Is Van Halen’s New Song 35 Years Old?

By Tom Breihan / January 10, 2012 - 4:44 pm

Earlier today, Van Halen released the video for “Tattoo,” their first song with David Lee Roth since those cuts from Best Of Volume I. But as it turns out, that new song might not actually be a new song. According to Rolling Stone, former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar, the guy who replaced Roth when he parted ways with the band, claims that the forthcoming album A Different Kind Of Truth is made up of songs that the band wrote back in the early days: “Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all.”

When the band announced the new-album plans with a quick set at New York’s Café Wha?, they debuted a song called “She’s The Woman,” which actually appeared on a 1976 demo. And as some fans have noticed, “Tattoo” sounds pretty similar to “Down In Flames,” a song the band played live but never recorded. Below, listen to “Tattoo” back-to-back with a version of “Down In Flames” that they played on New Year’s Eve in 1977.

“Down In Flames”:

“Tattoo”:

So very autobiographic!