David Lee Roth releases new version of Van Halen classic Unchained

David Lee Roth red carpet shot
(Image credit: Angela Weiss)

Former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth has released a new version of Unchained, which originally featured on the band's 1981 album Fair Warning

The release is the latest in a string of rerecordings Roth has released of Van Halen classics under the Roth Lives! banner, including Panama, Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love, Everybody Wants Some!!, You Really Got Me and Dance The Night Away.

Like the others, Unchained was recorded in May 2022 with guitarist Al Estrada, bassist Ryan Wheeler and drummer Francis Valentino, during sessions at Henson Studios, Los Angeles. Estrada, a member of Roth's live band, was formerly the guitarist in the Van Halen tribute act Eruption. 

Roth has also released the latest episode of his podcast The Roth Show, where he argues that DJ Howard Stern should be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a performer.

"Most singers in rock bands will tell you that the most difficult part of the job live is talking in between the songs," says Roth. "Ask James Hadfield for example in Metallica – I 'm sure he'll tell you that the singing comes way easier than to what to say at what time when in between the songs, especially if you're being very very 'right now', if it's not rehearsed.

"He'll tell you in between the song is most difficult part of the whole show, and that's all Howard does."

Elsewhere in the podcast, Roth argues that Art Garfunkel had a better haircut than Paul Simon, compares Van Halen to a both a Roman legion and the Oakland Raiders team of the late 70s, and explains why Brian May deserved to be knighted. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.