The band's first studio album, "Van Halen", was released in 1978 and is widely regarded as a milestone in rock music. With this first release, the band, featuring David Lee Roth on vocals, Michael Anthony on bass, and Dutch-born Edward Van Halen on guitars (and also keyboards later) and brother Alex Van Halen on drums, established itself as a leader in the emerging and commercially successful U. S. heavy metal music genre of the 1980s.
In addition to being recognized for their artistic contributions, commercial success and popularity, the band is known for drama surrounding the lead singer spot (in Edward's words, LSD meaning Lead Singer Disease). Although the core instrumentalists and backing vocals have remained constant (Edward, Alex and Mike) until 2004, the band has recorded studio albums with three different lead vocalists: David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. Each vocalist has departed (at least once) under cloudy circumstances. Following their 2004 concert tour the band entered a hiatus phase broken in 2007 with the announcement of a long awaited reunion with David Lee Roth, twenty-two years after the band parted ways with the flamboyant frontman.
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