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Van Halen, ‘Outta Space’ – Lyrics Uncovered

David Lee Roth
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

As long as they were bucking the odds by crafting an amazing reunion album 28 years after breaking up, Van Halen apparently figured they might as well take over for the recently retired R.E.M. as rock’s environmental advocates too. Don’t believe us? Check out their new planet overcrowding anthem, ‘Outta Space.’

The song is one of the several from ‘A Different Kind of Truth‘ that finds Van Halen following the Earth-friendly “reduce, reuse and recycle” credo by creating new songs largely from previously unreleased demo tracks — in this case, ‘Let’s Get Rockin” from their 1977 Warner Brothers sessions.

The music’s largely the same in this new version, with Eddie Van Halen unleashing some of his most aggressive and uptempo riffing since 1991’s ‘Judgement Day‘ and telepathically teaming up with brother Alex for dramatic drum and guitar moments like this little slice of heaven.

But David Lee Roth‘s lyrics have undergone a complete transformation, with the original “let’s get this party started” theme replaced by a humorous-yet-pointed state of the planet address. It seems Roth’s been watching as our resources get stretched to the breaking point: “Need no polar bear to scare me / No Eskimo to share with me his fate / We outta space / No blogger needs to sell me / No dolphin needs to tell me / No starving kid, to make a case.”

The way in which he calls out the cultural changes responsible for this dilemna may not be particularly original — “Eighty acres of one-stop shopping / Has somewhat changed the place” — but the fact that he steps up to take his share of the blame certainly is: “I did not refuse it / I am guilty / I do use it / I am the reason / We outta space.”

So what’s Diamond Dave’s grand solution? Interstellar escape, apparently, on a rocket with a “Go home, the Earth is full” bumper sticker on its tail: “The future ain’t what it used to be / Time to change my galaxy / Crack the sky for a second chance / Make mother nature piss her pants.”

Next: Top 10 Van Halen Songs

Listen to ‘Outta Space’ by Van Halen

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