Van Halen - Why Can't This Be Love? - About the song
Replacing David Lee Roth in the studio was certainly a challenge for Sammy Hagar, but filling his shoes in concert was even more daunting. When Van Halen toured for 5150 (the first Van Halen album without David Lee Roth), Hagar, pushed to get Bachman–Turner Overdrive as the opening act, since the Canadian rockers could play a set of hits that would keep the crowd enthralled. BTO agreed, and dutifully delivered their hits. At the conclusion of their set, Van Halen wasted no time taking the stage; the short changeover was designed to minimize the inevitable "Where's Dave" calls from the audience.
You probably wouldn't hear David Lee Roth sing about "that funny feeling again winding me up inside" (unless he was pointing to his crotch), but Sammy Hagar had a more sentimental streak that shows up in this lyric. He's making the case in this song that what he and his girl have must be love.
"Why Can't This Be Love?" was the first Van Halen single with Sammy Hagar as lead singer, replacing David Lee Roth. Hagar had plenty of cred as a rocker and went over as well as could be expected in his position. This song took the band in a more mature, melodic direction, which proved hit-worthy. The Van Hagar era was on, and the Sammy vs. Dave debates commenced.
Eddie Van Halen wrote the track on an Oberheim OB-8 keyboard. It was one of his first songs where Sammy Hagar said, "You don't mind if I follow your keyboard melody do you?" And Eddie said, "No, not at all," though he really didn't like the vocals to follow his instrumental parts. Eddie would rather the vocal line act as a counterpoint.
Why Can't This Be Love? - Lyrics
Oh here it comes again That funny feelin again winding me up inside Every time we touch Hey I don't know Just 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 an only time will tell If we stand the test of time All I know You've got to run to win an I'll be damned if I'll get hung up on the line 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