Donn Landee went into detail about Van Halen’s beginnings in a recent interview with Tape Op. The album that ultimately left Alex Van Halen feeling let down was then revealed by him. Landee has worked on numerous projects throughout the years with artists including Van Halen, The Doobie Brothers, and Eric Burdon, among many others. However, even he was taken aback by the group’s and Alex Van Halen’s responses: They were really silent. We didn’t learn anything about [the album’s sound] until after “Van Halen” had been released. They were let down because it wasn’t what they had in mind when they arrived to record the song. Al, though, assured me that we later got it correctly. He liked what we got for “1984” on tape a lot more.
Michael Anthony, the bassist, reportedly told Landee that the group went into the recording studio aiming to imitate Montrose’s rock sound for their debut. The two albums’ recording methods were different, as the producer pointed out, nevertheless. Van Halen’s debut album, in spite of the band’s initial disapproval, not only achieved success on the Billboard charts but also was awarded a diamond certification by the RIAA. Additionally, it provided the band with opportunities, allowing them to share the stage with bands like Black Sabbath, Journey, and Montrose on their ensuing tour. Eddie’s son Wolfgang officially ruled off any possibility of a Van Halen reunion in August 2023, claiming that his father’s demise had left no remaining members of the band.