The Gene Simmons/Van Halen Connection Is Alive And Well In 2012

By Tim McPhate

Four songs on Van Halen's 2012 studio album have ties to original demo tape produced by Simmons...

This past Tuesday, Van Halen released their first new studio album with original frontman David Lee Roth in nearly 30 years, "A Different Kind Of Truth." It turns out this isn't your typical comeback album. In addition to penning new songs, Van Halen dug deep into their vaults to unearth songs that were originally featured on the 1976 Van Halen demo tape produced and financed by Gene Simmons.

Specifically, there are four songs on the new Van Halen album with ties to the excellent Simmons-produced recording:

"She's The Woman"
This is the only song of the four recordings to keep its 1976 demo title. The new version is very close to the original, but contains a new middle section as the demo's middle section was recycled for "Mean Street," the opening track on Van Halen's 1981 album, "Fair Warning."

"Outta Space"
Originally titled "Let's Get Rockin,'" the new version retains many elements of the 1976 demo. However, the Facebook reference in the new lyrics is not one of them.

"Big River"
This song is a re-working of "Big Trouble," a favorite demo of many Van Halen diehards. Coincidentally, "Big Trouble" was the title of a song on David Lee Roth's first solo album, 1986's "Eat 'Em And Smile."

"Beats Workin'"
The energetic final track on Van Halen's new album is a revamped version of the original demo "Put Out The Lights."

While the man who "discovered Van Halen" has yet to officially comment on the new Van Halen album, it's a safe bet he'd be all for recycling old demo recordings. Now if someone would only unearth those Simmons/Van Halen 1977 demo recordings of "Christine Sixteen," "Tunnel Of Love" and "Have Love Will Travel" ...

Originally Published: Feb. 8, 2012