On this day in music history: March 23, 1979 - “Van Halen II”, the second album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Ted Templeman, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from December 1978 - January 1979. Issued only thirteen months after their multi-platinum debut, the band complete their second album in only three weeks worth of studio time. Many of the songs on their sophomore release had been written prior to the band’s first album, having been previously recorded as demos in 1976 and 1977. It spins off two singles including “Dance The Night Away” (#15 Pop). The yellow and black Charvel guitar pictured on the back cover of the album is buried with Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell Abbott. Abbott, a long time Van Halen fan meets his guitar hero, and tells him how much he admires the guitar. After Abbott’s death in December of 2004, Eddie Van Halen attends his funeral, and places the guitar in his casket. First released on CD in 1987, it is remastered  and reissued in 2000 as a standard red book CD with HDCD encoding. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2010 by Rhino Records. “Van Halen II” peak at number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

The faces guitarists make when playing. The poses they have when playing. The smiles they flash at the crowd when playing. The guitar tricks they do. Guitarists. If this sight isn’t the most beautiful thing on the planet I don’t know what is.