Why did they do that? Part two: Van Halen’s so-called ‘reunion’

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Whenever bands reunite after decades of bitterness, contempt and lawsuits, it typically means they are in need of money (probably from all the lawyers they hired suing one another).
So when Van Halen (once again) reunited with their first frontman, David Lee Roth, I was annoyed.
I’m not a big a fan of this band. They have a handful of songs I can tolerate. But when I heard about more tours and a new album, I had to rant about it.
I feel the same way about the Beach Boys reunion, for which people are going to pay top dollar to hear a bunch of out of tune old guys sing songs about surfing.
Why did they record a new album with a singer who can barely speak in tune, much less sing.
And to call it a “reunion” is somewhat odd since it’s not the original lineup. Bassist Michael Anthony has been replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s goofy son, Wolfgang.
This is a band that should have stopped after 1989, the last year they were relevant. But like some Golem on the back of rock music, they refuse to go away, thus destroying a once respectable legacy.
The 1990s were not kind to the band. They reunited with Roth and fired their second singer, Sammy Hagar. Then they fired Roth in a span of 10 minutes after they announced his return and hired the singer from Extreme. This resulted in what most people call the horror story of rock albums, “Van Halen 3.”
Then, in the 2000s, Roth and Hagar, for reasons completely baffling to everyone, decided to tour together. It was so forgettable that I can only recall it lasted very shortly.
Based on their new single, this album and reunion is more than likely going to be awful.
So it raises the question: Why did they do that?
I’m sticking with the obvious, which is money. Why else would this group of people with three decades of bitter infighting and public denunciations feel suddenly great about one another?
Answer is they wouldn’t.
When bands reunite on honorable terms (like Pink Floyd with Live 8 and The Beatles with their “Anthology”), I can be OK with it.
But when it’s obviously about money, like Black Sabbath, The Eagles and so forth, it feels cheap and a little bit insulting to their fans.

One Comment

  1. Jovana says:

    When I hear runaround and prtety much anything from For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge ; all I can really hear is the simplistic lines played by bassist Micheal Anthony and just how well they fit where they are. Most of the basic guitar work from this album is abbreviated arpeggios with long roots or 5ths (and occasional 7th that gets hammered or pulled back to root) for the verse. Then when the hooks pick up lead kicks in with some nice riffs and melody buffs , Anthony does his job and keeps the line tempo on track and fills the back space left from the lack of rhythm guitar lines in those areas. He does this by keeping his line in the back while also expanding his line to keep the arpeggios running. Not a bass player that could go with having just his E and A!! I enjoy background rhythm tracks laid by people who know what they are doing. Runaround is a track that I really enjoy listening to. I think about what I would ask a bass player to do differently to make the track better; and with out completely altering the effect the bass line has here I would be hard pressed to offer any advice that would help. That being said, I really enjoy this work. Thanks for posting this video for review.

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