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Sammy Hagar

Langue disponible : anglais
Sammy Hagar sang "There's Only One Way to Rock" on Standing Hampton, the 1982 album that established him as a solo superstar nearly a decade after he made his recording debut as the lead singer of Montrose. The fact that Hagar was already in the second act of his career proved that the vocalist known as the Red Rocker figured out more than one way to rock and he'd continue to disprove his hit over the years, first finding superstardom as David Lee Roth's replacement in Van Halen in 1986, then playing in a variety of good-time heavy rock bands after he parted ways with the group in 1996. Hagar returned to his solo career before forming the Waboritas, a group which in turn became the gateway for the supergroup Chickenfoot, which featured guitarist Joe Satriani and Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. The latter proved to be an enduring creative partner for Sammy, appearing in Sammy Hagar and the Circle, the outfit that brought the singer into the 2020s, playing rousing rock & roll with a vigor reminiscent of Standing Hampton but sounding bigger and brawnier, proving that the singer has found many ways to rock over the course of a long career. After giving up a boxing career, Hagar began singing in the late '60s, performing with various California bands including Skinny, the Fabulous Catillas, Justice Brothers, and Dust Cloud. During this time, he built up a solid reputation in the California hard rock scene. Former Edgar Winter guitarist Ronnie Montrose asked Hagar to join his band, Montrose, in 1973. Hagar recorded two albums with Montrose before going solo in 1976, taking the group's bassist, Bill Church, with him. Montrose's drummer Denny Carmassi later joined Hagar's band, along with keyboardist Geoff Workman. Hagar's self-titled "red album" was his first chart entry; it eventually went gold. In 1979, he created a new supporting band featuring Workman, Church, guitarist Gary Pihl, and drummer Chuck Ruff. This lineup played on Hagar's most popular solo album, 1981's platinum Standing Hampton, plus 1982's gold Three Lock Box with only one member missing -- drummer Ruff was replaced by David Lauser. After Three Lock Box and its number 13 hit single "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy," Hagar played several shows with guitarist Neal Schon, bassist Kenny Aaronson, and drummer Mike Shrieve; the group recorded a live album under the name Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve (HSAS), as well as a studio version of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale." His 1984 album VOA contained the hit single "I Can't Drive 55," which peaked at number 26. In 1985, Hagar replaced David Lee Roth in Van Halen; his first album with the group was 1986's 5150. Hagar released his last solo album in 1987; the record was coined I Never Said Goodbye in an MTV contest. Hagar stayed with Van Halen throughout the remainder of the '80s and half of the '90s. During that time, the band had four other multi-platinum albums -- OU812 (1988), For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), Live: Right Here, Right Now (1993), and Balance (1995) -- before tensions began to surface between Hagar and the rest of the band. In the summer of 1996, Hagar either quit Van Halen or was fired; the band had Roth return to sing two tracks on Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1 before hiring former Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone as Hagar's replacement. The entire incident became a media sensation, ensuring that Hagar's 1997 solo album Marching to Mars -- his first in ten years -- would be greeted with much media-generated fanfare. It sold surprisingly well, peaking in the Top 20 and re-establishing Hagar as a viable solo act. With a backing band called the Waboritas in tow (consisting of guitarist Vic Johnson, keyboardist Jesse Harms, bassist Mona, and drummer David Lauser), Hagar followed the success with Red Voodoo two years later; it too sold very respectably on the strength of the single "Mas Tequila," just missing the Top 20. Hagar's resurgence continued with 2000's Ten 13. Not 4 Sale arrived in 2003, followed by his first live album in 20 years, Live: Hallelujah. Livin' It Up! was released in 2006, while VOA was reissued the following year in deluxe format, courtesy of the newly launched American Beat Records. In 2008, Hagar released Cosmic Universal Fashion, his 11th solo album and first for Roadrunner imprint Loud & Proud Records. That same year, he debuted a new band, Chickenfoot, after jamming with Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. The supergroup released its self-titled debut album in 2009. The debut went gold, which was good enough to guarantee a 2011 sequel called Chickenfoot III (despite its joking title, this was indeed their sophomore set). Hagar didn't abandon his Chickenfoot brothers for the 2013 album Sammy Hagar & Friends; each member, along with several other kindred spirits, showed up on this party-hearty 2013 LP. 2014's Lite Roast saw the tireless Hagar and Wabos guitarist Vic Johnson gently tearing through some coffeehouse-ready versions of Hagar classics, while 2015 saw the release of the live album At Your Service, the first album to be released under the moniker Sammy Hagar & the Circle, his newest touring incarnation featuring Michael Anthony on bass, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson. The Circle released their first studio album, The Space Between, in 2019; it debuted at number four upon its release. The group returned in 2022 with Crazy Times, which featured a cover of Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" as its first single.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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