Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

Van Halen

Song Review by Greg Prato

Since Van Halen's 1978 self-titled debut is chock-full of classics, it's easy to overlook certain tracks, but one of the best-known cuts remains "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." When Eddie Van Halen originally wrote the song one year previously, he was convinced that it wasn't even worthy of showing his fellow bandmembers, but he was proven wrong by the others when it was recorded for the debut. Like the other songs on Van Halen, it has a raw, almost "punk" edge to it, something not many other mainstream rock acts were doing at the time. The solo also showed that Eddie wasn't just limited to speed-demon guitar runs, as he experimented with an electric sitar to play a subtly Middle Eastern melody. And although "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" may not be Van Halen's best-known song (especially when compared to their cover of "You Really Got Me," "Jump," "Panama," etc.), it is one of their most covered by other artists. Such unlikely bands as the Minutemen, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and the Moog Cookbook have recorded their own versions, while such rappers as Tone-Loc and 2 Live Crew have sampled the song's main guitar riff. "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" was also one of the few David Lee Roth-era VH tracks that replacement singer Sammy Hagar was willing to sing in concert when he joined the band in the mid-'80s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Van Halen 1978 DCC Compact Classics / Warner Bros. 3:49
Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1 1996 Warner Bros. 3:47
Video Hits, Vol. 1 1996 Warner Bros.
Van Halen Box: 1986-1993 1999 WEA 4:37
Van Halen Box: 1978-1984 2000 WEA International 3:49
The Best of Both Worlds 2004 Warner Bros. 4:43
The Very Best of Van Halen 2004 Warner Bros. 4:43
The Collection 2015 Rhino / Warner Records 6:07
Deluxe: Van Halen/1984/Tokyo Dome In Concert 2015 Rhino / Warner Bros. 6:07