The song is about casual sex, something David Lee Roth was known for. He had the roadies give out back stage passes to beautiful women at Van Halen's concerts. There was a $100 reward if the roadie sent one back he slept with.
Van Halen played this at many of their early shows before they got a record deal. They included it on a demo Gene Simmons produced for them in 1977.
If you listen carefully, you can hear an electric sitar low in the mix.
This song gets at least as much radio play now as when it first came out. Van Halen took a few years to get a big following, so many of their early songs are now Classic Rock staples because they were never overplayed when they first came out.
In 1989, Van Halen sued rap group The 2 Live Crew for stealing the riff from this for their song "The F--k Shop" (The Clean Version was called "The Funk Shop."). The 2 Live Crew ended up selling millions of albums with the song when they became involved in a censorship controversy over their lyrics.
Velvet Revolver performed this at the 2007 ceremonies when Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The only Van Halen members who attended were Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, and Hagar performed "Why Can't This Be Love?" at the induction. This song represented the David Lee Roth era of the band.
Steve from Totnes'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love' was originally supposed to be a punk rock parody," Eddie Van Halen told Guitar World. "It was a stupid thing to us, just two chords. It didn't end up sounding punk, but that was the intention.
"I doubled the solo section with an electric sitar. It could have been a Coral, but it looked real cheap. It looked like a Danelectro. I never really knew it was an electric sitar, because it didn't sound like one. It just sounded like a buzzy-fretted guitar. That thing was real bizarre."
Karen from Manchester, Nh@Billy, Boston, MA...THANK YOU! "Jump" is the weakest song they've ever released, and it's the "Smoke On the Water" for all aspiring rock keyboardists; they all THINK they can play it. I used to work in the music department of a store, and when that song came out, all these little skippy teenaged-boy-rock-wannabe's would go up to the sample keyboard and attempt it. Drove me nutz. (and @Johnny, Los Angeles, CA...you are either insane or have no taste in music.)
Steve from Trabuco Canyon, CaIn addition to Eddie's effects chain on this song he uses a "palm muting" technigue with his right hand which gives the song its really cool sound. I saw all 6 David Lee Roth Van Halen Tours in a row in the late 70's/early 80's which were really kick ass. Although EVH is known for a high use of guitar effects he is also an unbelievable guitar player and combines great hand-eye coordination, strength, and innovative guitar playing to get his unique sound!
Larry from Wayne, PaSteven, this song is from Van Halen's first album in 1978. Sammy Hagar didn't join the band until 1985. DLR and SH sound nothing alike. How could you think that this is SH singing?
Michael from Staten Island, NyGreat song. Not Eddie's most finger-melting solo, but still great on all instruments. this is one of those classics from the DLR (a.k.a. the only era of Van Halen that doesn;t suck) era of Van Halen.
William from Lynchburg, VaDoes anybody remember when the Women's Basketball Association (WBA) was first getting off the ground that there was a promo video with this song as the backing song? Ironic, isn't it?
Jon from Enumclaw , WaDon't know if theres a sitar or not but I love the song anyway.
Karen from Upland, InWhether it's sitar or not, this is one great song!!!Always gets me in the party mode.
David from Mayagüez, Puerto RicoYes, there is an electric sitar in the mix, it was Ted Templeman's idea. EVH didn't like using it at all, at first he claimed it was a "poorly fretted guitar with something in the bridge to make it buzz like a sitar", I paraphrase. Later it turns out that it was, indeed, an electric sitar there. Anyway, it sounds great. The song allegedly makes fun of punk rockers in its "yeah, yeah, yeah!" section...
Scott from Boston, MaI know there is a sitar because I've seen the interviews where Eddie talks about it, but I definitely can't hear it.
Jimmy from Birmingham, MiEddie says this is his least favorite song, writing is at a joke against punk rock, with it having only 2 chords.
Tommy from Houston, TxYes there is a sitar in the mix. Eddie talked about it in interviews in guitar magazines.
Ivana from -, Czech RepublicThis is a great song.And there isn't any sitar
Steven from Arizona, United StatesOk. I know I am going to ruffle a few feathers but here goes.......there is no "electric sitar" on this track. It is a backing guitar track with Eddie's patented phaser/flanger sound with a cleaner amp setting. The song "Why Can't This Be Love"is not representative of the DLR era. It is from the SH era.
Noel from Boston, MaThe most underrated crunching guitar song of all time.
Noel from Boston, MaIs it my imagination or does David Lee Roth yell out "Do Bowls, Do Bowls!" before the musical interlude?
Mike from Hueytown , AlI think this is their best song which is saying a lot. Bad A** Song !
Elie from Londonthis song is really powerfull and energetic great after break up song
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI like Jump, maybe even more then this
Billy from Boston, MaThis is a sick song. It is really underrated. It's much better than Jump, what a stupid song!!! Van Halen, excluding Jump is awesome!!!
Jade from LondonAn amazin song & the guitar riff brilliant!
Kevin from Canada, CanadaThis was one of my wedding songs. The band was so good and the guitarist was amazing. I knew he could do the riff so they played it. While the song was playing and I was danceing with my wife did I realize the inappropriateness of the words. The brothers of my wife thought I was being a smart ass. I was just being a head banger. We got divorced HAH!
Dave from Cardiff, WalesApollo 440's version was a cover of the Van Halen that featured lyric changes, but you're quite right, Luke, that cover featured the guitar riffs from the original
Luke from Manchester, EnglandThe riff was sampled by Apollo 440 for their track 'Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub'
Randell from Mounds, OkThe main riff was the start for a punk rock parody, then Eddie realized he could really make something out of that riff so he wrote "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love"
Mark from Toms River, NjEddie didn't always keep his guitar in perfect tune, and this song is an example of it. The guitar is somewhere between A and G#.
Paul from Greenwood, ScI originally purchased this (VH1) on 8-track. This particular song was one where the track faded out-then clicked to switch tracks-then faded back up. It was in the spooky part where he says "he's been to the edge, and there I stood and looked down....you know I lost a lot of friends there baby.....
Nick from Paramus, NjThe chorus is sometimes misheard as "Eat Chunky Butt Love" or "Eat Turkey For Lunch"