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Van Halen premiered their first new song with original singer David Lee Roth in more than 16 years when “Tattoo” appeared on YouTube (via VEVO) just after midnight on Jan. 10. The track comes from their forthcoming album A Different Kind Of Truth, which is slated for release on Feb. 7. The last time Van Halen released a studio recording with Roth was in 1996 “Can’t Get This Stuff No More” appeared on the band’s Best Of Volume 1 (UPDATE: a previous version of this story reported that it had been 27 years since the band’s last work with Roth).
The black and white performance video for “Tattoo,” shot inside iconic Sunset Strip club The Roxy, features Roth on vocals and guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang on bass along with original drummer Alex Van Halen.
The mid-tempo bluesy track contains several Van Halen trademarks — a breakdown spoken by Roth along with the frontman’s signature scream and manic dance moves; a guitar solo, all but a lost art these days, performed by the still stellar shredder Eddie Van Halen.
At the same time, the song’s super-crisp production may not have the bite that some might remember from the early days, and plenty of fans are still stung by the absence of original bassist Michael Anthony.
Judge for yourself, watch the clip below:
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