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Did Van Halen Remove Michael Anthony From Album Art on Their Web Site?

August 15, 2007 9:51 AM ET

Over the past twenty-four hours, Van Halen fans have been mulling over the latest development in the band's reunion saga: A poster on a music-industry message board pointed out that in the wake of the band's tour announcement, the Van Halens seemed to have airbrushed original bassist Michael Anthony out of older album covers on their official Web site and replaced him with their newest member: Eddie Van Halen's son, Wolfgang. The swap was evident on the lower right of the cover of the band's self-titled debut (which came out thirteen years before Wolfgang was born), and the group shot for Women and Children First had been removed entirely.

A visit to the tour section of Van Halen's site today reveals that the album covers in question have been replaced with the original artwork. However, another message board commenter pointed out there were no images of David Lee Roth in 2004's career-spanning The Best of Both Worlds, as the frontman and Eddie Van Halen were on the outs during that time. (The pair made a point of embracing at Monday's reunion tour press conference to demonstrate all is well). As of now, the band hasn't issued any statements regarding the artwork incident.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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