Next year will represent the 40th anniversary of the founding of Van Halen, and what better way to celebrate four decades of strumming and strutting than with another tour and a new album?

Such is the case for the four men of Van Halen: Guitarist Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, and singer/dancer/bon vivant David Lee Roth. The band last hit the road in 2007, which was the first time the Van Halen brothers had teamed up with Roth since the ill-fated (and extremely short-lived) reunion in 1996. The return of the band’s original (and best) singer remains tempered by the absence of bassist Michael Anthony, whose backing vocals and wild-eyed personality were sorely missed on the last tour (he was always a remarkably great foil for Roth on stage; Wolfgang, Eddie’s son, always looked like he was in Van Halen against his will).

The band’s 2012 trek, which was announced via their official website this morning, doesn’t have any specific dates yet, though the first batch of tickets will go on sale on Jan. 10. The year promises to be a busy one, as the band is close to completing a new album, its first since 1998’s awful Van Halen III (with Extreme singer Gary Cherone on the microphone), and also the first with Roth since 1984 (though Roth did contribute vocals to two new songs on 1996’s Best Of Volume I).

What better way to celebrate yet another Van Halen return than with a wacky promotional video featuring lots of crazy Roth dancing, some of the band’s biggest hits, and a heaping helping of confetti? Enjoy your late Christmas gift below.

So here comes the key question: Which version of Van Halen do you prefer? There are very few pop culture issues I am more adamant about than the superiority of Roth over Sammy Hagar. Roth is one of the greatest frontmen in history, a true showman who added that extra bit of showbiz spark to the band’s sometimes stoic approach. In the midst of Eddie’s obsessive guitar wankery, Roth reminded everybody that rock and roll is supposed to be fun. Hagar is a perfectly acceptable singer, though his charisma has always paled in comparison to Roth’s, and Hagar seemed to indulge the rest of the band’s more pretentious impulses (which is ironic considering much of Hagar’s solo output surrounds the awesomeness of blue margaritas). The less said about Gary Cherone, the better.

Will you be buying tickets to Van Halen’s upcoming tour? Or will you wait to see if the new album is any good? And who wins the Roth/Hagar battle royale? Run with the devil in the comments.


Rock n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution
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