They called this set ‘The Best of Both Worlds,’ but it heralded the worst of times for Van Halen.
Before their successful reunion with David Lee Roth there would be another, less celebrated try at working with Sammy Hagar — one that produced three new songs for a two-disc hits compilation, along with a lot of heartache. Released on July 20, 2004, ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ was meant to promote a series of reunion shows with Hagar, though in practice what these sessions produced was a clear (though unheeded) sign of just how ill-fated this entire idea was.
However, even with most of a decade gone since Van Halen’s ugly split with Hagar, there was no way — as he sings in ‘It’s About Time’ — to “turn your clock back.” Old animosities remained, and new arguments were added, over the course of a scheduled 80-stop tour that followed. Out on the road, there was nothing to distract Van Halen from its latent problems. By the time that series of dates concluded, the perceived promise of ‘Best of Both Worlds’ had vanished.
Van Halen, of course, eventually reunited with Roth, first for a tour in 2007-8, followed by the 2012 album ‘A Different Kind of Truth.’ By then Anthony had been replaced too, by Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang. Hagar and Anthony subsequently formed their own band, Chickenfoot
But I always loved sammy In the band...