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I say if people want to hear Van Halen I, it's out there; go buy it, and listen to it. Don't expect new Van Halen to be the same sound as a third of a century ago! I think if you wanted you could make the "oldest" sound and "oldest" methodology in song creation and you could pull it off beautifully. If you WANT to make that album, a total throw back, you could do it. It still would resonate with new sounds. Everyone thinks the 1996 material with Dave is the sound that was on Van Halen I. The guitar technique and fast picking style sounds a lot like your oldest work but other than that, in my mind, it's totally different because it still sounds new. People don't appreciate Sam but "Can't Get This Stuff No More" was Van Hagar's "Back Door Shuffle" with vocals reworked by Dave so it's COMPLETELY different than "old Van Halen"! They love "Can't Get This Stuff No More" but hate all Sam's stuff? It's ridiculous! Unbelievable! Fanatics have no sanity by definition which goes hand in hand with "do the same thing over and over and expect different results". Purist followers clearly have sanity, amidst a sea of fans. That's how I think of myself.
New material has to be written for every album. People do not appreciate the fact that the new material (anything newly written FOR any album beyond Van Halen I) is from a different time. I can see how you changed after the first three albums. Fair Warning, Diver Down and 1984 were completely different sounds than the first three albums. People talk trash about Van Hagar but I see components of the same approach in the last three albums with Dave and all the Van Hagar albums.
I say make Van Halen music the way you want to, regardless of the public's thirst for the oldest style out there. If there is a lot of unreleased material that could be put together in a box set, do it. There is literally nothing you have to fear by putting the oddest sounding stuff out there. I've heard all that's out there, unreleased, as well as the releases of course. ALL of it's ART! Don't wonder, PLEASE don't cringe; PLEASE (as Nike would say) just do it. The people are dying for anything "new" and what they haven't heard, regardless of the age, is "new" to the public when it wasn't conventionally released.
My favorite Van Halen albums are: every single one of them. I love the unreleased stuff and side projects you've done with others too. I just love all of the music you do. You and your music have inspired me so much. I can't even begin to tell you. My older brother's friends, for a while in the 80s called me "Mr. Van Halen". lol
Thanks for the memories, thanks for being the soundtrack to my life, thanks for being the soundtrack to my 16 year old's (James) life! God Bless You. God Blesses You.
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