Contact is all it takes
To change your life to lose your place in time
As much as I loved Van Halen with David Lee Roth (1984 was an epic album as far as I was concerned), I made the transition to a Sammy Hagar-fronted Van Halen pretty smoothly. 5150 was one of my favorite albums in 1986, and I still have the copy of the record I purchased that year – impressive considering I traded most of my records, except for a select handful, for CDs in the 90s.
Love Walks In, one of five singles from 5150, was one of my favorites off the album. I would listen to it over and over and over again. I was 13 at the time, so even though the lyrics were a little odd (aliens pulling strings and travels across the Milky Way), I read it all as a tale of first love throwing your world upside down. And at 13, that was right up my alley. The song was a moderate success for Van Halen, reaching No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100.
I’ll never forget years later (2013 to be exact) listening to an interview with Sammy Hagar on the Howard Stern Show during which he talked about his encounters with aliens and how the song Love Walks In is about those experiences. (Hagar also discusses his encounters with aliens in his autobiography Red.) Listening to the lyrics again, it all makes perfect sense. So the alien in the song is not the slightly off-beat metaphor for an all-encompassing love that I thought it was at 13. It’s actually a little green guy. Still a great song off of a great album – if you can keep the image of Hagar boarding a spaceship out of your mind while it plays.
The 7″ single of Love Walks In was released with a picture sleeve. Summer Nights, another great tune off 5150, serves as the B side.