"Panama" is a song from Van Halen's highly successful album 1984. It was the third single released from that record and is one of their most recognized songs.
Van Halen was one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the 1980s. Formed in Pasadena, California in 1972, the band consisted of Eddie Van Halen on guitar, his brother Alex Van Halen on drums, Michael Anthony on bass guitar, and David Lee Roth as the lead vocalist. The band's sound was a blend of hard rock, heavy metal, and pop, and they were known for their high-energy live performances and flamboyant stage presence.
In the early 1980s, Van Halen was at the height of their fame. They had released several successful albums, including "Van Halen" (1978), "Van Halen II" (1979), "Women and Children First" (1980), "Fair Warning" (1981), and "Diver Down" (1982). These albums contained some of the band's most popular and enduring songs, such as "Runnin' With the Devil," "Jamie's Cryin'," "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love," "And the Cradle Will Rock...," "Unchained," and "Jump."
Perhaps the most iconic song of Van Halen's career, "Jump" was released in 1984 on the album "1984." The song was a departure from the band's typical hard rock sound, featuring synthesizers and a catchy pop melody. It quickly became a massive hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning the band their first Grammy nomination.
Van Halen's success in the 1980s can be attributed not only to their catchy songs and high-energy performances but also to their distinctive visual style. David Lee Roth, in particular, was known for his flamboyant stage costumes, acrobatic jumps, and microphone twirls. His larger-than-life persona made him one of the most memorable frontmen in rock history.
Despite their success, Van Halen was not without their struggles during the 1980s. The band's drug and alcohol use, particularly that of Roth, was well-known, and tensions between the members often boiled over. In 1985, Roth left the band to pursue a solo career, and Van Halen replaced him with Sammy Hagar, who had previously fronted the band Montrose. With Hagar, the band released four more albums, including "5150" (1986), "OU812" (1988), "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (1991), and "Balance" (1995).
While the band's sound evolved with the addition of Hagar, their popularity began to wane in the early 1990s. Hagar left the band in 1996, and Roth briefly rejoined for a reunion tour in 1996 and 1997. The band continued to tour and release albums with various lead singers throughout the 2000s and 2010s, but their glory days were in the 1980s.