When It's Love

Album: OU812 (1988)
Charted: 28 5

Songfacts®:

  • "When It's Love" is a group collaboration on writing, with brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen having composed the music first and Sammy Hagar writing the lyrics afterwards. The song is Van Halen's third biggest hit, after "Jump" (#1) and "Why Can't This Be Love?" (#3). One of the more powerful of power ballads, VH1 put it at #24 on their list of the 25 Greatest Power Ballads.
  • The album OU812 is a common little text pun (phonetically working out to "Oh, you ate one, too!") that's been bopping around in culture for years. It's on the wall of the set in the TV series Taxi, it's the license plate on the Ferrari in Cheech & Chong's Next Movie, and other such monkey-shines.
  • Van Halen, rarely known for their deep, meaningful lyrics, turns in a standard job verses-wise here. Let's put it this way: The first line, "Everybody's looking for something," verbatim, also shows up in the songs "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" and Olivia Newton-John's "I'll Bet You A Kangaroo," with countless more "everybody's lookin'" phrases in other songs. Love, apparently, lasts forever and is experienced by two people together, say thousands of other songs as well. Somebody should just make a set of love-song-lyrics refrigerator magnets.

    We're just pointing out, however, that it's to the band's credit that the lyrics come off as incredibly poignant and thoughtful when set to the amazing music.
  • Sammy Hagar was uncomfortable in front of the camera for music videos and never wanted his performances to appear phony. "The more you saw yourself on video, the more you realized when you were faking it, it looked really stupid," he told the UK TV show Video Killed the Radio Star. His solution was to crank up the music and really belt out the songs instead of lip-syncing. Because of this, he blew out his voice while filming the Darek Wolski-directed performance clip for this song and couldn't perform at a concert the next day.

Comments: 1

  • David - Lee from BeantownWho is the Singer? Luv his emotions. It's not the imposter, the other David Lee.lol
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