Van Halen Releases ‘The Collection II’ Box Set

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Van Halen have a new boxed set spotlighting the band’s second incarnation, with singer Sammy Hagar, guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony. The Collection II, released on 5-CDs and 5-LPs on October 6, 2023 (the third anniversary of EVH’s passing) via Rhino, includes newly remastered versions of four multi-platinum studio albums, along with a selection of rarities recorded between 1989 and 2004. All the music in the set was mastered directly from the original master tapes, a process overseen by the band’s longtime engineer, Donn Landee.

The new set of the so-called “Van Hagar” era is the long-awaited sequel to The Collection, a compilation released in 2015 that focused on the six studio albums recorded by the band’s original line-up, which featured singer David Lee Roth. The new set picks up where its predecessor left off and covers the four consecutive #1 albums released during the Hagar era: 5150 (1986), OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), and Balance (1995).

From the August 9 announcement: The journey begins with 5150, Van Halen’s seventh studio album and the band’s first to claim the top spot on the Billboard 200. Certified platinum six times in the U.S., the record treated fans to hits like “Dreams,” “Love Walks In,” and “Why Can’t This Be Love,” which peaked at #3 on the Hot 100. The group returned two years later with OU812, a quadruple-platinum smash that included “Finish What Ya Started” and “When It’s Love.”

The accolades continued with For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, which earned Van Halen its first Grammy® Award for Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album. Debuting at #1 and staying there for three weeks, the album achieved triple-platinum certification. The record produced seven singles, including hits like “Poundcake,” “Top of the World,” and “Right Now.”

The newly remastered official music video of “Right Now” has been released in HD for the first time. In 1992, the music video won three awards at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, including the award for Video Of The Year.

In 1993, the band released its first live album, Live: Right Here, Right Now, before returning in 1995 with Balance, its final studio album with Hagar. The album was another commercial triumph, debuting at #1, selling more than three million copies, and earning a Grammy® nomination for “The Seventh Seal.”

The Collection II concludes with Studio Rarities 1989-2004, an exclusive compilation that assembles eight gems from the Hagar era for the first time. Among these rarities is “Crossing Over,” the B-Side to Balance’s “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”, and the band’s only non-album B-side.

The compilation boasts other highlights, including the band’s cover of Little Feat’s “A Apolitical Blues” and the instrumental “Baluchitherium,” which were originally left off the vinyl versions of OU812 and Balance, respectively.

Additionally, the set features two songs the band contributed to the Twister soundtrack – “Humans Being” and the Grammy®-nominated “Respect the Wind.”

Watch the newly HD remastered video of “Humans Being”

Rounding out the set are “It’s About Time,” “Up For Breakfast,” and “Learning to See,” which were recorded during the band’s temporary reunion with Hagar in 2004. All three debuted that year on Van Halen’s second greatest hits collection, The Best of Both Worlds.

Related: How Eddie Van Halen changed rock guitar

As of October 2023, the band has essentially abandoned its Facebook page, with 5.7 million followers, with just a single post in November 2020, one month after Eddie Van Halen died. Here’s hoping the new boxed set spurs some engaging activity for their loyal fan base.

For his part, Hagar shared some insight into the set…

The complete track listing appears below the Amazon links. When you buy something using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting Best Classic Bands.

5-LP Track Listing

LP One: 5150
Side One
“Good Enough”
“Why Can’t This Be Love”
“Get Up”
“Summer Nights”

Side Two
“Best Of Both Worlds”
“Love Walks In”

LP Two: OU812
Side One
“Mine All Mine”
“When It’s Love”
“A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)”
“Cabo Wabo”

Side Two
“Source Of Infection”
“Feels So Good”
“Finish What Ya Started”
“Black And Blue”
“Sucker In A 3 Piece”

LP Three: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Side One
“Judgement Day”
“Pleasure Dome”

Side Two
“In ‘N’ Out”
“Man On A Mission”
“The Dream Is Over”
“Right Now”
“Top Of The World”

LP Four: Balance
Side One
“The Seventh Seal”
“Can’t Stop Lovin’ You”
“Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)”
“Big Fat Money”
“Doin’ Time”

Side Two
“Strung Out”
“Not Enough”
“Take Me Back (Déjà Vu)”

LP Five: Studio Rarities 1989-2004
Side One
“A Apolitical Blues”
“Crossing Over”

Side Two
“Humans Being”
“Respect The Wind”
“It’s About Time”
“Up For Breakfast”
“Learning To See”

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. TyStick
    #1 TyStick 10 August, 2023, 08:43

    I’m more of a Diamond Dave fan of Van Halen’s but this will be a very good release.

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