1986 song by Van Halen, from the album 5150.

Begins with what sounds like a sequenced synth-bass with some filter magic going on. The synth is playing many more notes here than most people will notice.

The almost-legendary riff sets in, played by a synthesizer lead on an Oberheim OB 8 that may be one of the most fiendishly clever patches ever contrived, with probably several oscillators in unison, distortion, flanger, feedback and chorus. Although it's hard to notice at first, the sinister bass drone from the intro continues through the song (it becomes especially audible in the B part of the solo), and the lead synth also almost never stops playing; it runs circles around Sammy Hagar's vocals, counterpoint fashion.

Oh here it comes
That funny feeling again
Winding me up inside
Every time we touch
Hey I don’t know
Oh, tell me where to begin
'Cause I never ever
Felt so much

No I can’t recall any love at all
Baby this blows 'em all away

It’s got what it takes
So tell me why can’t this be love?
Straight from my heart
Oh, tell me why can’t this be love?

I tell myself
Hey only fools rush in
And only time will tell
If we stand the test of time
All I know
You’ve got to run to win
And I’ll be damned if
I’ll get hung up on the line




This solo consists of three parts in an ABA scheme: A is the famous part where guitar, lead synth and Hagar's stratospheric scat voice all perform in unison, while B is somewhat more guitar-centric. Looking at the notes, you can tell Eddie Van Halen probably wrote this song at the piano, as the B part is all black keys.


Tell me why can’t this be love
Baby why can’t this be love
Got to know why can’t this be love
I wanna know why can’t this be love

This song is one of Van Halen's classics and goes a long way to explain why some people love and others hate the band so much. Like most of their popular songs, it's both complex and trivial at the same time; and it's hard to say whether it's really pop with a rock attitude or the other way 'round.

As a keyboarder, I love to play it -- it's not so simple as to make one look silly on stage (as Liquido's Narcotic would), but can be played with one hand while jumping around or having a beer.