New Van Halen Song Based on 35-Year-Old Demo?

Yesterday, Van Halen debuted the music video for their new single, "Tattoo," the first new material with David Lee Roth since two tracks released in 1996 as part of a greatest hits package.

It didn't take long for fans to point out that the songs sounds an awful lot like a track called "Down in Flames," a live outtake from the late '70s that was never properly released.

You may remember Sammy Hagar telling Rolling Stone last year that the band weren't writing new material, but instead were creating new songs based on older demos. “Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs," he said. "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."

We've got both songs embedded below, so listen and tell us what you think!


"Down In Flames"

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Josh Hart

Josh Hart is a former web producer and staff writer for Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado magazines (2010–2012). He has since pursued writing fiction under various pseudonyms while exploring the technical underpinnings of journalism, now serving as a senior software engineer for The Seattle Times.