Sammy Hagar - Sammy Hagar (The Red Album)

EricEric USA
edited July 28 in year-1977

It's been a while since we've reviewed any Sammy Hagar and up to this point coverage has been relegated for the most part to his 80's work, so it's time we go further back in the man's history and pull out his second album from its dusty shelf.

Sammy Hagar -  s/t
ARTIST: Sammy Hagar
ALBUM: Sammy Hagar (The Red Album)
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-11599
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 1993, BGO Records, BGOCD 181 * 1996, One Way Records (with bonus tracks), 72438 19096 21

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA Flag
LINEUP: Sammy Hagar - vocals, guitars * Bill Church - bass * Alan Fitzgerald - keyboards * David Lewark - guitars * Scott Matthews - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Red * 02 Catch The Wind * 03 Crusin' And Boozin' * 04 Free Money * 05 Rock N Roll Weekend * 06 Filmore Shuffle * 07 Hungry * 08 The Pits * 09 Love Has Found Me * 10 Little Star/Eclipse

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

It's been a while since we've reviewed any Sammy Hagar and up to this point coverage has been relegated for the most part to his 80's work, so it's time we go further back in the man's history and pull out his second album from its dusty shelf.

Sammy was the first 'big name' I saw live when he supported Boston in 1978 and having caught him a few years later on the 'VOA' tour, I've never really been that impressed with the 'red rocker' other than his work with the unbeatable Montrose.

Yeah, 1979's 'Street Machine' peaked my interest and the 1980 follow-up 'Danger Zone' had some smokin' moments as did HSAS and yet, for the most part, Hagar's music just never clicked with me, Van Halen and that includes the unremarkable, ridiculously hyped Chickenfoot.

The Songs

There is one other record that I remember and recently come back to, what fans affectionately call 'The Red Album'. It's been a good thirty years since I last heard Sammy Hagar's 1977 long-player and the experience has adjusted my attitude towards the musician ever so slightly, but there is a reason for this. A good half of the material is made up of cover tunes and interesting choices at that. The mid-70's production is an added bonus and his original stuff has a lot of personality including album opener 'Red' and in particular the magnificent 'Little Star/Eclipse' which brings the album to a close in beautifully progressive form.

Of the covers Donovan's 'Catch The Wind' is fascinating in its execution with an almost Queen-like majesty. Not a big mystery why the label chose it for a single although predictably it didn't do that well on the charts. His version of punk icon Patti Smith's 'Free Money' has a dark baroque flavour which will probably freak out most fans of 'Three Lock Box' up until the song's midpoint where the familiar heavy rock Hagar steps in.

But most surprising of all is the cover of Pilot's 'Fillmore Shuffle'. No, not the 'Magic' Pilot, but the other band whose album from 1972 on RCA we've covered elsewhere on Glory Daze. All of this may be a bit too much for some with Sammy playing a variety of styles, but it's an intriguing record and far removed from the standard 'Hagarized' overproduced arena rock that was to come.

In Summary

True to form, Sammy would tour like the dickens in late 1976 and early '77 supporting Sweet, Dave Mason, Foghat, REO, Ted Nugent and J. Geils Band while trying to reach as diverse an audience as possible, a few thousand sets of ears at a time.

After all is said and done and despite what my feelings are on the majority of his output, I have to give the man credit for sticking to his guns and delivering his own brand of rock 'n roll with little if any compromise.


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Comments

  • Options
    'Cruisin and Boozin' and 'Rock 'N' Roll Weekend' are definitive late 70's hard rock anthems, which I can easily imagine American youth getting down to, while getting wasted on dope and whiskey.
  • Options
    I enjoyed this album at the time. The LP was part of my collection for years after picking it up cheap in 1978. 'Red' is my favourite track here.
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