The rock and metal world is still dealing with the crushing news that Eddie Van Halen, co-founder of Van Halen and revolutionary guitar player, has died at the age of 65. While this is an overwhelmingly sad turn of events, the one possible silver lining is that for the past week, everyone around the world has listened to Van Halen and remembered the band’s impact, legacy, and high-flying tunes. For proof of this, one need only read a recent report that Van Halen sales jumped 6,000% — on the literal day that Eddie’s death was announced.
As reported by our pals over at MetalSucks, a new piece on Billboard.com says that, “According to initial sales reports to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, Van Halen’s collected albums and songs sold 40,000 copies on Oct. 6 — up 6,198% compared to just under 1,000 sold on Oct. 5.
“Looking just at the band’s album sales, the act’s catalog sold 9,000 copies on Oct. 6 (up by 5,835% compared to a negligible sum on Oct. 5). The act’s top-selling album on Oct. 6 was its self-titled 1978 debut, with 2,000 sold.
“In terms of songs, the group sold 31,000 tracks on Oct. 6 — up 6,317% compared to less than 1,000 sold on Oct. 5.
“Van Halen’s top 10 biggest-selling songs on Oct. 6 were: “Jump” (3,000), “Panama” (2,000), “Eruption” (2,000), “Runnin’ With the Devil” (2,000), “You Really Got Me” (2,000), “Dance the Night Away” (1,000), “Why Can’t This Be Love” (1,000), “Hot for Teacher” (1,000), “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” (1,000) and “Jamie’s Cryin’” (1,000). (Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.)”
Hell yes. If there’s any proof one needs that Van Halen mattered to music fans the world over, it’s that the death of their MVP resulted in a monumental increase in sales across the board.
While it’s easy to understand how Van Halen influenced genres like hair metal, it’s important to remember that Eddie’s playing changed metal as a whole. In the latest episode of our metal talk show Last Words, Mike Sullivan of far-out prog-doom band Russian Circles and Mike McKenzie of terrifying death metal-oriented projects Umbra Vitae and The Red Chord both sang Eddie Van Halen’s praises.
Check out the episode below:
Words by Chris Krovatin