In the 1970s, Van Halen lit up the sky and toppled their rock elders; in the 1980s they conquered MTV and reigned supreme on the pop charts; and in the 1990s they went off the deep end recording with three lead singers. Along the way, many legends were born, and now the band seeks to reopen the book.

After a 15-year shallow orbit of tabloid fodder and reunion tours, the new three-parts Van Halen, one-part David Lee Roth lineup of America's most successful hard-rock band wants to rekindle its monster legacy with a new tour and the first studio album with the legendary Roth in almost three decades. For anyone new to the show or whose Van Halen memories faded long ago, here's a crash course in Van Halen history and all the major players, courtesy of the metal minds at Noisecreep.

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Click to View Timeline

Produced by Kelly Mahan and Chris Spurlock, AOL

Ian Christe is the author of 'Everybody Wants Some: The Van Halen Saga,' and the publisher of Bazillion Points Books.