HANDLE THE TRUTH: INSIDE VAN HALEN’S IMPROBABLE TRIUMPH
What was once inconceivable is now a reality: A David Lee Roth-fronted Van Halen is set to release a new album! It took 28 years, a soul-crushing false start with Roth in 1996, the dumping of bassist/backing vocalist Michael Anthony, and a new label home, but A Different Kind Of Truth finally arrives today. However, a fair appraisal of Truth could be dicey: Fans might get swept up in the grand return of a pined-after loved one, while the indifferent can effortlessly cry foul at Truth‘s mining of 35 year-old material and at suspiciously deft Wolfgang Van Halen bass lines. And yet early reviews state that Truth is a remarkably authentic classic Van Halen experience.
Here’s what steps VH took to recapture that old magic:
- Van Halen brothers revive creative union with singer David Lee Roth over peace pipe, wheelbarrow of cocaine.
- To sonically distinguish Truth from David Lee Roth solo albums, VH players limit selves to one jizz-spraying solo at a time.
- Recalling the success of classic remakes “You Really Got Me” and “Dancing In The Street,” Van Halen peppers Truth with covers of ’80s heavy rock titans Van Halen.
- Eddie Van Halen writes bass player’s parts, DNA.
- Anticipating former singer Sammy Hagar’s grabs for credit, VH purges Truth of references to tequila, speeding, UFOs.
- New material accommodates Roth’s diminishing range with lower tunings, guest verses from Rick Ross.
- Famously protective virtuoso Eddie Van Halen requires listeners to turn backs to home speakers lest they discover he’s playing a guitar.
- For 2012 world tour, self-professed stoner David Lee Roth vows to memorize new lyrics, drummer’s name.
- After fathering a bass player and wedding a publicist, Eddie Van Halen adopts Malawi infant for tour manager duties.
- Band’s insurers clear Eddie to manage dual ailments of alcoholism, toothlessness with slugs from chalice of Listerine.
- VH sways divided fanbase away from Sammy Hagar’s Chickenfoot with music that won’t drive listeners to self-immolation.
- Hitmaking producer John Shanks successfully breaks news to Eddie Van Halen that synths are for pussies.
- VH plays up to music media with invite-only club gigs, Wolfgang nudes.
- To head off imminent ego clashes, band renamed Van Halen Roth Van Halen Van Halen.
- By popular demand: guitar solos
Van Halen’s first album with David Lee Roth since 1984 is out today on Interscope. Get it here.