David Lee Roth's first solo effort was his Crazy from the Heat
EP, which he released while he was still in Van Halen. That EP contained two hit singles, "California Girls
" and "Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody
," which kept him on radio and MTV throughout the spring and summer of 1985. At the end of the summer, he left Van Halen.Crazy from the Heat
was all cover songs and was laced with jocularity. For his first full-length solo album, he wanted to prove that he was much more than a novelty act outside the confines of Van Halen. This meant assembling a band and writing original songs. The band was bass player "Bad" Billy Sheehan
, drummer Gregg Bissonette, and crucially, guitarist Steve Vai
A rising star who did time with Frank Zappa, Alcatrazz and Public Image Ltd., Vai was one of the few guitarists who could approach the creative energy of Eddie Van Halen. His songwriting skills were key to the album's success: he co-wrote 6 of the 10 tracks with Roth, including the lead single, "Yankee Rose." Vai stayed with Roth for his next album, Skyscraper
(1988), before focusing on his own solo career.