a greatest hits album that would feature two new songs each with vocals from himself and original frontman David Lee Roth. That was the final straw, and on Father's Day 1996 Hagar was fired from or quit the band, depending on who you listen to.
Van Halen stayed active for the remainder of the decade. Both Hagar's "Humans Being" and the Roth-fronted "Me Wise Magic" from Best of - Volume 1 hit No. 1 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart in 1996, but neither hit the Hot 100.
Neither did any of the three singles the group released from 1998's Van Halen III, the first and only record they released with third singer Gary Cherone, although the single "Without You" hit the top of the Mainstream Rock chart.
Hagar briefly reunited with the band in 2004 for a disastrous tour and to record three new songs for another greatest hits collection. The promotional singles "It's About Time" and "Up for Breakfast" peaked at No. 6 and No. 33 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
Three years later, Roth returned to the band for the first in a series of reunion tours. At the same time, Hagar loyalist Michael Anthony was replaced on bass by Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang. The "three-quarters original, one-quarter inevitable" new lineup, as Roth dubbed it in concert, released the A Different Kind of Truth album in 2012. The single "Tattoo" peaked at No. 67 on the Hot 100, briefly ending the band's 17-year absence from the pop charts.