David Lee Roth’s latest archival release is the song “Nothing Could Have Stopped Us Back Then Anyway,” which you can hear below.
A reflection on Van Halen’s heyday, the song is the latest in a series of unannounced tracks made available by Roth. It’s particularly notable because guitarist John 5 – who found success as part of Roth’s ‘80s solo band – has always wanted the world to hear it.
Last year John 5 told UCR that the pair had written and recorded the track around 2016. “This song is so great, and I just literally will beg Dave and Dave’s team to release this song,” he said. “Cause it’s about Van Halen, and it’s so good. I mean, it’s so fucking good. And I just wish he would release it.”
He added that “the music is really sophisticated if you will. It’s not just strumming, it’s sophisticated. And it [took only] a couple takes, and Dave just nails it. I mean, you would have heard this and [said], ‘Oh, this could have been on Women and Children First.’ … It’s Dave just talking about the good old days. … Nothing could have stopped [Van Halen], and nothing did. I have chills right now, in fact.”
Earlier this month Roth released “Pointing at the Moon,” which followed the unveiling of five songs attached to his webcomic The Roth Project in 2020. He’s left fans uncertain about his current status after appearing to have retired in October 2021 by recently hinting at his involvement with an Eddie Van Halen tribute tour.
“There’s always a tomorrow for a singer,” he said last month. “How many times did Rocky retire? Seven. I think number three was my favorite. How many times did Rambo have to come out of retirement in order to make the sequel? … I wrote the songs. … I was the one who named the band. … I’m only in the middle of my first retirement.”