Friday it was Sam’s 1984 big breakthrough album V.O.A that was reviewed but let’s rewind a few year’s back to 1980 in the recording’s of Sammy…
After being blown away by Hagar’s Live show in the fall of 1984 as soon as my feet landed back in Thunder Bay it was off to the record shop and purchase anything live Hagar….
It was Kings Stereo that I purchased Live 1980 a live Sam album from well ….1980! Recorded at the infamous Hammersmith Odeon in London England.
“Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)” (Sammy Hagar) – 5:15
“Love or Money” (Hagar) – 3:57
“Plain Jane” (Hagar) – 2:26
“20th Century Man” (Hagar, Gary Pihl) – 3:59
“This Planet’s on Fire (Burn in Hell)” (Hagar) – 5:14
“In the Night (Entering the Danger Zone)” (Hagar) – 1:26
“The Danger Zone” (Hagar) – 5:00
“Space Station #5” (Hagar, Ronnie Montrose) – 4:28
The Dude’s who don’t look like Ladies…
Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, lead guitar
Gary Pihl – rhythm guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass guitar, backing vocals
Chuck Ruff – drums, backing vocals
This album blew me away for one thing you can see pre 1981 Sam was all old school hard guitar rock! No keyboards except for some dabbling In The Night/Danger Zone.
Ok so when I spun this the very first time the thing struck me right off the hop was the intro to the first song of the show and thats Trans Am. Great opening number with the intro(you can hear a Motor revving) and some dude on the mic introducing the “Red Rocker Sammy Hagar” and bam the curly-haired dude is singing about his Car?! Hahaha…whatever yanks the crank I suppose! But still a great live number listen below…
So as soon as Sam gets off the Highway Wonderland it’s into another Gem of a tune called Love Or Money. “I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool!” Sammy hollers and boom were off. Nice shuffle of the drums by Ruff as well as backing vocals. Sammy 1980 is a serious Hard Rocker!
Plain Jane has a real cool vibe not an all out rocker but Plain Jane still packs a real good oomph! Super cool verse’s with a real cool bass line that follows the lead vocal!
Big rock riff’s lead the way and that song is called 20th Century Man No radio fodder her on this tune as Sam and Gary weave the guitars in and out while flexing some serious muscle live. Another standout track that no one ever talks about! Even Hagar himself!
Side 2 begins with one of my favourite Hagar tracks and that’s This World Is On Fire. Boogie woggie riff a roo and this was even Sam’s opener when I seen the show in 84. It’s basically a tune about selling your soul to the music business…lyrics below…
‘Cancelled flights, limousines
Hustle bustles, crazy scenes
First you’re here, then you’re there
Pretty soon man, you been everywhere
Ooh, this planet’s on fire
Oh, Satan’s desire
We’ve seen the rise, we’ll see the fall
He’s here to see us all
Burn in hell…’
Even better I’m going to post a live clip of a young Sam from 1978 blasting this tune live. People tend to forget what a great Lead/Rhythm Picker Sam is …..watch it man its Rock Gold!
Form there it gets trippy with a short interlude awash with keys called In The Night which goes right into The Danger Zone which is more spacey and crazy with the album ending with the Montrose classic Space Station Number 5 which is a rip snorting rock attack as the band is on an all out rock attack! More huge guitars and this is Hard Rock done to perfection with a chorus that is gold!
As with the end of every Sam show he introduces the Boys in the band something he still does to this day! Props all around!
This is a quick snap shot audio assault from Sam and he’s a rocking beast as is his band. The performance on here is top-notch and Sam as he entered the 80’s shifted his musical chops somewhat with a more commercial hard rock sound. Fair enough as you gotta make cash!
Check this one out folk’s!