Let me start by saying the source for the update is Melodicrock, who have an impressive track record in breaking VH news; at the same time, please be aware that much of the info contained in this report has not been confirmed by official sources.
The site is reporting an extensive 2011 tour is in the works, taking in North America, likely European dates and even some Australian dates, which local newspaper the Herald Sun stated Sunday, “Van Halen and frontman David Lee Roth are close to confirming a visit next year.”
As for a new album, it’s in the works, as expected; what is not known right now is the time frame for this.
Sources tell Melodicrock that Roth’s vocals are being recorded away from the 5150 studio, with Eddie receiving various vocal tracks from the singer, but not always to the guitarist's satisfaction. Sources say that it's work in progress between Eddie and Dave.
The site is also reporting, but cannot confirm, that Eddie has recorded most of the bass parts for the album (Ed. note – he’s been playing bass parts for years on VH stuff).
Van Halen apparently tested a few different producers, but the man at the helm for this album is Ross Hogarth, who worked on the recently-released disc by The Doobie Brothers (he’s also been involved in projects by John Mellencamp, Cheap Trick, John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge and many others).
While Hogarth’s website makes no mention of any work with Van Halen, he did post a reference, in July, to a new album he was working on: "The record I just started will be amazing...that is all I will say..."
The report says there is a deal in place between Warner Bros. and the band for a new album (as announced a few months back). However, there is a genuine fear from the label that the album may now not be ready before tour commitments begin. The album was definitely expected to be released in early 2011, but there has been so much going back and forth and re-arranging, that the label have developed a contingency plan if the recordings are not turned in by early 2011.
The “backup” plan is preparing re-masters of the Sammy Hagar-era catalogue, as well as preparing Blue-Ray releases of “Live Without a Net” and “Live Right Here Right Now” so that there is, at least, something on the market when the band tours.
In addition, Warner Bros. have prepared limited edition Vinyl releases, which have just appeared on the Rhino/Warner schedule. "1984," "Women And Children First" and "Van Halen II" will be released on LP December 13.
Let’s see what official sources say, now that this news is out….
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