OK - I want to make one thing clear from the start. I LOVE SAMMY HAGAR. This means that there may be a slight bias.
have done since being introduced to the classic Loud and Clear live
album by friends of mine in the VIth Form at skool. I was lucky enough
to see him on his 1982 UK tour in Southampton, promoting the equally
classic Standing Hampton album. Notwithstanding the bona fide classics
he has been associated with, Montrose, Paper Money, 5150, and Loud and
Clear itself, It's fair to say that although some of his output over
the years has been patchy, he's never produced an outright BAD album.
Not one. Considering the volume of his output over the years, that is no
With that in mind I was greatly looking
forward to getting my shell-likes around the Red Rocker's new masterwork
- Sammy Hagar & Friends. I was not disappointed in the least. The
album opens up well with 'Winding Down' - a fine rocker, and the first
of three songs with the word 'down' in the title - and is followed up by
the tremendous 'Not Going Down' which has some great soul backing
vocals from among others, the fantastically-named Omega Rae. Gotta love
it. With Denny Carmassi and Bill Church playing on the same track,
Sammy's assertion in the sleeve notes that it 'felt like I was back in
'72 with Montrose' is right on the money.
One thing - the final 'Down' song is 'Going Down' . Come on, Sam - which is it ? Are you Going Down or not ? Make your mind up !
up - a startlingly unusual cover - but one that really works - as they
all do on the album. Ladies and gentlemen, Sammy Hagar sings Depeche
'Personal Jesus' should be relatively familiar as it was a hit
single, and has even been covered by Johnny Cash. DM themselves have a
bona fide star in Dave Gahan, and Sammy certainly puts his mark on the
song. Better still - it wasn't 'Just Can't get Enough' !
Dragout is Sammy and Kid Rock tearing the house down - the track should
be familiar to Planet Rock listeners. It's been played enough ! Another
effective cover of Bob Seger's Ramblin' Gamblin' Man leads to the
excellent Bad on Fords and Chevrolets - with lead vocals shared with
country singer Ronnie Dunn. Hard Rock meets Country in Rock n Roll's
back yard - with some great lyrics.
Before getting to the musical
climax of the album - Going Down - where the mighty Neal Schon really
gets his heavy on with Michael Anthony and Chad Smith (BTW - rumours
abound of the return of HSAS, and yes, the initials do work) - the
listener is blessed with two soothing tracks which work brilliantly as a
sequential pair; Margaritaville and All We Need is as Island. They put
you with a cool drink watching the sun go down - with the latter song's
lyrics making one pray for a lottery win. Sammy being Sammy has more
than enough money to get an island - and indeed probably has one - but
he sets the scene for those of us without one beautifully.
album that is akin to Slash's 'RnFnR' guest-filled solo effort, Sammy
Hagar and Friends stacks up very well - covering a very varied set of
musical styles. A very listenable and enjoyable 8 1/2 out of 10.
last thing - I did not expect to see it in my local HMV. But there it
was - with a fair degree of promotion, too - not simply in the CD rack.
What am I gonna do - NOT buy it ?
Bearing in mind the dearth of
proper music available on the high street nowadays, this is indicative
of a good album. Stores won't get behind a 66 year-old rocker unless
the output is hot. Sammy's latest is certainly worthy of his
illustrious canon, and in parts is RED hot.
Highly recommended - notwithstanding my personal bias.
Reviewer - HB
1. Winding Down :
2. Not Going Down :
3. Personal Jesus :
4. Father Sun :
5. Knockdown Dragout :
6. Ramblin' Gamblin' Man :
7. Bad On Fords And Chevrolets :
8. Margaritaville :
9. All We Need Is An Island :
10. Going Down :
The site is moving. Please redirect to www.needle-in-the-groove.com as blogger won’t let me redirect to a non-blogger site Rock Reviews - Classic. AOR. Prog. Metal. Album Reviews - Interviews - Live Reviews A blog dedicated to followers of Rock music. email - firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter - @chesyrockreview Now on Facebook! 'Chesyrockreviews'
- Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
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