Van Halen – “Finish What Ya Started” – 7″ Single

When I was on vacation last Summer, I found a ton of 45 Singles with the Picture Sleeves at a place called House of Vinyl and I ended buying 7 Van Halen 45’s. And we’ve been through all of those so far as seen below…

Now it is time to add a new one to the list from one I found at Mad Jack’s in Matthews, NC. This is another from ‘OU812’ and it is “Finish What Ya Started”. The song was released as a single in September 1988 and it did well going all the way to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Rock Charts. The song was credited to be written by Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, but we all know it was really just Eddie and Sammy. They were doing the “band” thing and crediting everybody and that never seems to end well.

The album was basically finished, but due to lack of sleep one night, Eddie came up with the riff and ran over to his neighbor’s house at 2 in the morning and was begrudgingly let in by Sammy. The two spent the rest of the night finishing the music and after Eddie left, Sammy finished the lyrics which seem to be about someone being unsatisfied because the other person wouldn’t finish the deed…you know what I’m talking about. Someone has a case of blue balls!!

My copy of the release is the standard U.S. Release with the B-Side being “Sucker in a 3 Piece” also from OU812. Nothing special here and you can find anywhere for $1 to $5 probably.


The song is a guitar driven track with Eddie and even Sammy on rhythm acoustic guitar. One of only 2 times I think we have Sammy playing guitar. It is a cool track, smooth and a lot of swagger. Sammy’s delivers some restrained, slick vocals with such utter confidence. No over the top screaming or singing. Very well done. The guitar playing sounds like some country boys picking away at the strings. Nothing fancy, simple and to the point. An easy favorite on the album.


The B-Side is “Sucker in a 3 Piece” which is credited to the whole band as writers. Again, doubtful. The song is a strong B-Side as on its own not the worst, but not a great deep cut on the album as in that view, it is one of the weaker tracks on the album. It rocks out and sounds like classic Van Halen…Alex’s drums have that signature sound and no denying who is on guitar. Lyrically, a little weak and not overly exciting as they a basically give hell to guys that wear suits while they party out.

And there you have the 8th Van Halen single we have in the collection and reviewed. I am sure I will find more down the road and of course, they will be showcased here. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!

11 thoughts on “Van Halen – “Finish What Ya Started” – 7″ Single

  1. I had this one way back when. My parents bought it and then it wound up in my room as they cared less about having music just as I was getting into it. I’m not even sure what happened to it. I eventually wound up with the LP collection but the 45’s were not to be found. And yeah, this is probably my favorite cut from the album.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all these picture singles. Very cool stuff.

    Also: “They were doing the “band” thing and crediting everybody and that never seems to end well.” Unless you’re the mighty Sloooo-oooooaaann!! They are a democracy and it works!


  3. Cool find. Never saw this before as when albums like this dropped I bought em right away and this was the first new release at the time (88) that I bought straight on CD. A few years back I grabbed the whole album on vinyl…


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