After 14 years away from the studio, the band is back together – minus one original member.
Van Halen Recording First Album Since Clinton Administration
The news that Van Halen is recording its first studio album in twelve years with original lead singer David Lee Roth may have fans wanting to, well, jump. It has certainly been a long wait since 1998's "Van Halen III." Speculation of a recorded reunion has been thrown around since 2008, when Van Halen completed a successful reunion tour that featured original frontman David Lee Roth with the band for the first time since the 1984 Tour (plus a brief appearance at the 1996 MTV Music Awards).That much-anticipated new album has now been confirmed: Guitarist Eddie Van Halen and his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, released a statement saying, "[Van Halen] is currently in the studio recording an album with Roth that is due for release in 2011."
If that wasn't enough good news for VH fans, the new album is expected to be accompanied by a world tour.
Some fans, however, may still be disappointed considering that a full reunion of the original lineup remains so elusive.
It's been a tumultuous partnership, to say the least, for Van Halen and Roth over the years. It's a relationship that has left fans with a sense of frustration that continues today. The history of the band plays out almost as a bad soap opera. It started in 1985 when, after 13 years, clashing egos led to the departure of Roth -- who went on to a semi-successful solo career -- and the beginning of a new era for Van Halen: new lead singer Sammy Hagar.
The band continued to flourish with Hagar as the lead - a rare feat for a band to lose such a key member and retain its relevance -- with some fans even preferring the more rocking style of Hagar over the flamboyant glam act of David Lee Roth. In 1996, Roth returned to record two songs with Van Halen for a greatest hits compilation. He was soon replaced (again), this time by former Extreme lead singer Gary Cherone, who lasted all of one album, Van Halen's last. (The band did reunite with Hagar for a 2003 tour.)
When David Lee Roth returned to Van Halen for his first full tour since the "1984" album, fans were joyous to finally see a reunion of the four original members. Well, like pretty much everything else involving the band, nothing's ever easy - the full reunion never happened. As David Lee Roth returned, longtime bassist Michael Anthony was passed over in favor of Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang. Wolfgang will be the bassist on the new album as well. Anthony is currently the bassist for Chickenfoot, whose lead singer is, of course, Sammy Hagar.