Women and Children First is the third album by American hard rock band Van Halen, released in 1980. It basically continues the trends laid out on the first two albums, relying on the vocals of David Lee Roth and the guitar playing of Eddie Van Halen.
This is the first Van Halen album to feature all original band compositions. This album strays from the more pop-sounding Van Halen II and has a more raw sound. The opener, "And the Cradle Will Rock...", begins with what sounds like guitar chords, but is, in fact, a phase shifter-effected Wurlitzer electric piano played through Van Halen's legendary 1960's model 100-watt Marshall Plexi amplifier.
"Everybody Wants Some!!" was featured in the 1985 comedy Better Off Dead, during a sequence featuring a singing, guitar-playing claymation hamburger.
"Could This Be Magic?" contains the only female backing vocal ever recorded for a Van Halen song — Nicolette Larson sings during some of the choruses.
The album contains a hidden track at the end of "In a Simple Rhyme," a brief instrumental piece entitled "Growth." It was supposed to start the band's next album, Fair Warning, but this did not occur. "Growth" was a staple of the band's live shows with Roth and often used as the start of their encores.
Only one single was released from the album, the keyboard driven "And the Cradle Will Rock...." Although the single was not a success like the previous singles "Dance the Night Away" or the cover of "You Really Got Me," the album itself was well received and further entrenched the band as a popular concert draw. The song "Everybody Wants Some!!" was also a concert staple through the 1984 tour, and continued to be played by David Lee Roth after he left Van Halen.