VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen recently told Australia's Undercover News that almost every song the band have ever finished recording since their first album in 1978 has been released.
"There are no real tracks that are unreleased," he said. "There may be two or three songs that were partially completed. If those songs were really worthwhile we would have released them back when they were written.
"One of the biggest mistakes artists can make is to go back on the stuff they passed on in the first place and throw it out as new, which it isn't," he added. "[Guitarist] Ed [Van Halen] is very particular in which direction he wants to go in musically and that is forward. I don't know if there is such a thing as going forward in music. It is either up, down, sideways or backwards. It goes in a circle. The intent that goes in to behind making a piece of music is as important as the perception of that piece of music. The intent is to go forward. If you go backwards, then forget it. It doesn't work. We don't go back and go through old tapes."
VAN HALEN reportedly worked on four songs for possible inclusion on their recently released "greatest hits" collection, "Best of Both Worlds". However, only three cuts made it to the final product: "It's About Time", "Up For Breakfast" and "Learning To See".
Commented vocalist Sammy Hagar: "You wouldn't want to hear [the song that didn't make the cut]. It is not done. The lyrics aren't done, the melody is not done and the structure is not there. It was left half cooked. The idea is probably still good but I doubt if we would ever go back and use it because when we get back together and go in the studio it is about where you are at at that moment, not about something you did back there and trying to rekindling that. It is much better to go fresh every time. It is more inspiring. It is like going back to your old girlfriend."
"There is enough music for 100 years in that studio to write songs for laying around on the floor," he added. "We had four songs and the fourth one never got completed. These three got done in time to go out on tour and I mean barely. We were still in the studio mixing and rehearsing at night and mastering and being on tour. It was pretty intense. These three were the ones that came naturally to us."