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Fans Claim Van Halen's New Song 'Tattoo' Sounds Like a 1977 Outtake

Tune is similar to 'Down in Flames,' which was never released on an album

January 10, 2012 2:25 PM ET
Van Halen
Van Halen perform at Cafe Wha? in New York City.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

When Rolling Stone spoke with Sammy Hagar in November, he told us that he heard the new Van Halen record was largely comprised of old music. "I mean stuff from before I even joined the band," Hagar said. "Ed and Dave didn't actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all."

It was impossible to know at the time if his claims were true, but at Van Halen's Café Wha? gig last week the one "new" song they released, "She's The Woman," dates back to a demo tape the group made in 1976. This morning they debuted their new single and video "Tattoo," and hardcore fans immediately noticed that it sounded strikingly similar to "Down in Flames," a song they played live in 1977 but never actually put on an album. We're going to let you guys make up your mind on this one. How similar do you think the two songs are? Videos for each are below.

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