Seems Howard Stern is as jacked up about the new Van Halen reunion project as any of the band’s staunchest fans. To whit: He’ll be airing a sprawling five-hour segment on his SiriusXM radio show called “The Whole Truth: The Howard Stern/ Van Halen Special.”
The segment, scheduled to coincide with Tuesday’s release of A Different Kind of Truth — Van Halen’s first album-length project with David Lee Roth since 1984 — includes archival interviews from each of the band’s members, past and present, with the exception of new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. It’s set to air from 2-7 p.m. Eastern on Sirius XM/Howard 101.
There’s been a lot to sort out, since Roth co-founded the band with brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen in the mid-1970s. David Lee Roth, of course, fronted the band until 1984. The original lineup, which also included bassist Michael Anthony, briefly reunited in 1996 to add a couple of new songs to a greatest hits collection. On either side of that project, Sammy Hagar served as lead singer — from 1985-96 and again in 2003-05. Former Extreme frontman Gary Cherone worked with the band from 1996-99.
Anthony and Hagar have since formed a new group, called Chickenfoot.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Van Halen. Click through the headlines for complete reviews …
VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH (2012): It’s interesting that A Different Kind of Truth doesn’t always go for the easy hook (recalling Fair Warning), something that may surprise late-arriving fans of keyboard-driven pop successes like “Jump” (and certainly the subsequent period with David Lee Roth’s successor, Sammy Hagar). Some of the material requires more than one listen to completely absorb, and Anthony’s cloud-bursting tenor is missed at times. But A Different Kind of Truth has a way of burrowing in. That’s largely thanks to the presence of Roth, of course. He’s always good for spandex-splitting laugh or two.
ON SECOND THOUGHT: VAN HALEN – A DIFFERENT KIND OF TRUTH (2012): I stand corrected – and pleasantly surprised, too. When I went into my first listen of Van Halen’s A Different Kind of Truth, I was expecting a steaming pile of mediocrity. Instead, the album is loaded with big, crazy riffing from Eddie Van Halen. As I listen to the record, I keep coming back to one word – swagger. That could be a complete review of this album in itself. It’s something that the best work from Van Halen has always had, and something that, for me, was often missing in the post-DLR version of the band.
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: VAN HALEN: A long-waited reunion with original lead singer David Lee Roth has Van Halen back in the news … and us digging through some old albums. Here’s a look back at a few favorite moments with Roth — and yes, Sammy, too — along with updated tour date information, a link to video from Van Halen’s recent small-club date with Roth and an early demo of one of the tracks to be included on the forthcoming A Different Kind of Truth, to be issued on February 7. Let’s start shredding!