Van Halen’s gone through several lineup changes over the years, many of them including exits and entrances by the same people. In the band’s more recent past, after going on hiatus in 2004, they returned to tour in 2007 with Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, on bass and David Lee Roth back on vocals. Since reunion tours tend to be a sound financial decision and a lot of fun, a fresh set of gigs likely would have been enough an easy way to line pockets and please fans. However, it would seem Van Halen has higher aspirations.

The latest Van Halen lineup is recording a brand new album. According to Rolling Stone, the newish incarnation has signed with Interscope Records. Apparently, after spending some time on American Idol this past spring, chairman Jimmy Iovine would like to get back to some rock roots. Besides recording, the deal with Interscope will include marketing and merchandising, as well as a whole new tour.

When the album is made, it will be Van Halen’s first since 1998’s Van Halen III. Here’s to hoping all the hard work by each player and Interscope Records will enable the band to put out a record they can be proud of. Well, and, hopefully, a record that will hold up more critically than their last. I have no doubt Van Halen has at least one more big song rattling around in the old noggin; it’s just about getting there. If not, reunion tours are still one hell of a good time.

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