If somebody had told us a year ago that Santana would win eight Grammys and sell 10 million records, our response would have been a hearty Oye como ha! But the joke’s on us: Obviously, loading Supernatural with youth-friendly commercialistas like Rob Thomas and Wyclef Jean has paid off big time. Using the same strategy, here are our track-by-track suggestions for helping another of our fave floundering relics — Van Halen — achieve a Supernatural resurrection. Tentative title: For Unexpected Comeback Know-how.
1. ”Mambo No. 6,” a Latin-tinged guitar jam between Eddie Van Halen and Santana, featuring Lou Bega (”A little bit of Eddie’s all I need/A little bit of Carlos is my speed…”).
2. ”Hot for Teacher 2000.” Playing the title role, Lauryn Hill interrupts this new version with a be-cool/stay-in-school rap interlude.
3. ”Why Can’t This Be Love,” with Courtney Love, Jennifer Love Hewitt, the Beach Boys’ Mike Love, and the Love Unlimited Orchestra.
4. ”I Ain’t Got No Bon Bon”: David Lee Roth returns and updates his solo hit song, turning a party anthem into an uncharacteristically reflective lament about being an aging punchline.
5. ”Smoother,” a response record in the tradition of ”No Pigeons,” featuring Stephan Jenkins from Third Eye Blind.
6. ”Van! Van! Van!” a salsa-licious slice of brown-eyed soul, guesting popular Cuban dance band Los Van Van and Van Morrison.
7. ”That Don’t Impress Me Much,” on which Eddie Van Halen performs a 10-minute guitar solo for blase duet partner Shania Twain.
8. ”Why Can’t We Be Friends,” featuring David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, Gary Cherone, and Smash Mouth’s Steve Harwell.