Writers: Van Halen
Producers: Van Halen, Mick Jones and Donn Landee
Recorded: 5150 Studios in Los Angeles
Released: Spring 1986
|Players:||Edward Van Halen — guitar, keyboards, vocals
Michael Anthony — bass, vocals
Alex Van Halen — drums
|Album:||5150 (Warner Brothers, 1986)|
“Why Can't This Be Love” was the first release from Van Halen's second lineup, in which veteran rocker Sammy Hagar replaced original frontman David Lee Roth, who quit the band in the spring of 1985 for a solo career.
Hagar and guitarist Edward Van Halen met through a mutual car mechanic and became friends. Their first appearance onstage together was at the first Farm Aid concert in September 1985, when Van Halen appeared as a special guest during Hagar's set.
Van Halen was heavily influenced by Montrose, the band for which Hagar sung during the mid-'70s.
Executives at Warner Brothers advised the band not to continue under the Van Halen name, but the quartet chose to do so anyway.
“Why Can't This Be Love” was an instant hit, reaching Number Three on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number Eight in the U.K.
The 5150 album was even more successful, becoming Van Halen's first Number One on the Billboard 200 and selling more than five million copies to date. The album hit Number 16 on the U.K. chart.
5150 was named for Edward Van Halen's home studio, where the group recorded it with Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones co-producing. 5150 is also the police code for the criminally insane.
Hagar's solo hit “I Can't Drive 55” was added to the Van Halen setlist in concert, but he would only perform a small amount of the Roth-sung material.