Van Halen - over 75 rare & unreleased tracks now online
The original Van Halen back in 1977, when they all still liked one another. © Scott Weiner/Retna Ltd./Corbis
A new Van Halen album is said to be in the cards for early 2011, but until then, VH fans can revel in a treasure trove of over 75 rare and unreleased tracks, most of them from the group's early days, although there are some more recent cuts, including a full live concert with the current Wolfgang-on-bass-lineup.
The tracks are courtesy of Chris Gossett, who runs a website devoted to most things Van Halen, and we must say, he's truly outdone himself with the wealth of material he's posted.
Among the 77 rare recordings (we're talkin' demos, live shows, you name it - they're all fascinating) are gems such as these:
Van Halen in 1975, shortly after they changed their named from Mammoth, performing Led Zeppelin's Trampled Under Foot (which had just been released on the Physical Graffiti album).
An early demo of Everybody Wants Some, with David Lee Roth's mid-song 'rap' much different than the one which appears on the album Women And Children First.
There's a song called Chevrolet, which the group performed during their unsigned, club days. On the recording, you can hear David Lee Roth expressing his displeasure at the lack of crowd response.
And then there's this most intriguing and affecting cut, a song called IWO JIMA, by Roger Waters and featuring Eddie Van Halen (who knew?). It's a moving piece of work, with Eddie most restrained - he plays in a tasteful, quasi-bluesy style, careful not to overwhelm.
Like we said, it's a boatload of material, and a must for any VH fan. You can hear all of the recordings on chrisgossett.com.