According to The Pulse of Radio, Michael Anthony listed his six career-defining albums for MusicRadar.com. He joked that, "Being a bass player is like being Rodney Dangerfield. The bottom line is, no matter how great we play, we don't get no respect! But hey, I'm used to it. I've played alongside Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani. Really, when you're sharing the stage with dudes that amazing, who's going to look at the bass player? It's just not done!"
Michael Anthony's six career-defining albums:
1. "Van Halen" (1978): "As confident and full of ourselves as we came across on that record, the truth is, we were all pretty scared. I remember we put our headphones on and kind of looked at each other like, 'Wow, we're really doing this. Hope we don't mess up!'"
2. "Women And Children First" (1980): "Eddie (Van Halen) started playing the riff to 'And The Cradle Will Rock' on a Wurlitzer electric piano. Everybody loved it but Dave (Lee Roth): 'No keyboards, Eddie! We're a guitar band. Nobody wants to hear you play the piano.' . . . As good as the album is, we raced through it. I couldn't get too tricky with my bass playing; in fact, my approach was very brutal at times. We were in such a cycle of touring, recording, touring, recording that we didn't have a moment to catch our breath. Maybe that's why the album sounds so vicious — we were running as fast as we could."
3. "1984" (1984): "We never considered ourselves a singles band, so our attitude was always like, 'whatever' when it came to what the label wanted to put out. Our albums sold in the millions no matter what. . . In the end, we said, 'Fine, go ahead,' and boom! — our first Number One single. Amazing. I had a great time playing on 1984. I felt like I was growing as a player and background singer. Plus, I think the band was getting very creative. But then, right as everything went as high as it could possibly go, we hit a brick wall — hard."
4. "5150" (1986): "Our spirits were pretty low. 'What the hell are we gonna do?' We didn't know. But thanks to Eddie's auto mechanic, Claudio Zampolli, who suggested Eddie give Sammy Hagar a call, things turned out beautifully. Sammy came down, we jammed and the result was amazing: suddenly, VAN HALEN was a band again."
5. "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (1991): "Thanks to Andy Johns, this was the first big bad bass record we ever had. Andy's a bass player, and the first thing he said to me was, 'Michael, I want to really hear you for a change.' All I could say was, 'Yes! Thank you!' The album had great energy to it. We had terrific songs like 'Poundcake' and we were really cookin'. I think it's one of our best overall."
6. "Chickenfoot" (2009): "God, what can I say about CHICKENFOOT that hasn't already been said? Sammy and I really didn't know if there was going to be another chapter in our musical lives together. Lo and behold, the third time is definitely the charm. Getting together with these guys was like being born again. I felt like a kid who just played his first high school dance and impressed all the pretty girls. Really, it's that cool. And the best thing is, there's no egos, no bullshit — it's just four guys going for the same thing together, the way a band should be. . . I can't wait to do our next album."
Michael Anthony has gone on record as saying that he was in effect booted from VAN HALEN because — during a long dormant period in the band — he chose to tour with Sammy Hagar. Alex Van Halen says that the Hagar-Anthony partnership didn't play any role in getting the VAN HALEN reunion underway with Eddie's son replacing him on bass. "My brother and I were doing something different, so, you know, as adults, you, you, you make your own choices, and it was neither here nor there, as far as we were concerned," Alex said. "That sounds just like a simple answer to something that, from the outside, may look like a complicated question, but it really isn't. Sammy likes to go out and play, and Mikey wanted to join him."